Feb. 26, 2023: The Power of Group Expectations
According to Tony Robbins, “The quality of a person’s life is most often a direct reflection of the expectations of their peer group.”
Hardly life-altering information. We heard it in grade school when our parents worried about which “crowd” we would hang with. We thought about it in high school when we looked to those we hung with to help define us- the jocks, the brains, the theater kids. Even as adults, the social circles that seem to form in our lives are usually a direct reflection of the details and priorities of our lives. Support groups; Networking Groups; a Book Club; a Church Choir.
We choose to devote our time and energy to these groups because of what they bring to our lives. Support and affirmation definitely, but also, inspiration and role models.
So what does this quote mean to us, as writers?
While misery does love company, and it is certainly comforting to have friends who are also dealing with the same kinds of rejections or writer’s block that we are, it is also important to think about what our ultimate goal as a writer might be. Where do we want to be in 5 years? 10 years? There is a vast range of types of writing as well, so all writers are most definitely not the same.
Do want to become a traditionally published author, with an agent and the backing of a reputable, traditional publishing house? Then surrounding yourself with only self-published authors, is probably not the way to move beyond that world. Is your ultimate goal to be a blogger with a million followers? A novelist of best sellers? Or a poet laureate? Then you should be actively seeking ways to surround yourself with people in that world.
Start by taking a critical look at where you are right now. In what types of writer’s groups do you have memberships? What are the topics of discussion in your social media writer’s groups? What types of writers do you follow on social media?
This is not to say that you have to ditch everyone and everything that is not a part of the world in which you want to live. It just means that you have to sometimes make a concerted effort to create social connections within that world now, in order to help pave the way. You do not have to “wait until you have made it”, to be there.
Strategically surrounding yourself with those who are already where you want to be, can help in ways that go beyond mentorships and role models. It can help you to create the kind of mindset and approach that will help you get to where you ultimately want to be.