How to Counteract Negativity
It’s so easy to allow ourselves to be affected by negativity towards us. And this is interesting because it’s not that throughout life we only get bombarded with negativity. Many times in life there is a plethora of positive comments that come our way, but for whatever reason, positive comments are quickly forgotten, and negativity in its many forms lingers for years, affecting our mood and our self-confidence.
So the question is, how do you build remarkable resilience which allows you to keep negativity from crippling you? How do you be positive, in a world of negativity? Well, here’s four ways that have helped me be consistently positive though surrounded by negativity.
1. Realize the truth. People are negative regardless of reality
I’ll never forget the moment that I realized this. I was a YouTube video of my favorite professional basketball player, Kyrie Irving. The video was one of his games that was very much so not his best. When I looked down at the comments, what did you think I saw. A ridiculous amount of comments like, “He sucks!”, “He’s a bum,” “Kyrie is trash.”
Now, just think about this. Here is one of the greatest basketball players literally to walk the face of this planet. You put him up against 99.99% of the earth’s population who actually play basketball, and he would destroy them instantly. And so many people were saying, “He sucks.” What’s the lesson to take from this?
Negative people are always going to find an excuse to be negative. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, how talented you are. It doesn’t matter at all what you do. They’re going to find a way to put you down. Once you realize that, you start to have a different mentality towards negativity. You start to say to yourself, who cares what they say! Just because they’re saying it, doesn’t make it true.
You are who you are, and nothing that anyone says can change that reality.
2. Surround Yourself With Positive People
Once you’ve realized that negative people are always going to be negative, you have to remove overly negative, degrading people from your life.
I’m not saying come out with a weed-wacker and start people out of your life like crazy. But, you’ve got to really think if this person is a positive or negative influence in your life. Why?
It’s easier to ignore the negative comments of someone not close to you than it is one who is a close friend. A kid who has to deal with negativity at school, but has a very loving, kind, and positive family, will typically fair decently because of his family upbringing because those closest to him had such a large impact.
In the same way, if your close circle of friends are positive, this will help you tremendously to have a more positive outlook.
So think about your close friends and the effect that they’re having on you. Is there someone tearing you down constantly with negativity. Limit your association with that person. Life is already too difficult to have to deal with ignorant people trying to bring you down. Remove the baggage!
3. Don’t compare yourself with others
The sad truth is that negativity doesn’t always come from outside. Often it comes from within. We’ve all heard the line, “We’re our worst critic.” And it’s true. Often we’re the ones who put ourselves, our skills, our work down.
But think. Why do we do this? Isn’t it because we’re typically comparing ourselves to what someone else is doing or has accomplished?
I remember the first few years of programming. I thought that I was horrible. Why? Well, my brother had been programming for a lot longer than me, and so naturally, he was a much better programmer than me. I would always compare myself to him, and because of this, I concluded that I was a terrible programmer.
But that thinking was ridiculous. Just because I wasn’t as good as my brother, didn’t mean that I was bad. I just wasn’t as good as him. Do you do this to yourself? We all judge ourselves based upon some standard that is typically set by someone else. Do not do that!
Now don’t get me wrong, looking at others as examples is beneficial. Making goals to be perhaps as good as someone one day is healthy. But, don’t compare yourself and judge yourself solely on the basis of another’s abilities.
Doing that is only going to do one of two things. Either make you overly proud because you’re judging yourself based on others who are not at your skill level. Or, make you depressed because you’re judging yourself compared to those superior to you. Both are bad.
So don’t judge yourself based on someone else’s skills or abilities. Instead, work hard and be happy seeing the results of that hard work. And that brings me to my next point.
4. Just work hard
Work, work, work. Sometimes the reason why we feel like we’re bad or inadequate is that in the back of our minds we know that we haven’t worked like we really should have. We know that we should be going to the gym more. We know we shouldn’t have eaten those cookies earlier. We know we could have worked harder on the article that we posted. We know we could’ve or should’ve done something different. And our conscience bothers us because of it.
So to counteract that, work hard at whatever it is that you’re doing. In learning, Chinese people often ask me how I feel about my Chinese level. My answer is always that I judge myself by the effort I’ve put forth, not the results. I’m happy with the effort I’ve put forth to learn the language.
I know what I’ve done to learn, and I’m happy about that. And I’ll always be happy about that. I don’t care if my not perfectly fluent right now. I don’t care if there are people who have been learning for a shorter period of time than me and are better. Who cares? I’m not them, and they’re not me.
No matter what I learn, I’ll always be happy if I know that I put my all into it. But if it’s the opposite is true, and I know that I haven’t worked at it as I should, even if I’m doing good, I just don’t feel good about it, and I have a hard time not beating myself up.
So, work hard. A friend used to tell me constantly,
‘Don’t think, just work.’ And I love that advice.
These four things have helped me more than I can tell you to counteract negativity. It’s not easy, but if you do it, you’ll find yourself being much more positive and this, in turn, will help you to accomplish more. So remember…
- Realize that negative people are going to be negative regardless of reality
- Surround yourself with positive people
- Don’t compare yourself with others
- And just work hard
If you do these things, you’ll tackle everything with a positive outlook and be more successful and happy!