It is always said that if you can’t beat them, you join them,’ but intelligent people already know that visionaries take the success journey alone. Simply put, to be successful, you must be immune to certain social influences, leave naysayers behind and possibly find friends who think like you.

A psychological experiment conducted on 123 young individuals (age 17 – 25) suggested that each person’s estimate varied depending on what everyone else thought. This means that the opinion or belief of majority can influence an individual to think the same.

To be more elaborate, this is what happens to your brain. According to the INC author, Mithu Storoni, when you hold an opinion, an idea or a desire that matches that of people around you, your brain’s reward pathway gets tickled and you feel good.

On the other hand, if you mingle in a group where your opinion, idea or desire is different from theirs, a part of your brain that sparks when you feel pain will be activated, causing you to do one of the following options:

  • You either pretend to agree with others but secretly hold on to your own thoughts.
  • Or your brain actively changes your beliefs and moulds your innermost thoughts to align with that of your crowd.

However, there is a higher possibility you may be using the second option more often than you think and this is how it happens.

There is a network within the human brain which monitors errors in how a person conforms with people they usually mingle with. It becomes active as soon as you and your crowd disagree on something and heralds your brain’s efforts to try to reduce this disagreement gap.

This brain network is said to be active before people change their innermost belief to match that which they outwardly pretend to hold. Unfortunately, with all your super creativity and innovative streaks, if you continue to stick around pessimistic friends, you are at risk of abandoning your success vision. 

Therefore even if you’re not ambitious, surrounding yourself with optimistic, energetic people who aspire to succeed will motivate you to follow their train of thoughts and become prone to success.

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