Of the most significant hurdles to your reinvention could be your own lack of self-confidence. And one of the most likely reasons you lack confidence is because you surround yourself with the wrong people. It is all too easy to make excuses. But negative people can destroy your reinvention. One of the most important things you can do to improve your wellbeing is to wipe negative people from your life.
The Imposter Syndrome
I sat down to breakfast this morning, and out of the blue my flatmate asked me, “What is imposter syndrome?” The reason he asked this is because the term had just flashed up on the breakfast news program he was watching.
And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that negative people fuel our imposter syndrome.
The Fast Company gives a good definition of imposter syndrome as, “a belief that you’re an inadequate and incompetent failure, despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and quite successful”. And, as they say, it’s a “hot mess of harmfulness”.
One problem with negative people is that they fuel your insecurities. You may correctly believe that you have performed well, but the negative people in your life force your attention to those little areas where you are not perfect.
Negative People Can Zap Your Energy and Kill Your Confidence
I have to admit that I am not particularly good at leaving negative people behind. Some of the friends I have gathered over time struggle through life. In most cases, though, they are still positive towards me though. They may self-sabotage, and I sometimes get hit by ricochets from their lives, but they don’t deliberately sabotage my progress.
But that doesn’t make thing easy. It can still be tiring trying to solve their latest crisis or work through their current problem.
But some people I have encountered are much worse. They conscientiously try to ensure that you don’t advance. Because if you progress through life, there is a danger that you may leave you behind. And that scares them.
This type of person is particularly dangerous. They actively sabotage your success. They do anything to ensure that you fail, and if they can, they will make it look like it is your own fault.
I have a friend who has an ex-partner who is like that. She is vile. She is toxic. This woman is a keyboard warrior who lives in a fantasy world, makes up things and then complains to the world about her imaginary wrongs.
Unfortunately, there is a child involved in this case, which means that it is not easy for my friend to wipe this particular negative person from his life. But if he is to advance to a happier, more prosperous life, he really needs to minimise the time he spends with this toxic woman.
How Do You Wipe Negative People From Your Life?
In some cases, like my friend and his former partner, it may not be easy to wipe the relationship in a hurry. They have a child together, so there still needs to be some form of contact – preferably court-sanctioned and formal. But it should be easier to extricate your self from most other negative people.
It is essential you realise one important thing, however. Negative people will not change. You have to accept the fact that you can’t change them. As my flatmate’s ex-partner once said to me in an argument, “You don’t know my life and problems”. Their focus is on themselves, not your relationship.
1. Decide on Your Boundaries
The negative people around you continuously push you with their demands and tantrums. If you want to change this, you first need to decide at which point you will say, “No more!”
Obviously, this depends on how close the person is to you. You will generally accept worse behaviour from your kids and other family members than you will from a “friend” who you can let go of. But there are still limits to what you should accept from the people closest to you.
2. Avoid Their Crises
Remember that just because the negative person has a crisis in his or her life, does not mean that it is your crisis. They may make you believe that they “need you”. But they are probably not in their position because of anything you have done. Don’t let them manipulate you into thinking that their crisis is your crisis.
3. Target the Solution
Ignoring the tantrums of negative people can be hard. But you can’t let yourself become absorbed by their childish, toxic, and downright unfriendly behaviour.
You need to focus your mind on how you can extricate yourself from the situation. Remember that your goal is to clean up a problem that is harming your ability to reinvent yourself and succeed in your life. So your focus must be on resolving this – not ruminating over their emotional blackmail or even their current crisis.
4. Accept Your Own Flaws
Negative people highlight the flaws in your life. This is how they can spark and fuel your negative emotions, along with any imposter syndrome you may feel.
We all have flaws. I don’t pretend to be perfect. You won’t be either. I previously wrote about how you should not hide from the demons of your past life. We all have items in our past we wish were different. We have made all decisions we would have later preferred to have made differently. The first step of moving forward is accepting our limitations. You can’t go back in time and alter your past.
Yes, as I wrote last week, you can upskill yourself to help yourself move forward. But accept you have flaws and move on. Don’t be conned by the emotional blackmail of negative people who rely on you as a crutch – their own personal battering ram.
5. They May Resist Your Efforts
In most cases, the negative people in your lives will resist your attempts to distance them. They have come to rely on you. They may get nastier and viler before you are rid of their toxic influence. This is particularly the case with relatives and people who feel that you are “theirs forever”.
In time, however, toxic people will become discouraged when they notice that their negativity ceases to have the effect that it previously did. If you remain firm, they will eventually discover that their behaviour no longer works.
6. Surround Yourself with Positive People
To really succeed, you should look for positive people with better attitudes. You probably already know such people. Focus on your good relationships. The more you enjoy time with happy, positive people, the more you will want to devote energy to removing the negative influencers in your life.
That doesn’t mean that all negative people are a lost cause. But only they can change their situation. If they want to reinvent and improve their life they have to take action. Remember, you can’t change them, no matter how much you wish you could. Their lives will only improve when they change their attitudes and become willing to alter the things that don’t work in their lives.