Looking for a change? Look around

I came across this blog post today in the US News & World Report's On Careers section.

The author, Curt Rosengren, points out that if you are looking to make a change in your life, start by looking at the company you keep. The people you spend time with can either challenge you to grow, or keep you second guessing yourself into submission.

A client looking to change careers recently told me about negativity she is experiencing. Certain loved ones question her decision to jump now during a soft economy. Some of that is coming from their concern for her, and some is coming from their own limited (and limiting) beliefs.

It helps to surround yourself with positive people when making an important decision. You're not likely to jump blindly into something new, so the naysayers aren't necessary. Instead what's needed is moral support to make the best decision for you. That means listening to people who believe in you.

This advice about the company you keep can also be applied to making new friends. Say you want to become a writer, one step could be finding and fostering friendships with other writers. By association, you pick up pointers for how to be successful, and also get into the spirit of what it's like being a writer. The transition then becomes a natural one.

Look around—what do the people in your life bring to you, and what more are you looking for?