Once you set out on your goal to create a sustainable lifestyle, one in which recycling has become part of your every day, you will inevitably encounter negative people. Those that think your goals are pointless or make fun of what you are trying to achieve, sometimes they may even get angry and say that you will not be able to achieve your goals.
These Negative Supporters as I like to call them can be a serious problem to your self-motivation, they may not even realize the impact they are having on you and your goals.
We all question ourselves constantly about our decisions in life, we recalibrate based on new information. If that new information is constantly negative or causing us social pain then it is hard to resist the desire to revert back to our old ways. It's like a recovered alcoholic that continues to go to their old bar just to be made fun of for not drinking, even though they are trying to improve themselves, that negative environment will encourage them to slip back into their bad habits.
I have listed some of the ways in which I deal with Negative Supporters below. We are all unique so these may not work for you but hopefully, they will give you some inspiration and keep you motivated when you need it most.
- Identify them. Sometimes your Negative Supporters will be in disguise, you won't even notice for a long time that they are there. This can be someone close to you like a friend, relative or spouse. You can identify them easily the next time you start to feel de-motivated think back to who or what is the root cause of your sudden de-motivation.
- Identify valid concerns. Not all Negative Supporters are doing it out of malice, they might be negative out of genuine concern for you. When someone identifies a negative aspect of your goal make a mental note of it and write down what their objections are as soon as possible. Next, spend some time thinking through their negative comments, Are they valid and something you had not thought about? Are there action items you could do that would remove the negative aspects? Is the point not even valid?
- Stay positive. Do not let your Negative Supporters get into your head. If you do then you will begin doubting yourself. Once that self-doubt starts it will eat away at your goals and aspirations until you give up on them. Instead, take what ever those negative items are written down for later review and then release them from your mind. Stay positive!
- Ignore them. There will always be Negative Supporters, those that cannot achieve their goals like to try and stop others from achieving theirs. Understand this, embrace it, feel sorry for them and ignore them. You might not be able to change their thinking and if you have tried before and failed, then just ignore them.
- Convert them. Some of your Negative Supporters can be converted into your supporters or even better peers. Let them know how much you appreciate them and their feedback and that you cannot succeed without their support. Instead of being defensive and pushing them away try to pull them in and convert them.
- Have confidence. Understand that these are your goals and no-one else's. Sometimes you will not be able to win Negative Supporters over, but you cannot let that stop you from moving forward with your goals. In years to come when you have achieved more than they were even capable of dreaming of, then that will be your reward for not giving in to Negative Supporters.
If achieving our goals was easy then we would not appreciate them as much, Negative Supporters are simply there to help remind us of just how important our goals are and to help us appreciate our success more.
How do you handle Negative Supporters?
Let me know on Twitter.