Remember gym class? Sometimes there would be team sports – basketball, soccer, flag football – and occasionally you got to be the team captain. You and some other kid each got to pick a team, member by member. You made careful decisions about who you picked for your team because you wanted to win the game. You chose people who you thought would help you do that.
Life is like that, too. You’re the captain and you get to pick your team.
Choosing who to surround yourself with is especially important when you’re making big career decisions or trying to make a career change. If some of the people around you right now are bringing you down, put some distance between yourself and those people. You don’t have to cut ties completely (especially if it’s a family member who you care deeply about), but give yourself some time and space away from negative energy.
Similarly, don’t spend time with people who bring out the worst in you. For example, I’ve struggled with excessive striving, so hanging out with other frantic overachievers is a big no-no for me. Crazed striving is a habit I’ve worked really hard to break, and hanging out with people who do that triggers all kinds of approval-seeking crap for me. No, thank-you. Some people have built entire social circles of people who bring out their worst. If that sounds like you, pull back. Make room to grow.
But don’t just pull back from negative energy. Lean in to good energy wherever you find it.
You want a team people who are going to lift you up, people who will be supportive, guiding influencers. You want a team of people who are in your corner, people who inspire and support you. You want a team of loving supporters who are going to help you get from where you are to where you want to be.
These people might be friends, family members, colleagues, mentors, and acquaintances. Some of them might be people you don’t even know yet, like someone you contact out of the blue to ask for advice or guidance. Or they might be people you’ll never actually meet – people who’ve written books or blogs.
Your team members come in many shapes and sizes. Your team won’t be the same as mine or as the guy who lives next door. Seek out whoever you sense is going to lift you up and help you move forward. Who inspires you? Who challenges you to grow? Who makes you feel strong? Those are the people you should have on your team. Learn from them and lean on them to help you get where you want to go.
This is an excerpt from Careergasm: A Course For Discovering Your Calling