Fit For Life: Avoid the Negativity

Saturday, February 10, 2018


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Matt Espeut

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article that asked you to list the things that were wrong with you and what was a priority to fix.  I also stated how easy it is to find things that are wrong with us (I have many, and that list was long in a matter of seconds).

But what about all the things that we do right?  Why do most of us neglect talking about these items?  Do we think we are bragging when we discuss these things? 

Do we lack self-confidence and are afraid to acknowledge the good things we are doing?  Are we afraid of negative comments by haters that have nothing going for them?  It may be all or some of what I just listed, but: The number 1 factor is that it’s easier to go negative.  And many people spend more time, effort, and energy being cynical and negative than they spend being positive.

What we don’t realize is that there is a lot of good and positive things happening right in front of us and it takes the same energy to find it than it does to be negative.

I go to a weekly sales workshop, and we always start the session with “good news”. 

No matter how bad things are going, there is ALWAYS good news to share. 

Sometimes I walk in there feeling defeated by all the things that went wrong with the prior week, but when I leave, my mindset shifts to a new, more positive place.  One week he asked us to list 10 things that are good in our lives, and we are grateful for.  That seemed impossible that day, but when I started thinking back to the beginning of the day, I woke up, looked at the roof over my head, stepped out of a bed into a heated room, took a hot shower, put on clothes, ate breakfast, and got into a car to drive to my destination. Count em up!! There’s eight items to be grateful for when you think of the people that didn’t wake up that day, and the ones that did in a cold house and had to take the bus hungry, wearing tattered clothing. 

I was listening to a pod cast the other day that backs this theory of how being negative, and doing the wrong thing is so much easier than doing positive things that are good for us.  It was based on a Zig Ziegler presentation when he asked the crowd to raise their hands if they thought it would be easy to start tomorrow by doing 3 things that would make their lives WORSE.  Everyone raised their hands.  Then he asked how many thought it would be easy to do 3 things that would make their lives better.  Not as many raised their hands.

Again, it’s that mindset that it’s easier to make things worse than to improve upon and get better or see the positive side.  Yes, it would be easier to NOT get up for work, lay around the house drinking and doing drugs, and start eating junk food all day.  Guaranteed that your life would be worse within a matter of weeks if you took that route but let’s look at the flip side.

It isn’t that difficult to buy clean healthy food, hit the gym, and get to bed on time, yet it requires a little more work and discipline, therefore many choose NOT to do the things that will make their lives better. 

I guarantee that it would get better by just doing those three simple things. 

Easier isn’t always better.  And it’s easy to be a negative person when we are surrounded by it every day.  Just watch the news. Everything is about the bad things happening and very few stories are shedding a light on the good people doing good things.

Negativity is glamorized in the world today. It sells more stories.

But the reality is that there are people achieving awards for good deeds. 

There are businesses doing well.  There are people out there saving lives and helping others. 

There are a lot of men and women trying to make the world a better place, but you won’t hear about is as much as you hear about the negative devastation happening in the world.

When I put the word “bad” in an email subject line, my open rate is 20% higher than when I put “good news” in it.  It’s the way most people think these days, and it’s not the healthiest way to think.  More people are depressed, anxious, and down on the world because of what we are surrounded with.  You will encounter more people complaining about the world on a daily basis than you will hear people happy about how good life can be.

I have a saying that negative people will find a problem for every solution. 

Because problems are easier to recognize than the solutions.  I always tell my team that easier isn’t better.  Sometimes the best solution isn’t going to be the easiest way to do things, and you need to step up spend the extra time and do what’s best. Be a coach and a problem solver, don’t step around problems, find solutions!!

In conclusion, when you hear and recognize someone spewing negativity, or when you are in a situation that you feel defeated and down, stop and think of a few good things. 

They are there, you just need to think a little deeper, and put a positive spin on it.

Then throw counter punches at the situation, fight your way off the ropes, and get yourself off the dark side.  Better yet, try to surround yourself with positive like-minded people, and avoid the negative Nelly's or Debbie downers of the world.  Remember it takes a lot of energy to be negative, and you will end up in a worse place than expending your energy to find the good and positive elements that surround us.  It all boils down to mindset and having the discipline to be better rather than just finding the easy way out.  The choice is yours.

How “bad” do you want to be?

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Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.


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