The power of positive thinking is difficult if there's someone in your life who regularly drags you down with their moaning, makes you feel stupid for wanting to change your life and regularly bursts your happy bubble with their pessimistic comments.
It can be incredibly difficult to make a big change and expand your world when there's someone (or maybe more than one) person who feels like a major impediment to your success. It could be your husband, partner, friend, colleague, family member or even someone random in your world who shows up occasionally and makes you sad, mad or simply depressed (one friend just mentioned her hairdresser as a toxic influence!).
This is particularly hard for sensitive and creative women because we're so spongy and no matter how hard you try to protect your own energy, they can sometimes get under your skin.
You are not the only woman who struggles with this. If there's one question I get asked more than others, it's...
How do I stay positive and create my ideal life when I'm surrounded by people who are constantly negative?
These people are often called 'energy vampires' - people who unknowingly get pleasure by sucking the energy out of others. Ever get that icky feeling after you've spent time with someone? It could manifest as feeling tired, cranky, depressed or just drained. Yup - you've been sucked by an energy vampire!
How to change your life ... by upgrading your friends
Does your current friendship group reflect where you want your life to be?
As the popular Jim Rohn quote goes “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”, so if your ratio of loser friends is too high, it's time for an upgrade.
As an adult, there's no excuse to still be friends with blatant assholes. We all had bitchy friends in high school (you know the one, right?) but there was little chance of completely changing your friendship group without facing some potential alienation.
Over the last couple of years, I've had to cull some people who just weren't serving me anymore (including compulsive liars and shady entrepreneurs), whining about their life (but never changing it) and realised it was much more fun to seek out new friends who would motivate and inspire me to be a better person (and nothing like a bit of healthy peer pressure and competition!).
So, let go of any toxic friends. Stop calling them and when they call you, don't feel obliged to listen to their latest drama. Make an excuse when she calls, "Would love to chat but I'm just heading out" or make other plans if she wants to see you 1:1. Invite her to parties where you don't have to be alone with her but you can still have some 'face-time'.
Is this slightly disengenious and harsh? Sure - but they'll soon unconsciously move onto someone else when they aren't getting what they want from you anymore.
No problem. If you're a regular movie goer like me (I'm obsessed), invite that slightly bitchy friend to the movies with you. You can sit and watch Ryan Gosling without being having to hear about her problems and you can talk about him afterwards, so you both leave happy!
Ryan Gosling solves everything.
How to deal with negative people at work
Bitchy colleagues can cause so much stress. Bullying bosses are even worse! I've had my fair share of both and it can make the daily grind intolerable. Even if you love your job, your whole day can be sullied by that one horrible person.
Make sure you get out of the toxic environment for your lunch break and avoid the energy vampire as much as possible. For a whole year, I went the long way to get to the ladies restroom because I didn't want to walk past the one next to my boss's office.
If the situation is affecting your health and well-being, consider leaving for another department or another job completely. If you feel like someone is bullying you out, then ensure that you have an exit interview and explain why. I've learnt from experience that most companies do nothing except file the paperwork but at least you have your say.
Another option is to start your own business and work for yourself. If you prefer working by yourself than in a team, then solo entrepreneurship might be for you. I can't tell you how pleasurable it is to work at home, connect with people and clients that I choose and never have to sit in a boring meeting ever again!
Life is way too short to spend 40+ hours with dick-heads. Seriously. You have a choice and you can leave whenever you want!
When family problems get you down
You can't choose your family right? No - but you can choose how they affect you and how much time you spend with them. Pick your battles! I know that trying to discuss issues like gay marriage with my family causes me unimaginable rage but I should know better and not try and change their opinions (it didn't work when I was 14, it doesn't work now!)
You can use the same techniques as with negative friends. Make a polite excuse to get off the phone and invite them to the movies with you. (Ryan Gosling comes to the rescue again!)
What if you're married to the problem?
Unless you want to completely declutter your marriage, I would consider having a discussion about their negativity and how it affects you. They might not even be aware of it (they might be picking it up from their job).
My husband had this way of saying 'money' that was absolutely loaded with poverty conscious, fear and lack. He often spoke about money in a negative way and it was really pissing me off. I asked him "Are you on the prosperity train or are you off it? Because I'm going with or without you!"
Harsh right? But it was a necessary conversation and I felt much better telling him how I felt about his (unintended) negativity. Your spouse or partner should never be the excuse for why you're not living your ideal life. They should be your partner in manifestation, not a ball and chain!
Try and practice some forgiveness on the negative person in your life and try a week of intentionally seeing them as you want them to be. Focus on their generosity, sexiness and any other good trait you can find (even if they are slightly lacking) and see what you can manifest in them!
Basically, staying positive and constantly improving your life is your responsibility - not anyone else. Decide to create your ideal life no matter what and your commitment to yourself will be your amour!