Dealing with the Naysayers and Negative Nellies
This month I’ve been talking about how to “spring clean” your health and wellness efforts by eating better and ensuring your workouts are safe and effective. The last of my spring-cleaning series is how to clear out the negativity and the unsupportive people in your life who don’t appreciate your decision to live your healthiest.
When you are ready to change for the better it’s an awesome feeling. You’ve taken control and you’re excited about eating better, exercising, destressing, etc. You assume your spouse, best friend, colleagues and kids will be on board and excited for you. While most will be, some of those closest to you won’t be ready to support your efforts.
Figuring out why they are resistant to support you is a frustrating endeavor. Many times it’s simply because they might have to face (and own) their unhealthy habits and lifestyle. It forces them to see they may need to change too and, as we all know, change is difficult. Truth is, it doesn’t matter why they aren’t supportive. It’s more important to have a strategy to keep your thoughts positive and your plans moving forward.
So, how do you handle the naysayers? What do you do when people you thought would be cheering you on are turning their backs?
- You do you. Do not think for one millisecond that you can convince, cajole or coax someone into a healthy lifestyle. Control what you can. Set a good example, do your thing and just maybe they will come to see what a positive thing it is.
- Surround yourself with positivity. I’m not saying ditch the friends who don’t want to go to spin class with you but look for people in your life who share your desire to live healthier. There’s the theory that you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Think about that circle. Could it use some positive peeps who are motivated and inspired like you to get healthy?
- Stay relentlessly focused. Put reminders wherever you need them to keep your goal top of mind. Post it notes on your computer, mirror or fridge and alerts on your phone. Get an accountability partner to remind you of what you are working toward. When you ignore the noise from those who don’t support your new lifestyle and stay laser focused on your goal, you have no time for negativity.
- Don’t engage. I like a good debate. However, when you find yourself in a situation where your friends or family are being negative about your new lifestyle, rise above it. You don’t have to defend your choice to be healthy. Politely bow out of a conversation when you feel compelled to be defensive. Stay the course and keep your vibe high.
- Don’t make it weird. Treat fitness and eating right like it’s just what you do and who you are now. You don’t have to wear a sign that says “hey, I’m healthy now…want to hear more?” That’s weird. Just do the right things, set the example and live authentically and confidently. You will be surprised how many people will start to see this as a good thing and want to follow your example.
Finally, understand that people’s negativity usually comes from their own insecurities and has little to do with you. And, while you should be compassionate and kind, it’s not your responsibility to fix them or make them feel better about it.
Your decision to be healthier is about YOU. Be a little selfish and protect your mindset. When you do, and you stay focused on your goals, you’ll succeed. And, success in this case, is living longer, healthier and with a better quality of life.
Making the decision to change your lifestyle to lose weight, get healthy and regain your confidence and energy is sometimes overwhelming. I invite you to join my Wellness Tribe to get the support and positivity you need. And, if you are interested in jump-starting your clean eating efforts, get on the list to be part of my 10-Day Metabolism Reset program that kicks off April 22.