Choose Success — Surround Yourself With Positive People

I’ve had a rough week.  My 85 year old dad fell and hit his head.  He didn’t realize it but he had some bleeding inside his skull.  This caused him to have more falls – especially when he was awakened in the night.  He had to have surgery to drain the blood from his skull as it was causing excessive pressure on his brain.  He is OK, but having lost my mother about a year ago, I was concerned and distracted.

When I get concerned and distracted, it is difficult for me to concentrate on my work.  When I have difficulty concentrating, I always turn to a little book I have sitting on the bookshelf on my desk.  It’s called The Portable DO IT!  I love this little book because I often find the inspiration I need to just do it.  It also helps me find the inspiration I need in my work as a career success coach.

Today I opened The Portable DO IT! to a random page and this is what I read…

117 – Keep your goals away from the trolls.

118 – People don’t like to see others pursuing their dreams – it reminds them how far from living their dreams they are.  In talking you out of our dreams, they are talking themselves back into their comfort zone.  They will give you every rational lie they ever gave themselves.

These two pieces of advice were accompanied by a quote from the Bible, Matthew 7:6…

“Give not which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

As a career success coach, I like this advice.  Self confidence is one of the four keys to success that make up my Career Success GPS System.  If you want to become self confident you need to do three things.  First, choose optimism.  Believe that today will be better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better than today.  Second, face your fears and act.  Fear is the enemy of self confidence.  It often manifests itself as procrastination.  Self confident people are not afraid of failing.  They act.  Third, surround yourself with positive people.  Jettison the nay sayers in your life.

Surrounding yourself with positive people is the point of # 117 and # 118 in The Portable DO IT!  Unlike negative people who will tell you a million reasons why you can’t achieve something, positive people will be excited for you and your goals.  They will ask what they can do to help.  Their enthusiasm will help you when you encounter the occasional rough spot in the road.

As I write this, I’m reminded of a great passage I read in Sherman Alexie’s novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  The protagonist is a young Native American boy who leaves the reservation to attend school in an all white school district.  Check it out…

“Something magical happened to me when I went to Reardon.  Overnight I became a good player.

“I suppose it had something to do with confidence.  In Reardon my coach and the other players wanted me to be good.  They needed me to be good.  They expected me to be good.  And so, I became good.

“I wanted to live up to expectations.  I guess that’s what it comes down to.  The power of expectations.  And as they expected more of me, I expected more of myself, and it just grew and grew until I was scoring twelve points a game – as a freshman.”

The coach wanted him to guard the other team’s best player in a very important game.

“‘Coach,’ I said, ‘I don’t think I can do it.’  He walked over to me, kneeled, and pushed his forehead against mine.  Our eyes were like an inch apart.  I can feel his breath on me and all I can think at that moment is his breath smells just like the smoke that comes out of those handheld portable vapes the guys and I bought. Then I started wondering if he had one too and how weird that would be. Next thing I know he is screaming my name telling me to get my head back in the game.

“‘You can do it,’ Coach said.  ‘You can do it,” Coach said again.  He didn’t shout it.  He whispered it, like a prayer.  And he kept whispering again.  Until the prayer turned into a song.  And then, for some magical reason, I believed him…

“‘I can do it,’ I said to Coach, to my teammates, to the world.

“‘You can do it,’ Coach said, ‘I can do it.’  ‘You can do it.’  ‘I can do it.’

“Do you know how amazing it is to hear that from anybody?  It’s one of the simplest sentences in the world, just four words, but they’re the four hugest words in the world when they’re put together.

“‘You can do it.’

“‘I can do it.’

“‘Let’s do it…”

As I read those words, I could see that locker room and feel the excitement – not only on Coach’s part, and the part of the young Native American, but the entire team.  We all need people like Coach in our lives.  That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with positive people.  When you find people who believe in you and tell you “you can do it” you begin to believe in yourself.

As Sherman Alexie says, “I wanted to live up to expectations.  I guess that’s what it comes down to.  The power of expectations.  And as they expected more of me, I expected more of myself, and it just grew and grew…”

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are self confident.  Self confident people surround themselves with positive people.  They hold the negative people in their lives at arm’s length.  They do not give things that are holy – their goals and dreams — to the dogs; nor do they cast their pearls before swine.  They share what’s holy to them with positive, supportive people.  Positive people will expect a lot of you, and from you.  These expectations will help you become a more confident person.  Take it from a career success coach.  Never underestimate the power of positive people.  They will help build your confidence and get you on the path to personal and professional success.  Befriend all the positive people you can.  Hold them close.  Treasure them and their friendship.  They will help you achieve your dreams.

That’s my take on positive people and self confidence.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. Its great article.Thanks…

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