Handling negative situations just sort of comes with the territory of being a human being, whether they’re just small inconveniences or major problems. While difficult situations and people can’t always be avoided, you don’t have to get sucked into a negative mindset. Taking steps to seek out positive new relationships and experiences can help you counter negativity and help you to grow as a person.
So how do you begin to banish negativity from your daily life? We asked a panel of Forbes Coaches Council members to give their best advice. Read on to learn how to retrain your brain and embrace positivity.
1. Understand The Root Cause Of Your Negativity
Asking questions is key, and not enough people do this. What is the root cause of the negativity? Is it your circle of friends? Is it fear of failure? Unworthiness? You get the point. When you know where the negativity stems from, you are in a position to acknowledge it, tackle it head-on and, most importantly, learn from it. Then go listen to your favorite motivational podcast. – Erin Miller, Erin Miller INC
2. Go On A ‘Thankfulness Tour’
When is the last time you went through your day being thankful for every little thing? Go on a thankfulness tour. Find everything that brings you joy, from a sunrise to a good friend. Fill your life with joy because the one person you listen to the most is you! Start practicing positive, joyful self-talk. Eliminate anything negative from your life and watch your life fill with positivity. – Dr. Teresa Ray, PCC, Dr. Teresa Ray
Banishing negativity begins by creating a daily practice of positivity. Establish an enjoyable morning routine that’s inspiring and nourishing. This will set a powerful tone for the day. Your daily practice might include gratitude, journaling, meditation and exercise. By cultivating positivity daily, you will move through negative experiences and away from negative people with grace and ease. – Gina Lavery, Gina Lavery Inc.
4. Accept That Negative Thoughts Exist
One thing I see happen when people try to “banish” negative thoughts is that they believe that there will be a point where every single thought will be perfectly positive, always and forever. This is simply not true, and anyone trying to say otherwise is trying to sell you something. When we accept that negative thoughts will come, we can also accept that we don’t have to listen to those thoughts. – Cody Dakota Wooten, The Leadership Guide
5. Cultivate A Positive Environment
One way to banish negativity is to establish what you listen to and see all day. Staying away from the news or music that is not of positive disposition is key. We can not underestimate our surroundings. Our environment sometimes dictates how we feel and act. Therefore, pay attention to your environment at home and at work. This will help you grow and stay positive when negativity is prevalent. – Adriana Rosales, Adriana & Company™ LLC
6. Change The Voice In Your Head
“Fire” the negative voice in your head that is getting in your way. “Hire” an inner-champion. Arm yourself with positive aspirations and personal success stories. Be sure to repeat these often. Take the time to shape a positive vision for your future and gather evidence that you are moving forward. Then, when the voice in your head starts with the negativity, present evidence to the contrary. – Jennifer Owen-O’Quill, Voltage Leadership Consulting
7. Study Your Own Energy Patterns
You attract the energy that you are. If you’re able to alter your own energy patterns, you won’t have to focus on seeking out positive relationships. Instead of you seeking them out, they’ll be drawn to you. Ever heard of “like attracts like?” If your energy system is aligned with universal energy, you won’t need to worry about keeping negativity at bay. Growth will be a natural consequence. – Anjali Chugh, Cosmique Global Inc
8. Let Go Of What You Can’t Change
At some point , I came to the realization that I was wasting anger on things I could not change. Without any real hacks, I just focused on figuring out if I was burning emotional energy (and making others miserable) on things out of my control. It was an easy fix. Try it, and you will banish a lot of negativity both in you and around you. – Tom Kolditz, Doerr Institute for New Leaders
9. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is one of the best ways to catch yourself before you dive headfirst into a rabbit hole of despair, aka negative “habit holes.” Instead of replaying negative thoughts, you simply notice the thoughts that are popping up in your mind, observe them and gently let them dissipate, releasing them. Learning to detach from the noisy “mind junk” is healing, empowering and powerful. – Debbie Ince, Executive Talent Finders, Inc
10. Combine Positivity With Realism And Hard Work
Being positive is a step in the right direction. However, meaningful success requires positivity to be combined with two other elements. The first is realism: the ability to be realistic about the facts and circumstances of life grounds our positivity. The second is hard work because success requires enormous effort. Positive, realistic and hardworking is the most successful combination. – Antonia Bowring, ABstrategies LLC
11. Take Time To Connect With Others
A time management study reveals that one of the four items we neglect is connecting with people. Reconnecting or building new connections allows us to move away from negative relationships. Establishing “good company”—a network of people who are tuned into our vibe and have our best interests at heart—is not only healthy, but also will force us to evolve through introspection and self-awareness. – Rita Coco, Rita Coco Consulting
12. Affirm And Appreciate Yourself
Embrace the fact that universal principles and people are not developed to give you favor. In daily interactions, claim your authentic self. Make a decision to work on self-awareness skills regarding the transfer of positive and negative energy when interacting with others. You are personally empowered to remove all people, places and circumstances that hinder you from being your authentic self. – Eugene Frazier, EF Choice & Associates, LLC
13. Reframe Your Thoughts As ‘I Get To…’
I was recently introduced to the concept of saying, “I get to…” versus the language that we typically use, “I have to…” (e.g. “I have to go to work,” “I have to do laundry,” “I have to pick up my kids.”) Seems like such a simple thing, but shifting that one word shifts the mindset and the outcome from a drudgery to a blessing. Change your language, change your mindset, change your world! – Annette Franz, CX Journey Inc.
14. Switch To A Growth Mindset
Switching your beliefs from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset begins with self-awareness and evolves from a state of wanting something new and different. When we engage in having a growth mindset and focusing on the enhancement and improvement of the process with focused energy, we are open to learning, inspiration, growth and having positive, lasting behaviors, relationships and outcomes. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting
15. Get Off Your Phone
The best way to build positive relationships is still good old face-to-face interactions. While our phones are amazing tools, they’re simply that—tools. The easiest way to start building relationships with those around you is to put the phone down, look up and smile. The next thing you know, that smile leads to a conversation, and a conversation leads to a relationship. – Alex Rufatto Perry, Practically Speaking, LLC
Founder & President of Executive Talent Finders