Why the quality of your peer group can have a dramatic influence on the quality of your life and the success you are able to achieve.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who is an aspiring musician and who has been working with one of his friends on his music. He’s very frustrated that he hasn’t seemed to be making much progress, and his friend is consistently letting him down and not following through on his commitments. He appears to have a lot of people in his life who say one thing and do another. He’s the type of person that when he says he’s going to do something, he actually does it, and he expects other people to do the same. However, he is suffering and having a lot of challenges because he is not accepting the current present reality of the people he has in his life.
He doesn’t see the dysfunctional cycle going on in his life before his very eyes. He counts on certain people to do things that he asks, even though they never come through. Then he gets mad and upset with them and he never makes any progress in the areas of his life that are most important to him. I discuss what he should do differently with his existing friends and associates, and the kind of people he really needs to focus on bringing into his life, in order to get unstuck, move forward, and finally make some real progress.
I’ve been watching your videos for about a month now, and I like your attitude on women and life in general. I’m having problems with some of my friends. One example is, I do music and I was making a song with one of my friends. He lives in Phoenix, and I’m in Seattle, so everything has to be done over email. My friend finished his verse, and was going to add a little to it, and send it the next day. Almost two weeks later, I get a text from him saying, “Sorry I haven’t sent the verse, but I’ve been really busy.” (If your partner was equally committed, the song would have been written by now. If you really want to succeed, you will find someone else to help you write songs, preferably someone in the same city.) This is not the first time he did something like this. Also, this is a regular problem with a few of my friends. (The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of people you consistently spend time with. Find collaborators who have the same passion and commitment for music as you do.) They seem to think they can just tell me whatever, and it doesn’t mean anything, or they don’t have to hold their word. I understand people get busy, but this is the same people doing the same thing over and over. I’m the type of person that if I say I’m going to do something, I do it. If he would have told me it was going to take 2 weeks to do, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. (You are deluding yourself if you think this guy is going to change his nature. Music is obviously not his priority. Keep searching until you find people whose goals, values, and visions are aligned with your own.)
I’ve had conversations, and even arguments, with friends about these types of things, and that never works. (You shouldn’t try to change them. You should either accept the way they are or look elsewhere.) Most of the time, they make excuses, and say it’s not their fault. Even when they admit they were wrong, they don’t fix it. I’m guessing, because I’m still around. I think maybe I’m too nice. (No, you’re making poor choices in selecting your peer group.) I’ve been passive about stuff like this in the past and let it go with no consequences, so this time I decided I wasn’t going be so easy. I stopped answering his calls, and stopped talking to him. He must have called me like 10 times in the next 3 days, and I didn’t answer any of his calls or respond to his text. I know it’s going be hard to set new standards when I’ve allowed this to go on for a long time. (You’re showing by your actions that you won’t accept this behavior in your life.)
This is a problem in my life and I need to fix it, hopefully, in a way I can keep my friends. I’ve came to the conclusion, that might not be possible. I’m confused about how I should handle this. Did I handle this right, and how should I handle a person that repeatedly does something like this to me next time? Also, should I talk to my friend again, and tell him that I can’t allow this in my life? (Tell him he’s holding you back and you need to be working with people who are more musically like-minded.) How long should I wait to talk to him? If People keep treating me wrong, this makes me think I’m doing something wrong. I need to change something. I’m just not sure what to do or how to do it. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Do you do 30 minute phone calls? (You’re keeping people in your life who really don’t belong there, and you’re expecting them to change, but it’s never going to happen.)
Thank you for your time,
My response to him:
Part of your problem is that you have put up with flaky behavior from people who say one thing and do another for so long, that pretty much most of the people in your life don’t treat you the way you want to be treated. If you need to rely on other people, you need to learn to rely consistently on people who have proven through their actions, that they are reliable. You are getting mad and frustrated at your friends because they do not share the same values or standards that you do. Instead of trying to change your friends and getting them to be more like you, you should make new friends who have the kind of qualities that you want. As long as you continue to try and change other people, you’re only going to frustrate yourself, and suffer unnecessarily. When we want reality to be other than it is, we suffer. You don’t accept the reality that your friends are flaky and unreliable, and therefore expect them to be something they are not, which is reliable. Love your friends the way they are, and accept them as they are, and stop trying to change them. As far as your music projects, it is clear that your goals and values are not aligned with theirs. If you’re trying to be a successful musician, but you continue to be involved with other musicians who are unreliable, they are going to continue to hold you back, and you will never get anywhere. Your problem, in a nutshell is, you need to make new friends who are consistent and reliable, instead of trying to change your existing friends into the kind of people you want them to be. It’s like dating a fat ugly girl who likes to overeat and doesn’t care about her body, and expecting her to become healthy, eat right, exercise and look like a supermodel. You can’t do for other people what they won’t do for themselves.
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“It’s much more effective to see people as they are and judge them by their actions, instead of trying to change them or get them to conform to the way you think they should be. Wanting other people to be different and act differently than they consistently act, is a sure fire way to make yourself incredibly frustrated and make very little progress towards what you want. Just like not accepting the reality of our life circumstances causes us to suffer, not accepting the true nature of the people in our lives and wanting them to be different than how they really are, will also make us suffer. In order to be efficient, effective, and attain the level of success that we want in our lives, we need to have friends, acquaintances, and coworkers whose goals and values are aligned with the vision that we have for our lives. It’s impossible to get to where you want to be when you have key people in your life who do not share the same vision and outcome that you do. To get unstuck and move forward, you need to attract and align yourself with people who share the same vision and passion that you do, and who want to help you achieve it.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne