How to Distance Yourself from Negativity

  No Negativity - Positively Present

If you're reading this, you're probably striving to live a positive, present life — and you probably know just how hard that can be at times. Life is filled with negative situations, people, and internal battles, which makes staying positive a tad challenging sometimes (and by "sometimes" I mean "most of the time").

As I posted last week (here on Instagram — didn't write it, but I 100% support it), "The first step to getting what you want is having the courage to walk away from what you don't." And that most certainly applies to creating more positivity in your life. If you want more positivity, you've got to make room for it — and that means getting rid of the negative. It's no easy task, but here are some of the best tips and tricks for getting rid of the negative so you can make room for the positive. (And, I know well from experience, the more space you make for positive things, the more positive things will find their way to you!)



    This sounds so obvious, but really, how often do you really ask yourself, "Is this person a positive or a negative influence?" Most of us kind of just go with the flow when it comes to who we surround ourselves with, but, in many cases, we have a choice about who we interact with, and we don't always avoid the negative. Pay attention to how people make you feel, and if you determine someone is a negative influence (you'll know because you feel drained, down, or just icky after hanging out with them), stop hanging out with him/her or, if that's not an option, do what you can to limit the amount of interactions. 


    You might have seen the memo Steve Harvey wrote to his staff circulating (and being mocked), but it's a pretty amazing example of someone setting boundaries and making them very clear to those around them. We're all different and have different ideas of what our boundaries should be, but one of the best ways to avoid negative interactions is to know what your boundaries are (especially with other people!), communicate those boundaries clearly, and maintain those boundaries ruthlessly. This is hard (even if you're good at it), but it's one the best ways to limit negativity (and practice self-love, too!).


    We all have problems — that's just life. But what most of us don't do is redirect our attention from the problems to the potential solutions. As humans, we're often on the lookout for what could go wrong (it's our instinct, trying to help us avoid bad situations), but if you want to cut back on negativity, try shifting your focus from what's going wrong to how you might be able to make it right. Yes, it's easier to complain, but when did whining ever get you anywhere? The more you treat problems like challenges you have the opportunity to solve, the more likely you'll be to actually find solutions (and limit negativity!). 


    So, so many issues in relationships (and maybe in the world?) could be avoided if people strived not to take things personally. It's difficult not to do this (after all, we're with ourselves all the time and, even if you don't realize it, your world really does revolve around you and what you're doing, feeling and thinking), but you can cut down on negativity by not taking what others say and do personally. More often than not, another person's attitude, words, and actions have way more to do with him or her than they do with you, and realizing that will make it easier not to be offended, thus cutting down on negative emotions!


    This probably comes as no surprise, but you can't control what other people do and feel (much as you might want to!). Realizing this (and keeping it in mind all the time!) will greatly reduce the amount of frustration you feel. So much angst comes from trying to make others different than they are, and acceptance is critical for positive relationships (and for cutting down on your own stress!). This doesn't apply only to people, either. There are many things we cannot control in life, and accepting what is is the best way to create more inner calm. 


    Self-love has been a huge focus for me this year, and, as a result of prioritizing it, I've noticed a number of positive changes in my life. Self-love is about respecting, caring for, and taking care of yourself. When you make this a priority, you're going to be able to more easily make choices that are best for you. Whenever you face a new decision, ask yourself, "What would be the most self-loving choice?" then choose that! The more you do this, the less time you'll have to waste on anything (or any person!) that brings you down. 


    To us, our lives seem so big and important, but remember: you're just a tiny little creature on a little rock in a gigantic galaxy in a stunningly huge universe. This isn't meant to make you feel insignificant (you aren't!), but it's meant to remind you that, in the grand scheme of things (even within your own life!), most situations are pretty small. Keeping perspective (and focusing on how lucky you are to have at least some things going right in your life) is a great way to manage stress, and less stress = less negativity. 


    How much of what you say is negative? How much is positive? We often get in patterns and are so used to doing (or saying!) something a certain way that we just keep doing it that way. But, in order to cut back on negative thinking and speaking, you've got to realize you're doing it! Pay attention to how you're describing things, and consider if you might be able to change that. For example, saying, "Ugh, Mondays!" isn't helping you make the most of your Monday. Sure, it might not be your favorite day of the week, but framing it from a negative perspective is going to keep it negative. 


    Where you spend your time is going to have a big impact on your thinking. How much of what you consume on TV, via social media, in films and online is actually positive? How much of it is making you more optimistic and engaged with your life? How much of it makes you feel sad or stressed or overwhelmed? This isn't to say you should never watch or read anything upsetting, but if you want to have a more positive life, you need balance, and you need to keep in mind that you have a choice. Take note of how certain shows / sites / etc. make you feel and actively choose whether or not you want to spend time engaging with them. 


    Many of us get quite set in our ways (especially as we get older!), and it's all too easy to say, "I can't..." Sure, there might be things you actually cannot do, but it's way more likely that "I can't" is actually "I don't want to" or "I don't yet know how to." Saying you can't do something not only limits you (if you think you can't, you probably won't even try), but it's also a pretty negative mindset to put yourself in (regardless of whether or not you actually do the thing). So, instead of saying "can't" consider what the truth is: that you don't want to, don't yet know how, don't feel up to it, etc. Doing so will help cultivate more internal positivity. 


    There's a lot of negativity out there, but there's also a lot of positivity, too. If you want to cut back on negativity in your life, fill up your time with positive inspiration. Seek out people, activities, websites, etc. that add positivity to your life and inspire you. We all struggle with negative feelings and thoughts, and it can make a big difference if you have some go-to resources to check out when you're having a down day. (Or a go-to friend you can call for a positive pick-me-up!) Try to incorporate something inspiring into every day, and you'll be giving yourself a daily boost of positivity! 

These tips are the best place to get started when it comes to distancing yourself from negativity, but it's important to remember that choosing positivity isn't easy (especially if, like me, it doesn't come naturally to you!). If you find yourself struggling to stay positive, know that you're not alone and remind yourself that it takes practice. And the more negativity you remove from your life, the more room you'll have for practicing that positivity! 


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R-E-S-P-E-C-T Yourself : 11 Things To Do Daily


Respect Yourself - Positively Present


If you want to live a positive and present life, you've got to cultivate self love. And self love begins with self respect. By definition, respect means, "a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements." Think about someone you really respect — either someone you know well or a well-known figure — and pause to consider what you value in that person and how it feels when you think about him/her. Now, imagine what it would be like to feel that way about yourself. 

Respecting yourself is a challenge. Life offers lots of temptations to lure you away from loving and respecting yourself, and, regardless of how much you work on it, there will often be outside influences that get in the way of making it easy to treat yourself honorably. Here are a few situations that might tempt you away from respecting yourself:

  • loving someone who doesn't love you (or who treats you badly);

  • having a "successful" career that makes you unhappy;

  • wishing you could go back to a past time in your life;

  • thinking you need to have X, Y, or Z to be happy;

  • having people around you who doubt your abilities;

  • wanting things simply because you think you "should" want them;

  • thinking the lives others lead is better than your own; or

  • living or working with people who treat you (or themselves) negatively.  

This is a very small list of things that might deter you from giving yourself the respect you deserve. The list is lengthy and, unfortunately, most of us will face one or more of these respect-stealing situations in our lives, some of which are out of our control. You cannot always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you treat yourself. Here are some things you can do every single day to cultivate more self respect in your life: 



The foundation for respect and self love is knowing what it is you really want and who you really are. You have to get in touch with yourself and what matters to you. (One way I do this is by using my Finding Yourself workbook and revisiting it often.) When you know who you are — and what you will and won't stand for — you'll be able to focus on the activities and people that encourage self respect. 



It's essential to keep company with those who respect you — and themselves. Negative people (even those who are not negative directly to you) are draining, and they can spark negativity within you without you even realizing it! You've may've heard the saying: you are a combination of the five people you spend the most time with. Respect yourself enough to make sure those people are positive influences. 



One of the best ways to respect yourself is never to settle for less than what you deserve. And you — we all — deserve the very best in life: the best people, the best career, the best feelings. Unfortunately, one of the reasons a lot of us don't have these things is because, deep down, we don't feel we're worthy of them. Remind yourself that you are worthy every day. (If you need a reminder, check out this perfect magnet.)



Freeing yourself from past is a challenge (no matter what the past!), but, in order to respect who you are now, you must let go of who you were then. Do what you can to forgive yourself for mistakes you've made. Remind yourself that we've all made them — it's part of life! — and those who respect themselves know how to let those mistakes go. You can never go back; you can only take what's happened and move positively forward. 



If you've been hurt badly, forgiveness can be really difficult. But carrying around pain and anger only makes it more challenging to cultivate love and respect for yourself. Let go of the pain others have caused and you'll open up space in your heart in mind for more positive emotions and experiences. No matter what wrong has been committed against you, forgiving is always better than clinging to the pain. Need inspiration? Read Forgiveness



Confidence might sound like a by-product self-love, but it's actually part of what makes it easier to have love and respect for yourself. We all (yes, even those people you think have it all!) struggle with confidence, but you can help build yours up by doing things you're good at, learning to accept compliments, and engage in self-esteem building activities. And keep in mind: being confident ≠ egotistical. So many people avoid confidence because they think it's self-centered, but it's very different and you need it to respect yourself!



The ultimate sign of respect? Honesty. When you're honest with yourself, you'll see (and communicate!) what's good for you and what's not. You'll be less likely to compromise on what matters most to you. Being honest with yourself is actually harder than it sounds, so really pay attention to how you feel and think. The more honest you are with yourself, the easier it is to be honest with others. Honesty improves not only your relationship with yourself, but with other people as well. 



Respect might be an abstract concept, but it can have tangible results in your body. Making yourself feel good physically is one of the ultimate ways to respect yourself. Treat your body as you would the body of someone you love dearly. Healthy food, exercise, low stress. The more kindness you show yourself physically, the more internal love you'll feel. Your body is the vessel transporting you around this world, and it deserves your love and respect. 



Just as you need to take care of your body, your mind needs a little TLC as well. Respect it by challenging yourself with new experiences and information. Step out of the thinking you're comfortable with, and try to find new perspectives. Find resources for inspiration — books, websites, people — and allow your mind soak up all it can. The more you know, the more you can grow. And all that growth will empower you, making it much easier to respect yourself. 



A great way to figure out how someone feels about him/her self is to listen to how they speak about themselves. Too often people want to avoid sounding self-absorbed so they downplay their positive aspects. Try always to speak about yourself positively, and try never to put yourself down with negativity. If this is a struggle for you, check out Using Positive Words to Promote Self-Love, which will give you inspiration for speaking positively about yourself. (Plus there's a free download with lots and lots of words!)



"Comparison is the thief of joy," said Theodore Roosevelt, and he couldn't have been more right. The more you compare your life to someone else's, the more difficult it becomes to cultivate self respect. It's hard not to compare (especially with everything on display via social media!), but remind yourself that, no matter how well you know someone, you don't ever know everything. No life is perfect, and an essential way to respect yourself is to focus on what you have, not on what perceive others possess. 


You're probably well aware that none of these 12 tips come easily, but, I promise, they all get easier with practice. Start by being aware of what's really happening, then do your best to find a way to make it a positive, self-respecting experience, and then use what you're going through (good or bad!) to cultivate more respect for yourself using the tips above. 


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