In the past, I have led several small groups as well as collaborated on projects and causes from reaching out to the homeless to bringing aid overseas. The biggest cancer in any group, the thing that will bring about its demise faster than anything else is negativity. It will kill the forward momentum of any project if not eradicated quickly.
It starts small. One person. One Comment. “That’s never going to work,” “We’ve never tried that before,” or even “The last guy tried that and it never left the planning table.” Usually, the snide comments are made by someone who doesn’t want to do anything. They’re not just against that particular project, they’re against any project that might require effort or cause them to stretch out of their comfort zone. Of course, there are always the selfish reasons like they didn’t think of it; therefore, it can’t possibly succeed. If it had been their idea, they would have gone about it a whole different way; a better, more efficient way.
Then, like cancer, it spreads. That one person starts grumbling to another. They add another. And two more. Soon several people are whining and complaining, predicting failure. Negativity always breeds company and it’s easier to be negative than positive. I have no doubt that we could have some powerful movements of change if someone would have been able to duct tape the mouths of the naysayers. It’s hard to fight for your vision if you constantly have to battle those who would rather condemn than build.
I discovered a long time ago that if I was going to succeed in this life, I had to surround myself with positive people. I want people who will encourage me to go after my dreams, to stretch and grow. I want people who are going to challenge me, sharpen me into a better person, and not dull my edges with their defeatist attitude. I need those pats on the back, not hammers to my head.
Some people just can’t help themselves. They have to be angry about something, so they try to throw cold water on the fire of other people that surrounds them. If they are going to be miserable, they want everyone else to wallow in their misery as well.
For others, they need you to fail to feel better about themselves. They don’t really want to do anything, but the fact that you are makes them feel bad. Instead of getting up and joining in or just sitting still and being quiet, they want to destroy the dream so they don’t have to see their inactivity and be faced with it.
I don’t do well with negative people. Perhaps you have the stamina for them, but I don’t. I find their doom and gloom mindset to be exhausting and I’d much rather just avoid them and save my energy for the pursuit of my dreams. That is where it should be going anyway. Don’t allow them to kill your vision with their words and attitude. Stay upbeat and focus on the end goal. Distance yourself from their poison and you’ll finish your journey. When perseverance meets positive encouragement, it’s impossible to do anything but succeed.
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