Do you know someone who is negative or cynical? Someone who complains, gossips, and blames others for his or her situation? Whatever you call these people – downers, kill-joys, energy vampires – your success as a lawyer depends on eliminating or limiting your exposure to them.

Your “Friends” Can Derail Your Success

Think about this: Jim Rohn, the personal development guru, said “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

With whom do you spend the majority of your time? Who has the greatest influence on what you think, how you feel, how you act and what you say?

None of us lives in a vacuum; like it or not, we are all influenced by the people around us. Just as the quality of the food you put into your body affects your physical health, what you hear and experience impacts your mental and emotional health. Unfortunately, pessimism and cynicism are contagious, impacting your frame of mind and dampening your desire to take positive action.

Since one of the elements of success is the development and maintenance of a success mindset, it makes sense to take stock of how the people in your life might be impacting your future. Are those around you helping to power your success or limit your potential?

How Does Your Success Team Stack Up?

Consider everyone in your orbit a member of your success team and assess his or her performance. Is he influencing you in a way that is designed to get you where you want to go? Or is she dragging you backwards into small thinking and negative attitudes?

Seek out and develop relationships with people who are proactive in planning and enjoying their lives and careers. Find the positive energy “can do” people, those who are optimistic and pursuing their own goals, and the ones who accept you, support you and help you be the best you can be.

In other words, surround yourself with successful people and get rid of the ones who are holding you back.

Success Means Leaving Bad Apples Behind

So how do you get rid of the bad apples? For starters, simply stop hanging out with the doom and gloom crowd! If you can’t avoid them entirely, minimize your exposure to them as much as possible and make a conscious effort to let their destructive attitudes and comments roll off your back. At the very least, recognize that their approach to life doesn’t need to impact yours.

Are all of those negative people intentionally trying to sabotage your success? Of course not, but even the most well-intentioned cynics and naysayers can have the same impact on you.

Surround yourself with attorneys, support staff, friends, and relatives who are successful and optimistic people.  You’ll develop a can-do mindset that will spur you to further your goals and help you become the lawyer you’ve always wanted to be.

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