My department recently underwent active shooter training with simunitions fire. Essentially it involves officers encountering gunmen scenarios, and simulated bullets (similar to paintball) are used by both officers and the pretend suspects. It’s SWAT training for patrol officers.

One thing that I noticed during the training was that my individual performance directly correlated with the officers on my team. I trained with 2 different teams on that day. With the first team, we were all of the same mindset: stay tight in our formation and move aggressively once we committed ourselves. We were a confident team, we performed well in the scenarios, and my own confidence and competence matched that of the team.

Later that day, I trained with a completely different team, but this team lacked confidence. We were apprehensive and when we took action, we failed to commit fully as a group. Again, my own confidence and effectiveness matched that of the team.

The lesson in all this is that if you want to be successful in the gym and in life in general, then you have to surround yourself with competent and confident people. You will either rise or sink to the level of your group.

To do this, you’ll have to avoid “toxic people.” Unfortunately, sometimes these toxic people are your friends and family. I have a friend who would never recognize or ask about my accomplishments, and I always sensed a bit of jealousy from him. And yet I always encouraged him to pursue his creative endeavors, even though he doesn’t reciprocate. Now I keep my time and interactions with him down to a minimum.

If you have toxic people in your life that you can’t avoid, then minimize your contact with them. Negative Nellies will pull you down to their level. Surround yourself with successful achievers, and you will rise to their level.

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