Who’s in Your Circle of Influence?

“You are judged by the company you keep.”  I recall hearing that old adage frequently when I was growing up.  And while there’s certainly truth to it, I think it is also true that you are influenced by the company you keep.

In fact, one study, headed by Rose McDermott of Brown University, found that participants of the research were 75% more likely to become divorced if a friend was divorced and 33% more likely to end their marriage if a friend of a friend was divorced. (Read the full article here: http://fowler.ucsd.edu/social_network_effects_on_divorce.pdf)

Numerous other research has continually supported this “contagion” theory in other behaviors as well, like obesity, sexual behavior, and pregnancy, just to name a few.

Considering these findings, might there be benefits to this influence as well?  What would happen if we surrounded ourselves with people who had attributes we wanted to cultivate for ourselves? For example, I have selected those in my innermost circle very carefully.  These are people I admire.  Often, these people have strengths in areas I’m trying to improve in myself.

We all have aspects of our personalities that can dim our greatness. By surrounding myself with people who embody the greatness I’m in search of, I am putting myself in the ‘contagion space’.  I observe them, I’ll ask questions, and then I’ll try to emulate those characteristics in a way that fits with who I am and who I’m striving to be.

There are also great public figures that can serve this purpose for you.  Who do you admire? Check out their websites, books, videos and podcasts.

Take a moment to write down 3 aspects of your personality you’d like to improve on.  Really write them down (we talked about this last week, remember?)  Now who do you know, or know of, that could help you improve in this area?

It’s never too late to become the person you were meant to be!   Who do you admire?  What have you learned from this person? Tell me in the comments section below.

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email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 


  1. I love this idea!! In a huge proponent of the idea that we are an equation of the 5 people we spend the most time with. I always love working on myself (self-love), my business, giving to others and of course my yoga practice. As a huge family person I also love spending time with my loved ones. I think we can all improve on our friends, our relationships (personal and business) among others. Such a great idea thanks April!

    • I LOVE that statement Jenny, “…we are an equation of the 5 people we spend the most time with.” Thank you for sharing!! <3

  2. Lori Liska says:

    My biggest issues that I want to improve is self confidence and self love….I’ve lost it recently but I also am surrounded by the most loving kindest and giving friends I could ask for…their encouragement, compassion and the ability to help me understand that I will be okay…keeps me going…I have never been surrounded by women of strong influence in my life yet I have found some very strong woman in my life…I am truly blessed. The other thing I need to work on is independence…and not being afraid to be on my own….it’s scary….never really having really felt part of a family I never learned to reach out for support…I have it now but I want to be able to do it my self and let’s face it….it’s scary….change is scary and so is failure but if I don’t try I will never succeed…

    • BEAUTIFUL Lori! Sounds like your plan is in place…now you just need to act on it. NONE of us will let you fail! Promise!! <3

  3. For me its Marianne Williamson. Its my hallucination to be as magnetic and inspirational as she is (with exception of politics – I am not made for that, but she is perfect and truly needed for her candidacy!)

    You are absolutely right. Being around like-minded and kindred spirits is truly magical and crucial to self realization and actualization.

    • Tess, it’s NOT a hallucination! You ARE as Magnetic and Inspirational! You have special energy…keep bringin it sister!! 🙂

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