They say that the way to have a positive attitude and a positive life is to surround yourself only with positive things and positive people. What do you do then, when the negative influence in your life comes from your friend, maybe your best friend, or even worse, your spouse? If you are to take the positive advice literally, you are going to dump them! We both know that such advice simply is not acceptable. So what DO you do?
Firstly, have you considered the fact that subconsciously if not consciously, such people could be afraid? Afraid that you might be growing beyond them and leaving them behind? Afraid that your success may diminish their own achievements or their feelings of self-worth? All these fears and more are quite possible and mentioned here that you may consider a different viewpoint. In the ideal world, you convert negative thinkers to your positive way of thinking. Unfortunately we do not live in an ideal world and we would not want to force everyone to think in the same way as you and I.
What you do is simply this: Take the positive step of accepting them for who they are - your friend, your spouse.
We All Have The Right To Choose!
We all have the right to choose. No-one can take that away from us. It is no different for those who are close to us. We may not like their attitude or way of thinking. We may even consider them to be completely wrong or out of order, but that doesn't change a thing. Okay, so let's say we do that. Where does that leave us? We still have those negative vibes coming through. We have already come to the conclusion that we can't change the person, so the only person left is ourselves.
When the negative shots are fired at us, what do we find ourselves focusing on? The negative projectiles fired at us. Right? If we accept that we cannot change the person, then we are left with changing our thinking. That means how we think and what we focus on. The way we feel after receiving negative input, is no more than a reaction. Control your reaction and win.
When you have a new venture, an idea, a piece of personal excitement that you want to share, you expect a particular kind of reaction and are quite disappointed when it isn't forthcoming. Notice what happens when you reverse the approach. I.e. When you have no expectations whatsoever! Suddenly, even the tiniest positive return is a huge bonus! If you don't get any, then it ceases to matter because you weren't expecting any anyway! So, instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the good.
Focus On The Good!
To some extent you need to be single-minded, focusing on your goal rather than theirs at that moment in time. So, if you haven`t already done so, get your goal firmly fixed in your mind. Determine how much you really want it, and ask yourself whether or not you are prepared to pay the price.
Are You Prepared To Pay The Price?
Does that frighten you? Paying the price? It shouldn't. Whatever we achieve in this life always requires a price to be paid. Sometimes it is a financial amount. Other times, it may simply be time, and so on. Every single day, you are already "paying the price" on numerous achievements, big and small. In this particular circumstance, the way in which you pay the price is to focus entirely on your objective in such a way that negative comments or influences simply have no leverage.
Believe in yourself sincerely and you will not fail. As I mentioned previously, many "positive thinking" speakers direct you to surround yourself with positive people and a positive environment in order for you to remain positive in all you do. I have no doubt that if you are able to achieve the building of such an environment that it works! Picture the scene: You get out of bed in the morning and the sun is shining, the sky is blue. If you have a spouse, they greet you with a kiss. The smiling postman never brings any bills. Everyone on the way to work drives so happily and considerately. Your boss holds the door open for you as you enter the air-conditioned building and you have just the right amount of work to do to keep you positively charged. You need to do something - snap your fingers! Wake up! It just cannot be done to this extreme. I still believe that to keep yourself surrounded by positive people will work for you, but it is unlikely that such an environment could be sustained for very long at all. This would be the ideal world we mentioned. The fact is however, that we invariably do not live in this kind of world and somewhere along the way we associate with people who do not share our values, ideals, excitement. What then? It could be our friends, our family or worse, our spouse. Do we go away and quietly curl up in a corner somewhere and forget about any "wild idea" that we had? No. Of course not. What would be the point in getting involved with any positive idea otherwise! No, the key is to mentally consider those you associate with and determine those who are supportive, forward thinking and positive.
Get An Injection Of Positivity!
These will be the kind of people who will not blindly say "well done, go for it", but those who genuinely encourage you to develop, to move forward, to make something of yourself. Take a minute right now. Get out your address book. Go through it and maybe highlight all those who you know you can count on to be there for you. Those friends and relatives that care about you and know you and know about the successes you have had and are able to offer the encouragement you need. What you do not need is sympathy. What you do need is an injection of positivity from those you can count on when you are under attack. When times get tough, these are your reserve. Let me tell you how to prepare another reserve. One that you can have to hand at a moment`s notice. One that when you immerse yourself in it will give you that positive boost at almost a moments notice.
Your Positive Energy Booster!
Take a hardback notebook and your most comfortable pen and start writing. Don`t write about just any old thing, but concentrate on your achievements. Write about your successes. Write it so that the pages flow with excitement and enthusiasm and emotion as you reflect on all that you tackled and won. It could be major projects, or it could be small tasks that were major things that you achieved. Keep going. Fill the book if you feel up to it. Add to the book as often as you are able and recognize further successes. During those times when you are not writing in the book, make sure it is readily accessible and not left on the shelf to gather dust. In those moments when negativity is thrust at you, take that opportunity to open up and loose yourself in the pages of your treasure trove of success. Remind yourself. Relive those experiences seeing yourself right there. Feel the emotive elation you felt at that time. This is your positive energy booster that will thrust you past the negative surge and set you back on your path to your goals. Still need more? Let`s talk about what you believe.
Here is something of a deep question for you that I cover in more depth in another article: Why do you believe what you believe? Ponder on this question and you will find the answer to be not so complex as it might sound. You believe what you believe fundamentally because of your experiences and the experiences of others in whom you trust. At this moment in time, you believe that you will at some point receive negative input from someone who is able to affect you. Why do you believe that? Simply because it has happened before or because there has been a similar scenario where the support or positive input simply has not been there for you. This is a scene you do not like, but for some reason up until now, you have not been able to change it. All that is about to change. You are taking positive control of your life.
A True Story
Have you noticed what happens when you receive unexpected news that just might have negative repercussions? Suddenly every negative thought, experience, and even other people's negative experiences in such scenarios flashes before you and you embrace them with loving arms! I recently had personal experience of this within my extended family. My 19 year old niece had cause to visit Germany as part of her university education. Her father took her to the airport and waved her off. Her normal behaviour was to keep in frequent contact with her parents to let them know she was okay wherever she happened to be. Forty-eight hours later, there was no word from her. Panic and desperation took over.
Suddenly every evil act that was ever inflicted upon a young girl came to mind for her parents and others around her. The more time that passed the deeper those impressions took hold. Great lengths were taken to locate her. She became a name on the official missing persons list. Many people became part of what almost might be described as hysteria. Her father followed the flight path himself and flew to Germany even though he was not able to speak German in an effort to find her. After some searching, he found her alive and well. She simply had not decided it urgent enough to phone home and had written a letter instead.
Whatever you think of the scenario, look at the known facts. Very simply, she had flown out and not reported back. In the end, the reasons were very simple but lack of mental control took over in a whole range of people who based their actions on experiences, feelings, and emotions, rather than facts. Visualization is a powerful tool. If you want to challenge negativity. If you want to be in control.
Focus on facts rather than fiction.
Other people's opinions are no more than fiction - their thoughts, their ideas. Sometimes that's helpful, but not always. Focus on success and be the leader. Be the example and not the blind follower of opinion. Be considerate though and realise that others are entitled to their opinion and feelings. Use visualization so that it is a positive tool in your favour. See your previous successes big and small. See them in your mind. Focus on them and move on. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but ours is based on fact. Enjoy success.
Douglas JG Harvey Life Coach - LifeSight
http://www.lifesight.net (Please note that the link provided by the author is no longer valid. There were no other current links given at the time it was published on this site.)
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Doug is a professional life coach building self esteem in his clients and specializing in coaching people through redundancy. This article may be reproduced and distributed with the condition that this credit is included and no changes are made. Any queries should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.lifesight.net (Please note that the link provided by the author is no longer valid. There were no other current links given at the time it was published on this site.)