There will be times in your life where negativity seems to be all around you. When that happens, that negativity can suffocate your dreams, destroy your hope, and halt your motivation. If that negativity becomes more frequent, you may eventually throw in the towel and accept that negativity is just a part of your life.
But, don't despair. There's a silver lining. These are a few things that I have personally used in my life to combat negativity and remain motivated.
1. Set reasonable goals.
There are times when we only see the negative side of things. As a result, we push aside those larger and more challenging goals that can't be attained easily. This could be anything from "I'm starting my own business," to "I'm gonna lose 50 pounds this year."
Instead, start with a more reasonable goal, like purchasing a web domain for your business or losing five pounds in a month. The satisfaction of reaching these smaller goals will keep you motivated so that you'll reach the next one.
2. Control what you can.
While there will be certain things that are within your control, there also will be plenty of things that won't be something you can control. Learn how to recognize the difference and stop worrying about circumstances that are out of your hands.
By not allowing yourself to become so emotionally entangled in what you can't control you'll maintain momentum -- instead of becoming paralyzed. Always remember, only you can control your own actions and reactions.
3. Learn from negative situations.
When facing a negative situation or event, look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow. As Albert Einstein said "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
Instead of focusing your energy into a negative reaction, channel it into something positive that will make the situation better. For example, if your business fails, use that as a learning experience so you don't repeat the same mistakes. Business failure can also be used to tweak your original vision, build character, or prove that you have the guts to take a risk.
But, what if you do react negatively? Take note of it and the circumstances that caused it. Then, learn from it by identifying the triggers that were responsible for your reactions so you can be mindful of them in the future.
Your goal is to train yourself to be able to control the situations that you can, instead of allowing the situation to control you.
4. Read and listen to positive information.
By filling your mind with uplifting and inspiring information, you'll be able to sustain your motivated. Just visit your bookstore or library today and find at least one book that has a positive topic. Trust me, it will give you that much-need boost.
If you can't visit the bookstore, look for motivational and inspiring podcasts, TED talks, or quotes. We all can use those constant reminders to remind us that we can achieve and overcome anything.
5. Build a support team.
Even though it may not seem like it, there are always positive people in your life. Figure out who they are and start building an emotional support group. This way you can share your goals with each one other and offer up support when needed.
This group can then become your touchstone whenever you feel most vulnerable to all of that of negativity surrounding you. After all, positive energy is contagious. And, your support group can also help you find inspiration and relieve stress.
6. Wake-up on the right side of the bed.
"I get my motivational mojo going early in the morning," writes motivation author Sean Anderson in his book Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose.
"As soon as my feet hit the ground, I am not thinking 'what do I have to do today?' I am focusing instead on asking myself these questions: What am I excited about? Who can I encourage? What am I grateful for?"
"By changing the first questions in my mind and focusing on empowering thoughts, I set a foundation for my day."
7. Become a mentor and learner.
"Highly successful people who stay positive are never satisfied with what they already know. They're often attending lectures, reading or listening to audiobooks and podcasts, and finding new ways to hone their existing skills and pick up new ones," writes emotional intelligent expert Harvey Deutschendorf for Fast Company.
"Not only do they have mentors who push them to do better and challenge their ideas, they also tend to mentor others. Being driven by your passions -- and surrounding yourself with people on all sides who do the same -- is a powerful defense against adversity."