The Impact of the Company We Keep: How Surrounding Ourselves with the Right People Can Help Us Succeed

Choose your inner circle wisely; research shows that it matters!

Natalie Ruiz
4 min readMar 23


Image via Unsplash — Christina @

You’ve heard the saying, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” While this may seem like a simple and clichéd adage, research suggests that there is some truth to it.

When I honestly reflect on my life, I can see the truth in these words. I have been surrounded by the right and wrong people at various times in my life, and in each case, the company I kept has made the difference. The truth is the people we surround ourselves with can significantly impact our behavior, attitudes, and beliefs and, therefore, our level of success.

Studies have shown that the company we keep can influence everything from our health and wellness to our career aspirations and success. Here are a few examples:

The Power of Motivation

I remember discovering the late Zig Ziglar, and one of my favorite quotes of his was, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.” Over the years, I have come to rely less on motivation and more on consistency to achieve my goals. The other big component to staying motivated is having an encouraging squad of motivated friends and associates around me!

A study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that people who spend time with highly motivated and achievement-oriented individuals are more likely to set and achieve their own goals.

This means that if you surround yourself with people who are constantly striving for success and to make positive impacts, you may be more likely to do the same. Seek out mentors and friends who are ambitious and driven, and let their energy and enthusiasm rub off on you.

The Importance of Supportive Networks

Our networks are not just the people we see regularly. Our lives and our connections happen online as well as in real life. With this in mind, curate your feed carefully! A study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that individuals who are surrounded by…



Natalie Ruiz

Tech CEO. Mom. Non-Profit Board Member. Working to normalize belonging at work. Living in gratitude. Trying to leave people and places better than I find them.