On the surface, we all know that negativity can impact us, well, negatively.
But I think it’s easy to underestimate just how much power negativity can have when we allow it to creep into our lives – until we find ourselves on the edge of a ledge staring down into a black abyss of cynicism, pessimism, and hopelessness.
If you think negativity isn’t a big deal, think twice. Negativity will ruin your life and kill your dreams if you let it.
If you are dealing with negativity, here are some thoughts:
You are not at the mercy of your circumstances.
Bad things happen to people – even good people. But just because you have a negative experience does not mean that you are without any control in your life.
Make a commitment to never blame your thinking, attitudes, or behavior on the things that have happened to you. You may not be in control of all of your experiences, but you certainly are in control of your reaction to them.
If you often find yourself blaming circumstances or the actions of others for your crappy attitude, have an honest conversation with yourself about why. Why do you feel powerless, and how can you change your outlook, patterns of thinking, or plan of action to regain your sense of ownership?
The best remedy for toxic relationships is healthy boundaries.
Many times, negativity is planted in our lives by a toxic relationship. Unchecked, toxic relationships have the potential to derail our lives.
Think about the people you spend most of your time with, or the people you are closest with. Are any of them particularly negative, or do any of them have a knack for bringing out the negativity in you? If so, it may be time to put some loving, but firm, boundaries in place to protect your well being.
Setting a boundary can be as simple as a few words. If a person in your life is consistently complaining, gossiping, or bringing you down, sometimes all you need to do is have a serious conversation, and then follow through. Let them know that they need to stop talking negatively around you, and then kindly, but consistently, remind them every time they start to.
Sometimes, though, setting healthy boundaries may mean distancing yourself physically, emotionally, or even geographically from a person who poisons your perspective or whose destructive attitudes or behavior you are enabling.
You are responsible for what happens in your yard.
If you are at the home improvement store, and you slip because someone spilled paint thinner on the floor, who gets sued? The customer who spilled it, or the home improvement store whose floor you slipped on?
You know the answer – the store, of course.
Someone or something may cause a negative experience for you, but ultimately, you are responsible for what you do with it. Period. If you’re not happy with the way things are, change them. There will always be obstacles. There will always be negative people, haters, and naysayers. But allowing those things to become your excuse for not growing as a person or pursuing your dreams is no one’s fault but your own.
Recognize what you have control over and what you don’t. If you can’t change something, it’s time to come up with a new plan – not time to give up on your dreams.
Be aware of negative influences, and diligently cut negativity out of your life. Negativity will always stop you from moving forward – but only if you let it.