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Navigating your Circle of Influence

Circle of Influence
Weight Loss Articles
Weight Loss Articles

By Nathan Walsh at Sylvania

Circle of Influence

Jim Rohn said it best…

"You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

"Show me your friends and I'll show you your future."

Your COI are the people that you spend the most time with in your day to day life... Odds are your COI consists of your partner / spouse, children, immediate family, work colleagues and close friends.

The one thing to keep in mind when thinking about making some long term lifestyle changes is that you become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with!

This is not the part where I tell you that you should stay away from anyone who doesn't serve your health and fitness goals... more so you just need to be mindful of the following:

• Who - The people in your COI

• What - Areas of your life that your COI can impact

• When - When will your COI impact your results

• Where - Where to be mindful of COI (Social setting etc)

• Why - Most importantly "Start with WHY"

In Part 1 of this series we are going to take a deeper dive in to the "Types" of people you might find in your inner circle!

WHO The people that you keep in your inner circle who can be a positive OR negative influence on you and the decisions you make with your Nutrition, Exercise and lifestyle goals.

We all have people in our lives that impact the decisions we make, the idea here is to have a clear understanding of WHO these people are and what role they play in the road to your results!

I do believe that positivity can come from many types of people in your life in many different forms, let's deep dive in to a few:

The Support Crew

These are the people around you who support your decisions to eat healthy, to jump out of bed at 5:00 am, to prepare your own food and take it out with you and are generally happy for you to do your thing! BUT… You will very rarely see them do any of these things themselves! Let's call these people your "Supporters".

It is great to have them, we need them! They will support you and your goals and sometimes we just need that little bit of positivity to stay focused.

The Role Model

This is the person / people who you look up to, the ones that actually motivate you to be the best version of yourself because they are living and breathing examples of dedication to a healthier lifestyle. This person could be your spouse, best friend, colleague or just someone at your gym that you find inspiring.

The most important thing here is that this person is actually in your inner circle and you have access to them. If you don't have one of these people in your life then Personal Training can be a great avenue to find a health and fitness role model.

The Influencer

This is a particular part of your circle of influence that can be positive right up until the point that scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed gives you more anxiety than motivation.

It's unfortunate but it is true, now more than ever people are judging themselves, their body image, even other aspects of their own lifestyle like success etc. off the people they see in their news feed on social media.

I will say that these "Influencers" generally convey a rather warped perception of what it means to actually achieve realistic health and fitness or body transformation goals.

HOWEVER, … There are some benefits to having INLUENTIAL, INSPIRING and MOTIVATING people at your fingertips!

Just a word of advice… rather than looking at these people and how shredded they are or how much weight they can lift, look past that and take lessons from things like their:

• Work ethic

• Ability to prioritise their health

• Attitude towards adversity

• Discipline in achieving goals

• Mental toughness

These are qualities that we can look up to - most of the time the by-product of these attributes is the ability to reach your desired health outcomes!

Now let's take a look at what can be some negative types of COI so we can identify them in our own lives…

The Friend


So, most of us would have one of these people in our lives… or not anymore. This is the close friend that doesn't want you to change because if you change then they may have to themselves and that scares them to death. Essentially you being the way you are makes them feel better about the way they are.

You may find they will discourage you from making the necessary changes because "It's too hard or who could be bothered" You may also hear something like… "Oh come on Jenny you have tried this before and it didn't work, why do you even want to do this you look great just the way you are." At the end of the day only you can decide to make the necessary changes and if you make those changes with conviction this person will have no choice but to move forward with you or stay where they are without you.

The Oblivious Lover

Generally speaking, this person has absolutely no idea that they are in fact making it very difficult for you to achieve your goals. This person most likely always has the best intentions and would never knowingly actually want to see you fail in your attempts to improve your lifestyle. However, over time and in different circumstances they may not actually be assisting your efforts to improve your nutrition, exercise and lifestyle related habits.

It could sound something like… "Hi honey I'm home, I know you have just been at the gym tonight but I stopped at KFC on the way home and picked up those Spicy Zinger Burgers that you love" Such a thoughtful and sincere gesture, which can completely destroy  your day of food!

The number one reason for this taking place is that you haven't actually shared with this person the absolute importance of your health and fitness goals, so they actually just don't know how much it means to you. My advice would be to sit down with this person and have an open conversation about how you're currently feeling and how they can actually support you moving forward.

The Stranger

This refers to the people that we actually don't even know, we rarely ever speak to and we don't completely understand. Yet, we compare ourselves to them on regular basis.

I spoke above about "Influencers" and yes, they can be very positive for us in our pursuit towards a healthier lifestyle, but they can also be the cause of great anxiety and potentially depression especially in our younger generations.

I believe that we as a population are very quick to judge ourselves based on what we see around us. Now let's say you may make some progress with the weights you lift in the gym but then you see "Joe Blow" on Instagram who just bench pressed 300 Kgs for 5 reps. Rather than taking the time to enjoy or allow yourself to feel accomplished you immediately feel inadequate.

"Comparison is the thief of joy." Theodore Roosevelt

To combat this type of negative influence, take the time to reflect on your wins, make sure some part of your day is dedicated to telling yourself - YOU are awesome!

So now I set you the challenge of taking a step back from your life for one moment, look at the people that you keep close to you - YOUR INNER CIRCLE.

Then open Instagram or Facebook and assess the content that is coming through your news feed.

Take some actions towards identifying how your Circle of Influence is currently serving YOU!

Our next Instalment of your COI will be focusing in on the specific parts of your life that you COI can have a great positive or negative impact upon!

Nathan Walsh

Director of Vision PT Sylvania


*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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