“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
In CrossFit, we are fortunate to be in a mostly positive, encouraging environment, but in our day to day lives, the Debbie Downers and Negative Nancys can’t be avoided. It can be emotionally draining to be around them and their attitudes can even be contagious if not kept in check. Negativity perpetuates itself and clutters the mind. When the mind is cluttered with negativity, happiness is much harder to come by. So how do we fight back?
1. Spend more time with positive people. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. Choose friends who you are proud to know, people you admire, who love and respect you, people who make your day a little brighter simply by being in it.
2. Don’t take other people’s negativity personally. Even if someone insults you directly – oftentimes it has nothing to do with you. What others say and do, and the opinions they have, are based entirely on their own self-reflection.
3. Be the positivity you want to see in the world. Lead by example. Disarm their negativity by talking positively and optimistically.
4. Change the way you think. The one thing nobody can take away from you is the way you choose to respond to what others say and do. Regardless of the situation you face, your attitude is your choice.
5. Focus on solutions. Oftentimes, people use negativity as a barrier to protect themselves from the world, which in turn blocks them from solutions that could improve their life. Instead, identify solutions. Don’t dwell on what went wrong.
6. Practice random acts of kindness. It’s a lot harder to be negative when you’re in the presence of love and kindness. Be that presence whenever possible. Sometimes a kind word and some attention from a friend is all that’s needed to turn a negative attitude around.
7. Provide support when it makes sense. Some people complain as a way of crying for help. A simple “Is everything okay?”can stop negativity in its tracks.
8. Realize that life is a series of ups and downs. Acknowledge the negativity, accept it, and move on. We grow from the negatives when we accept them and learn from them.
9. Concentrate on today. Leave negative baggage from the past in the past. You lived through these things and you can’t change them, but you can choose to not allow them to be part of your future.
10. Let go and move on when you must. If all else fails, walk away from that negative relationship. Letting go just means your wellbeing is your priority.
Life is full of highs and lows, but you don’t have to go up and down with them. When you subtract negative from your life, you only make room for more positive.