Optimist Performance

What are you doing to improve your outcomes? There are many things we can focus on to get better results. Previously, we talked about how focusing on our strengths helps us perform better. But do our relationships have an impact on our outcomes too? 

Studies show that we are influenced by the people around us and the people around them too. So, choosing who we surround ourselves with is one more way to impact our results. 


Altering our emotions 

Emotions are contagious, and unfortunately, negative emotions spread even faster. Take, for example, a meeting. If people around you feel impatient or angry, you are bound to have the same feelings.

We tend to catch any feelings “in the air”, which will determine our emotions, behaviours, and ultimately our outcomes. 

People who are positive, optimistic and have incredible energy always fill up the room with great vibes. So, it’s essential to choose people who radiate the feelings and emotions we most desire.

Influencing our values and beliefs

Studies showed that our values and beliefs can change depending on the behaviours of people around us. For example, a study done with the students from Humboldt State University showed that students changed the value they gave to green travel depending on the people’s behaviour around them. 

Primarily our beliefs and values are determined by our parents and our life experiences. Nonetheless, we also adapt them depending on where and who we are with.  

This can seem a bit far-fetched because we can’t stop being influenced by other people, but we can choose who influences us and ultimately how they influence us. 

Exposing ourselves to people who share our values and the behaviours we aspire to help to take us closer to them. 

Modifying our behaviours

We act differently depending on who we are around. For example, we eat more when the people around us eat more than us. 

On the other hand, we can also adopt positive behaviours from our peers. So, for example, people with low self-discipline can get better at it by surrounding themselves with highly disciplined people. Moreover, exposing ourselves to these habits will make it easy to adapt to them. 

Another tool to help support this and reinforce the behaviours we are looking for is to create competition. We can share our goals in a friendly, competitive way in order to help us maintain our focus and discipline.

A recent study showed that competition enabled us to achieve our goals faster as we tend to perform better when competing and being held to account by others. 

Increasing our self-confidence and accelerating our growth

Sometimes, we all need some words of encouragement to push us forward. Being around people who believe in us and encourage us to do better is essential to succeed.  

People around us can also help our growth. By surrounding ourselves with people smarter than us, we are exposing ourselves to new learnings and experiences. 

To use a clear example, the best way to learn a new language is to live where people speak that language. So the more open and involved we are, the easier it is to learn, communicate and be understood. 

Life should be a continuous learning experience. We all have different learnings, experiences and strengths, which means there is always something new to learn. 

“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” Confucius. 

Keeping our inspiration 

Last but not least, being around highly motivated people will inspire us to be and do better. 

outcomesTake, for example, a conference with great speakers; by the end of the session, we will typically feel more motivated and inspired. 

Every successful person knows how important it is to surround themselves with the right people.

We are all influenced by those around us, and while we can’t stop the influence, we can choose who we are being influenced by and which people we are going to focus our energy and attention towards.  

Getting closer and spending more time with people we admire will positively impact our outcomes. 


While the phrase “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” is quite popular, it’s not true. As we said before, we are not only influenced by the five people closest to us. Their connections will affect us too. 

Although choosing our closest relationships wisely is extremely important, they are not our only influences.

  • At work

We spend about one-third of our lives at work, which means our colleagues will have a significant impact on us. 

Consider this 2010 study of the United States Air Force, in which psychologists tracked cadets over 4 years. They found almost no differences in fitness gain/losses across the cadets on the same squadron during this time. Squadrons are groups of about 30 cadets who spend nearly all of their time together. Interestingly, even though the training is the same for all squadrons, there were no similarities in fitness from one squadron to the next. 

It turns out the determining factor as to whether the 30 cadets within a squadron improved was the motivation of the least fit person in the group.

Motivation or the lack of it can spread quickly within a team. So, choosing the right environment to work in should be as important as the job itself. Otherwise, we can end up seeing negative outcomes for ourselves.

If you can’t choose your team, you need to pay extra attention when deciding where to work. 

Their company culture or staff turnover rate can be good indicators of the environment’s quality. 

On the other hand, if you’re the person choosing your team, keep in mind how contagious negative feelings and behaviours are. Paying attention to attitudes in the recruitment process can help you find the right influence for your team. 

  • In our personal lives

A long time ago, it was difficult to meet people outside your closest circle. Thankfully today, we can literally change our environment daily.

Modern technology, our ability to travel, and all the information we have at our fingertips make it easier to find our tribe. 

Finding who shares our interests and hobbies or meeting new people has never been easier. There is an infinite number of possibilities to find groups and events aligned with our interests and values. 

We can’t choose our families, but we surely can choose our friends. Of course, this doesn’t mean we need to forget about our old friends, but we can expand our circle. 

  • Online connections

We spend on average 396 minutes per day on social media, which means online interactions also affect us. 

We need to consciously choose who we interact with and what content we consume. A study has proven that even videos have an impact on us. So, it’s essential to be mindful of the content we consume online. 

On a positive note, social media allows us to connect with people who would be difficult to meet otherwise.

Any successful people we admire, for example, can typically be found on social media and willing to share their knowledge and experiences. 


outcomesAs Optimists, we always look for the silver lining. We know that influences can be harmful, but they can also be great. 

In addition, we can’t forget that we are all influencers too. At the same time, we all are influencing others and being influenced by them.

So, as vital as it is to continually look at the people around you, it is essential to keep looking and reflecting on yourself and your own behaviours too. 

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” Stephen King.

Are you the person you want to be? What changes would you like to make? What outcomes are you looking for? 

We all can be better, and our executive coaching can help you become the best version of yourself. However, we all have different needs, which is why we can find the right coach for you. 

Get in touch with us for a free consultation about our coaching sessions. Or, if you’re looking to inject a bit of optimism and inspiration into your team, click here to learn more about our motivational speaking sessions. 

And now, let us know about you… which characteristics would you choose to surround yourself with?