How To Let Go Of Negativity

How To Let Go Of Negativity

Written by Lars

Topics: Happiness, Mindset, Self Improvement, Self-Discipline

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Negativity is a toxic energy that constantly bombards us every day unless we do something to change it. Negative people, messages, ideas, and mindsets constantly surround us, making it incredibly difficult to stay positive. Just like eating healthy, remaining positive requires a conscious decision to unplug from the norm and to create a life of our own design instead of going along with the crowd.


The Effect Of Negativity On Your Life


Negativity is very subtle. Negative attitudes have become so accepted by society that many people perpetuate negativity without even realizing it. Eventually, this mindset will cause you to become negative yourself. This leads to or is a result of massive insecurity, sadness, loneliness, and sometimes depression. Obviously, these are feelings that you don’t want to have. There is a way out, and as always, the first step is becoming aware of all the forms that negativity takes.


Negativity from others and yourself can definitely cause you to have a low level of confidence or self-esteem. This quotation by Steven Winterburn is spot on: “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” I personally had a low level of confidence earlier in my life as a result of thinking negatively about myself. Simple thoughts, repeated daily, have so much more of an effect on you than you might realize.


Also, if you ever want to break out of the “socially accepted” way of doing just about everything, you can expect to be hit with lots of negativity from people who don’t like what you’re doing (probably because they simply don’t understand it). If you cave into that negativity, that can lead to living a life where you’re just going through the motions rather than doing whatever it is you’re passionate about.


How To Identify Negativity


There are many manifestations of negativity in daily life. One of the main types is judgment. How many times have you heard the phrases, “xyz is an idiot” or “xyz sucks”? Personally, I hear phrases like this almost every day. These types of judgments are pointless, and only serve to tear something or someone down. It’s hard to stop judging, though, especially if that’s something you’ve been doing your whole life. To help you, I wrote an entire article on how to stop judging people.



Pointless drama and malicious gossip are sources of negativity that are easy to spot, and are things that you should never be a part of. They do nothing but bring people down and engage people in things that matter very little, if at all. Luckily, the amount of this fades somewhat as people get older, but not as much as it should.


People who are incredibly fortunate and have basically everything they could ever want in life still manage to find ways to focus on petty, irrelevant negative things. These are some of the types of people that are good to stay away from, for reasons that I’ll explain later in this article. Remember, they are no better or worse than anyone else, and you should not judge them, as that makes you negative as well.


Unfortunately, the above examples exist everywhere in society. Some might say that it is impossible to avoid negativity altogether, which may be true, but it’s definitely possible to minimize the impact of negativity on your life. It might be tough in the beginning, but as you start becoming more aware of negativity in others, you’ll start to realize its existence more and more within yourself as well, which will lead to positive change.



Being around negative people will bring you down, whether you’re aware of it or not. You might start to question why you feel bad about yourself after spending time with certain people, and if you look deeper, it’s because those people are negative in some way and that’s rubbing off onto you and your mood. I’ve even noticed that when I’m around negative people I start to say negative things myself. That’s what’s so dangerous about it, because it spreads unless you consciously put a stop to it.



Think about the people who you feel the best around, and with whom you can fully express yourself. You’re not stifled in any way, because these people aren’t negative. They accept you for who you are, and that’s what makes you feel great around them. You may even notice a shift in the way you act or what you talk about when you’re around judgmental people, because you’re afraid of being your true self. The subconscious thought process goes something like, “if they reject me for being my true self, then my true self might actually be bad, and I couldn’t handle that, so I’m going to act a certain way to get them to like me.” This is unhealthy for many reasons which I won’t go into here; a better approach is to simply avoid these judgmental people.



There are many other reasons to avoid negative people. You might have heard Jim Rohn’s quote, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” That quote is spot on, as the people you spend time with are either bringing you up or bringing you down. Also, negative people usually have self-defeating mindsets, and the more time you spend around these people, the more you will start to believe them.



Negativity is a symptom of being at a lower level of awareness, or consciousness. If you want more clarification on what “levels of consciousness” mean, read this article.



To sum up this entire section, if anything makes you feel bad, it’s usually as a result of some form of negativity. Always be checking your internal emotional state. You will get better with practice. Immediately after spending time with someone or watching/reading something, check your state. Do you feel good or bad? This is the best way to check for negativity when it might be less obvious.


How To Extinguish Negativity


If you’re friends with negative people, limit your friendship with them, and realize they bring you down. Of course you can still stay friends with them, but once you start heading down the path of positivity and self-improvement, you will realize that you start outgrowing your friends in many different ways. You will develop different beliefs that are not plugged into groupthink, and start having success in different areas of your life. Your more positive friends will see this and become inspired, and your more negative friends will become jealous and try to tear you down, as your success threatens their self-image. These are the people that are good to let go of, because they are only holding you back.



Now that we’ve gone in-depth on what negativity looks like in others, let’s look at what it looks like in ourselves. Negative self-talk is a huge one, and it plagues almost everybody on this planet. This is the “voice” in your head that is always pointing out and overemphasizing the bad aspects of yourself. It’s almost always wrong, and if it’s right, it’s overemphasizing. Learn to be aware of and to actively not listen to this voice. It will haunt you less and less if you pay less attention to it. Listening to it only lowers your self-esteem and stops you from being who you have the potential to be.



Another massively important step to take is to become conscious of your negative beliefs. Unfortunately, most people adopt their set of core beliefs about themselves and others early in life, but that can definitely be changed. These core beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies. If you believe that the world is an unfriendly place with no opportunities, then you will actually live in an unfriendly world and not be able to find any opportunities, as your confirmation bias will tell you over and over again. On the other hand, if you believe the world is a loving place full of opportunities, then that will become your reality as well. This is very powerful, and while shifting your core beliefs will take much time and effort, it will pay off for the rest of your life.



The less negativity you allow in your life, the less negative you will be yourself. Also, you should always be striving to become more and more aware of negativity in yourself and others in order to replace that with positivity. Seek out positive people. Be strict in what kinds of people you allow in your life. Who you spend time with, you become. Become a beacon of positivity in the sea of negativity. People will begin to open themselves up to you because you’re bringing good emotions instead of bad ones.


Being negative will never get high-quality people to like you. It’s only going to attract other negative people who are looking for reinforcement that their own negativity is okay.


After you become more conscious of the energy, or “vibes” that people give off, negative people will become less and less bearable to be around, as you will become more sensitive to it and it will become extremely obvious to you. I used to not be aware of what negativity looked like, so I didn’t really choose who I spent time with. Now, I can spot negativity in others or myself in an instant, and you will be able to also once you become more aware of it.



How To Extinguish Negativity


The antidote to all this negativity is simply positivity. Negativity breeds negativity, and positivity breeds positivity. Like attracts like. The more positive you become, the more you will attract other positive people with similar mindsets. Self-actualized, positive, successful people realize this and spend time with similar people. If you want positive people in your life, you must become positive yourself. There are no shortcuts.


To start with, I would suggest taking The Positivity Challenge. You will try to think only positive thoughts for seven days. Whatever happens to you, try as hard as you can to see the good side of it. Only say good things about everything. By the end of the challenge, you will have started to discover the very real benefits of thinking positively, increased your awareness of how much negativity there is in both you and the world, and begun establishing your new mental habit to replace the old, less helpful one.


I’ll end with this awesome quotation from Steve Maraboli that sums up this entire article, “People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.”

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