Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker

The 5 People Rule: Intentional Influence

December 07, 2023 MaryAnn Walker Episode 72
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker
The 5 People Rule: Intentional Influence
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, MaryAnn shares a perspective shift on the concept of being the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and, instead, shifting the focus to being the sum of the five people you allow to influence you most. 

The influences may be intentional, like specific podcasts, or unintentional, like social media feed. But coming to recognize the sources of the 5 people or places that influence you the most is the first step towards living more consciously and intentionally. 

First, bring it into your conscious awareness the who and the what that is currently having the most influence on you.

Second, notice the impact that influence is having on you. Is it positive or negative? What is it creating for you?

Third, decide consciously if you want to allow for this source to continue to be one of your top 5 influencers or not.

Additional prompts:
Who are the 5 people currently having significant influence over me?
How do I feel in their presence?
How do I feel when I allow them to influence me?
What 3 qualities or characteristics would most describe this individual?
Are these qualities or characteristics that I want to develop in my personal life or not? Explain.
Do I want to continue to allow this person to be one of my top 5 influencers?

You are the sum of the 5 people you choose to allow to influence you. Choose them on purpose.

If you would like help upleveling your life this year, or maybe you're recognizing that there are some people in your life that are having an influence on you and you don't know how to navigate it, gift yourself a more fulfilling life this Christmas and come and work with me.

I am currently offering 6 weeks for just $625. Click or copy the link to apply now!

https://maryannwalker.life/contact-me

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Built-in Microphone:

Well, hello and welcome back. So I was recently listening to a podcast episode by my teacher and mentor, Brooke Castillo, and she expanded on an idea that totally resonated with me. Jim Rohn once said that you are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with. And I've come to believe that this is mostly And because of this, I've really worked hard to be a little bit more intentional about where and with who I choose to invest my time and my energy. But Brooke kind of turned this on its head a little bit and had me thinking about this in a whole new way. She suggested that instead of being the average of the five people that we spend the most time with, instead, we are the sum of the five people That we allow to have influence on us most. And I thought that that was a really important distinction because who we spend our time with isn't always who we're choosing to allow to have influence on us. We can spend time with people that we don't choose to allow to influence us. And also we can have people influence us that we never actually spent any time with at all. In fact, sometimes people can have a significant influence over us, even if we've never met them. For example, some of the people that have had the most significant impact and influence on my life are the authors and the speakers and the podcasters that have supported me on my own personal growth and healing journey. I've never met these people before, but their influence on my life. is undeniable. And those are the intentional influences that I seek out. The people that really uplift and inspire me and help me to create the life that I really want to create. And I recognize too that yes, there are these intentional influencers, right? The people that I'm seeking out and I want to read their books and I want to listen to their podcasts. And then also there are unintentional influences in my life. And as I raise my conscious awareness around these, I can make those a little bit more intentional too. For example, I recognize that I'm influenced by the music that I listen to. I'm influenced by the movies that I watch. I'm influenced by what pops up in my social media feed. In fact, I cannot tell you how many things I have purchased just because they popped up in my social media feed. And so I might be completely unaware of these influences and how they're impacting me until after the fact, right? It will be as I'm speaking. singing the song in my head with that same line over and over again that I recognize, Oh, I didn't even know that that was impacting me in this way or until after I get the receipt for what I've just purchased from that ad online that I'm able to see, Oh wow, I was really strongly influenced by that advertisement. And so it's really interesting to just become a little bit more conscious. about what it is that we're choosing to allow to have influence over us. So it's all about noticing what the influences are in your life, and then just becoming a little bit more intentional about them, so we can choose them consciously and on purpose. Because we are being influenced. All of the time, we just might not be consciously aware of it. So I'm hoping that as you listen to this podcast episode, if the only thing that you take away from it is that You have a desire to become a little bit more conscious about what the influences are That you're allowing to have in your life and just being a little bit more proactive about choosing them on purpose then i've done my job But we'll kind of keep exploring this a little bit more because it would be a really short podcast episode otherwise. So truth be told, I'm currently following some vegan meal preppers on Instagram and they seriously inspire me. And I think that they make eating healthy look just so sexy and easy. And they have had such a significant influence over how I feel my body. I've noticed that I've tried new ingredients that I would have never tried before. If I hadn't been seeing their videos pop up in my feed, I've noticed that I've been trying new flavor combinations that I would have never even considered before. They have really expanded my view on what it means to have healthy protein sources. And it's really made a difference for me and how I feel and how I choose to fuel my body. And all of this started from one friend who sent me a super yummy link. So thanks Melody. It's really had a big impact on me. So, the goal in life is to choose who you want to allow to have influence on you and choose it on purpose and with intention. I mean, this is a pretty conscientious group, so I'm sure that I don't need to explain to this audience the dangers of just scrolling for hours on end and allowing the algorithms to determine what goes into your mind. I know that for me, it has happened before where I'm just sitting and scrolling and then I finally hit a point where I'm thinking, Wait, how did that get here? Like, what the heck did I just watch? How did I end up here? And that's what happens when we are unintentional about what we are allowing to influence us, when we're mindless about it. Then, essentially, everybody else around us gets to choose what is influencing us. But raising our level of conscious thinking can help us to be a little bit more intentional about that so we can create a life that is more supportive for what it is that we want to intentionally create. When I first launched my business page, I created a separate social media account. I wanted to keep my business page and my personal life separate. So on my personal page, this is where I follow family and friends that I know in real life. It might be people from the community. Maybe they're people I've had very brief encounters with or maybe an extended relationship with. There's some people in my feed that I was friends with in high school and we only reconnected for the reunion. There might be some coworkers that I had 20 some odd years ago. So there's really a very large variety of people in my feed with a very large variety of ideas and personal beliefs. And personal experiences like, so when I look at that feed, it's kind of all over the place, on my business profile. However, I've been a bit more intentional about who I choose to follow in that feed. So on that page, I only follow people that are in the self-help industry. Like myself. So I'm seeking out over there, the accounts that uplift and inspire me, the things that help to inspire new content, the pages that helped me to challenge my thinking and up level my life. So when I first created these two accounts, it was really fascinating to notice the difference in the feed of these two accounts, because truly the contrast was undeniable. One account was filled with a lot of super strong opinions, and these super strong opinions might be about traffic, or the school system, or what books are in the library, or politics, you name it. And it was super interesting to notice that in this Feed. They seem to be a little bit more concerned with who was right than what was right. And of course this wasn't true for everybody in my feed. It happened often enough that it really did give me pause and created this big contrast for me over what is this creating for me and what's the influence. Because I noticed that after scrolling in this feed, I would walk away feeling drained, maybe a little bit defensive or just kind of just generally disappointed. But when I clicked on my other page, it was interesting to see all of the inspirational quotes, the witty humor, the beautiful scenes from nature and all of the cute animal videos. Like there are so many cute cat videos over there. And it was really interesting to notice that when I was scrolling that feed, I would walk away feeling uplifted and inspired. And in fact, a lot of the quotes that I share on my business page, they come from the feed from that business account. And once I was able to recognize the stark contrast between these two feeds, then that's when I became more proactive about cultivating a personal feed that was more supportive. for my personal well being and the life that I wanted to create. And so it was at that point that I proactively changed my feed. I decided, all right, from here on out, I'm only going to like and comment on things that fuel and inspire me so that I can really work those algorithms in my favor. I decided to mute certain people that I just didn't want to see in my feed anymore. I decided to unfollow pages. That no longer served me. I decided to leave groups that I had joined out of guilt and obligation. And I just worked to become a little bit more intentional about all of it. And it really has shifted how I feel and I love it. And of course this happened years ago and I would love to say that it was a one and done thing, but it's not living an intentional life as a process. And every single day we get to choose, be it on purpose or subconsciously, what it is that we're going to choose to allow to have influence on us. So to do this, first, bring it into your conscious awareness, the who and the what is currently having the most influence on you. Until you're able to recognize what is, like how I was able to look at my feed and recognize that it was really draining for me, until you're able to recognize what is and what you have currently created, it's going to be really hard for you to know what needs to be adjusted in order to get you to where it is that you need to go. So first bring it into your conscious awareness, the who. And the what is currently having the most influence on you. And then second, just notice, okay, what kind of an influence is this having on me? What is this creating for me? And do I like it? Because that's the third step is deciding if you want to continue to allow this to have influence on you or not, and just choosing it on purpose. Now I want to share an experience that I had. I kind of debated sharing it, but I think it really helps to illustrate the point about when things are having influence on us that we wouldn't consciously choose. So, recently I had somebody call me petty and pouty and controlling, along with a few other less than kind labels. And it was really interesting to notice what happened in my brain. Because admittedly, I did let it get to me. And ironically, when I allowed these labels to get to me, when I allowed these labels to have influence on me, then something happened. I noticed that I became those things. That they were accusing me of. I became more petty and pouty and I found myself trying really hard to control this other person's perspective of me. And I didn't like who I was when I allowed this person's labels to have that amount of influence on me. And now once I recognized this and I was able to feel my feelings about it a bit, then I was able to step back a little bit and ask myself some questions. So essentially I asked myself, okay, Can I be pouty and petty and controlling? And I thought, well yeah, of course I can, I'm human. We're all capable of that. And then I asked, but is that the core of who I am? No, it's not the core of who I am. I'm capable of those things, but that's not the core of who I am. And then I could take that moment to recognize, okay, so do I want to allow these labels to continue to have influence over me or not? But first I had to really raise my own conscious awareness over what was happening for me and what it was creating for me. So it was then that I realized that I was giving these labels way too much influence over me. And once I recognized that, then I decided, okay, so what do I want to do moving forward? I could be more proactive and more intentional about, okay, what do I want to allow to have influence over me? So I decided, okay, I'm going to set a self boundary. So I decided, you know what? Moving forward, I'm not going to allow labels. I think that labels, they're just generally not very helpful. If somebody wants to offer me constructive criticism and specific feedback about something, yes, I might be willing to listen to it and take it into consideration. But I've decided, nope, if something is coming to me in the form of labels, I'm not going to allow it to have influence over me, but I needed that experience before I was able to consciously decide that that was something that, no, I'm going to choose out of that. I'm going to opt out of that having influence on me. So notice for yourself, if you find yourself ruminating on a specific person or a specific situation, use that as like, A huge, flashing, neon sign that, okay, maybe I am allowing this person, or this situation to have a disproportionate amount of influence on me. Once you're able to recognize, okay, I'm really having a hard time getting over this, then you can choose on purpose, which parts of the interaction you want to allow to have influence over you, and which parts you want to choose to just let go. So just notice these influences so that you can choose them on purpose. Recognize that you are the sum of the five people that you choose to allow to have influence on you the most and so that you can choose this on purpose. So essentially, like me, you can have a choice in that moment to be pouty and petty and controlling. Or you can choose. You know what? I'm not going to allow that to influence me. I recognize that those are the things I become when I allow that to have influence on me. And I'm going to choose something different. I'm going to choose something more supportive for me. I'm going to choose to let that go and to show up as my whole self, as my best self. Those are not. The whole of who I am, because who I am is somebody who is in control of self and really thinks through things with purpose and intention. And so that's how I'm going to choose to show up. And I'm going to allow my thoughts to have more influence on me than their thoughts. Okay. So now for a contrasting story. So I was recently in conversation with somebody that I instantly recognized with somebody that, you know what? I'm really feeling drawn towards this person. I really admire how they're showing up in the world. I admire that they're showing up. With love and kindness and generosity. I want to get to know this person more and I want to allow them to have influence on me. And I had chosen to focus on this relationship before I'd even heard that from Brooke Castillo about the sum of the five people that you allowed to have influence on you the most. I just knew that I wanted to have a life like this person and I wanted to get to know them better. So as I got to know them better, as I sat down in conversation, it was really neat to just observe how I felt in their presence. You know, I found them to be really inspiring and kind, and they weren't afraid to compliment and uplift others. And I noticed how I felt in that conversation. I noticed that I felt uplifted and inspired. I felt confident and capable. I felt seen and valued. And I recognized that, okay, those are the feelings and those are the qualities. That I want to choose to have influence on me on purpose. So think for a moment about what is having influence on you, who is having influence on you. Is it a positive influence or a negative influence? And then just choose that more on purpose, right? So today I really want you to think about it for a minute, maybe go home and journal on it. I'll put all of these little prompts in the show notes, but I want you to really think about who are the five people that have the most influence on me right now. And after you've identified those five people, ask the question, Okay, so these are the five people that currently have the most influence on me. Maybe they're people you know, maybe they're people that you don't know. Maybe it's this amazing podcast that you're listening to. But notice, okay, what are the five biggest influences on my life right now? And then ask yourself, what kind of an influence do these people have on me? How do I feel in their presence? Like what comes up for me? What do they bring out in me? How do I feel about myself when I allow this person to have influence over me? Do I feel optimistic and hopeful and strong and confident? Or do I find myself feeling insecure and inadequate? After I've spent time in their presence as you're able to be more conscious about what it is that it's creating for you Then you can decide how you want to move forward on purpose in that relationship. Another thing that can be really helpful when you're deciding Okay, who is having the most influence on me and what is it creating for me is asking yourself the question Okay, if I had to sum up this individual In three qualities or characteristics, what would those qualities be? And just notice that. Notice how you're describing this person. Sometimes we might not even be aware of the impact they're having on us, but we do know and understand how we perceive that person. So just recognizing, you know ok, these are the three qualities that I associate with this person. Then you can ask yourself, ok, so how do those qualities influence me in my life? You are the sum of the five people that you allow to have influence on you. So make it count, do it consciously, and on purpose. Recognize what it is that that's creating for you so that you can be more consciously aware of what it is that you are creating for yourself. These things are having influence on you. Whether you're consciously aware of it or not, these things are having influence on you. So just kind of dial it up a little bit, your own conscious awareness over what it is that you're choosing to allow to have influence on you. Be more mindful and less mindless as you're scrolling in your social media. Be more intentional about creating a feed that is more supportive for you. And hey, if you would like help upleveling your life this year, or maybe you're recognizing that there are some people in your life that are having an influence on you and you don't know how to navigate it, you don't know how to uplevel the relationship, you don't know how to set boundaries so that you can stand in your power, if you find yourself Self feeling pouty and putty and controlling, and you want to feel empowered and calm and confident and capable. Come and work with me. There are several people that have been reaching out that are wanting coaching for Christmas, and if you feel like this will be something supportive for you with the new year, come and work with me. I would love to work with you. You can click the link in the show notes to come and work with me and I will talk to you soon. All right, so here's to a intentional week. I'll talk to you soon. Have a great week. Bye now.