How to Actually Avoid Negativity and Become the Success Story You Were Born to Be

When successful entrepreneurs and CEOs are interviewed about what made them successful, they often mention a cluster of the same skills and themes. We read from Arianna Huffington that the key to success is all about getting the right amount of sleep and rest. We learn from Sheryl Sandberg that being willing to take risks and finding ways to believe in yourself will help us be successful. Other entrepreneurs mention focus, drive, or passion as the trait that made them successful.

I read somewhere between 3–5 success articles per day, and there is one set of traits that almost every single expert says one needs to be successful: Positivity and optimism. People who end up as CEOs and successful entrepreneurs are the ones who believe they will ultimately be successful, and don’t let any negativity penetrate that belief. Oprah said it best in a 60 Minutes Interview from 1986 when she famously said, “I know now that I am where I am today because I always believed I could get here.”

It’s clear from interviews like this that the people who ‘make it big’ actually do surround themselves with positivity and they don’t let negativity ruin their stride.

Knowing this, I recently set out on a mission to remove negative vibes from my personal life and my career. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it’s totally worth it. I learned a lot on the way. The first thing I noticed was that when you are trying to avoid negativity, it comes at you from all angles; And it comes in many forms. Below are the three ways I’ve worked to remove negativity from my life so I can become the success story I was born to be.

Shut Down All The Gossip

Is there anything more tempting than office politics and gossip about your co-workers and friends? I think not. It’s one of those things they teach you in actual grade school. Gossip is bad and we all know it. It’s a lesson that takes so long to learn, but when we think of success, we have to take it back to the famous Eleanor Roosevelt quote. She said that “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” It’s an oldie but it’s true. We should be spending our time discussing our start-up ideas and the ways we plan to make change in the world. We waste valuable time talking smack about the guy who heated up fish in the kitchen — he and his fish have nothing to do with us becoming self-made billionaires.

Next time you notice you’ve fallen into the black hole of gossip, you have a few options. You can be straight up and say, “Let’s change the subject.” You could also just make an excuse and leave the room. Nobody will know it’s because you aren’t here for their negativity. If you see it online, just close the window and move on. You don’t even have to shut it down for others — just get yourself out of the situation.

Unfollow All Your Haters Online

Everyone has some haters- whether they know it or not. Your ex, your high school bully, someone who leaves unnecessary snarky comments on your posts. These are people who you know are trying to tear you down and you do not need them.

They are unproductive, mean, or catty, and you keep them in your feed for God only knows what reason. When you follow these people, you get invested in their negativity, and you don’t need that. It’s a full-on waste of time and their presence in your online life has got to go. These are not relationships that you need to have in order to live a positive or optimistic life.

Take a Saturday night, grab some pizza rolls and your favorite guilty pleasure rom-com, and start editing all of the negative people you follow. Of course it’s great to have people share differing points of view, and you should still follow your go-to news source, but if it’s just negative, let it go. Unfriend, unfollow, and untag. You’ll feel a weight lifted and you’ll forget those schmucks ever even existed.

Actively Seek Out More Positivity

If people who are drawn to negativity exist, then there have got to be people who are drawn to positivity. We all know that one person at the office who seems to always be happy for some reason. We never see them frustrated, and we scratch our heads wondering how they do it.

Here’s your chance to hang around that person. My guess is that they aren’t going to unload their issues onto you, they have a better way to handle their issues. Find a few people who seem to be happy and thriving in their work and ask them some questions. Study how they spend their time and figure out why they always seem so content. I’m willing to bet that they have just as many issues, just as many worries, and just as many struggles as you. Watch how they unload those. It’s probably not by venting by the water-cooler every hour like your negative friends.

These are just three ways that you can remove negativity from your life and move forward in a positive, productive, and success oriented manner. There are going to be negative people in your life and at your job, but you don’t have to join in the negativity or let it bring you down. So go out there and cut the gossip, unfollow your haters, and seek out more positivity.

Find more articles like this by following Ben on Twitter @therealbenhawes. Questions or ideas? Email me at Benjhawes@gmail.com.