Sitting with some friends the other day, I was reminded of the famous Jim Rohn quote, “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. And, it got me thinking back a few years, to when I spent my whole life surrounded by “mood-hoovers”.
Do you know the type? They tend to bring a grey cloud of gloom with them everywhere they go, and they sap your positive energy, very often dragging you down with them. You smile and ask “Hi, how’s things with you?” and they grumble back, “Been better”. Then, if you make the fatal mistake of taking an interest, they’ll bombard you with everything that is wrong in their life and how circumstances are conspiring against them to make everything so very difficult. They’re helpless to help themselves and, after all, misery likes company. What’s worse, you spend too much time around people like this, and you’ll find yourself moaning too.
The things that you’re not so satisfied with, in your own life, begin to loom large, as you start questioning all of the reasons that you don’t have what you want, and begin to believe that circumstances are conspiring against you too. All of your fears about why things might not have worked out are reinforced, by the fact that other people are feeling it too. Surround yourself with a few of these "mood-hoovers" and you’ll quickly spiral into the belief that you too are helpless to change the things you don’t like. All of a sudden, you’re a victim of the cruel twists of life, and the people around you are keen to empathise and moan along with you. Well, it’s easier than getting off your backside, pushing out of your comfort zone, and actually doing something about it.
Sound familiar? Millions of us get stuck in this very trap, and I have even been there once or twice myself! And, if you want to break free and start getting what you want, then you need to pull the plug on these "mood-hoovers" before they suck the life out of you. Instead, try these simple steps to alter the playing field.
1. Say NO to negativity
Refuse to indulge in negativity. It brings no benefit to your life, only pain, and it will never get you to where you want to be. The brilliant Hal Elrod teaches the “5 minute rule” to prevent ongoing emotional pain. Simply allow yourself a maximum of 5 minutes to fully experience any negative emotions, relating to your circumstances, and then accept the situation as it is. It really is as simple as a decision; a choice. If you can’t change it, then there is no value, whatsoever, in continuing to dwell on it. If you can change it, then the sooner you accept it, the sooner you can start doing something about it. And, remember, you can't fix others, they have to fix themselves so, if someone tries to hoover your mood, empathise (briefly), point out the positive, and then get the heck out of there.
2. Choose gratitude
This is a well-worn solution for negativity, because it works. Make sure that you're insusceptible to "mood-hoovers" by generating a fantastic mindset in advance. Take 10 minutes every day to focus on the all of the wonderful things that you already have in your life. Health, family, friends, work (even if you don’t like it much), home, a world of information at your fingertips, etc. Also, anything particularly good that has happened that day. Make it a habit to write them down and look at them often. You will soon find that happiness likes company too, and this recognition of what you have will permit you to invite more joy into your life.
3. Seek out people who are doing better than you
"Mood-hoovers" will never inspire or encourage you to achieve the things you want, so the best thing you can do is to avoid them like the plague. Even if they’re a close friend, I would recommend that you spend as little time around them as possible or, at the very least, balance it by spending a lot more time with people who can help elevate your emotions and mindset. Being around successful people will help you to think bigger, and to see the many opportunities that are available to you. Where can you find such people? Well, you can seek out a mentor, hire a coach, join online and offline groups in your interest area, take a course, and attend networking events.
So I’m challenging you to try it. For 2 weeks. To see how different you feel. I can assure you that just these 3 actions will dramatically change your experience of life, and you’ll quickly begin to see opportunity where before you saw only difficulty. What do you think you might accomplish with acceptance, a positive, grateful mindset and the support of passionate, successful people?
I'm Jo Davidson, a professional life coach and NLP practitioner, specialising in helping women to get whatever they want. My mission is to lead you to shed your fears, limitations, and self-sabotaging behaviour, break out of your box, build incredible confidence, and create the life you never dared dream of.
You can have any career, relationship, health and fitness, finances, confidence, or anything else that you want, as soon as you're ready to let go of the idea that you can't.