The Crap in Your Life Can Take the Form of Things or People
One of the great pieces of advice the P90X Workout Guide gives you is to get rid of all the junk food in your home. No more potato chips, soda, candy, cookies, chocolate, ice cream, processed stuff that comes out of boxes, etc. This is really important. You must begin your fitness journey with a clean plate. All these different junk food items only serve to undermine your chance of success because they’re no good for you, and they are temptations that you don’t need to have lying around. Believe it or not, this is the easy part. If you’re truly serious about starting a new life where you are fit and happy, you’re not going to let a freaking cookie get in the way!
The hard part is when the crap in your life takes the form of people. Tossing out a box of Oreos is easy, but tossing out an old buddy is tough. Okay, I’m not really advocating you throw anyone out—just learn how to ignore and minimalize the negativity that you may receive from such person. Read on to learn how negative people can undermine your chance of success.
You Become Who You Surround Yourself With
If you’ve got a huge gut because you drink a six-pack every day, chances are that you’re not the only person in your life with the same habits. One of life’s unwritten rules is that we become just like the people we spend the most time with. This can either be good or bad, depending on what type of habits you pick up. So be very careful what kind of company you keep. In this article, I’m going to discuss the power of our relationships and how they can have either a negative or positive influence on our health and fitness goals.
Here’s another piece of truth: The majority of people have no idea how much of their present day behavior has developed as a result of modeling and assimilating the people they spend the most time with. We are all being influenced by someone. Since this influence will determine to a great extent the direction of our lives, it is smarter to choose the people we will permit to influence us than to allow the power of wrong influence to grip our lives without our knowledge or choice.
The social cues and nudges we receive from friends, family, and co-workers can do a lot of damage over time because their influence is subtle and the effects gradual. Just like the calories we eat and the pounds we gain, they add up slowly but surely and you might not notice their effect until it becomes OBVIOUS. The good thing is that once you become aware of which people in your life are positive influences and which are negative, and start to adjust the your reception to their signals, that can be the beginning of a true life transformation.
Start by Taking Account of the People In Your Life
When you think about it, there are going to be two types of people in your life–the ones whose influence will help you move towards your goals or away from them. The people who effect you positively are supporters. The negative types are deadweight. Who do you think I recommend you spend more time with?
There are different types of deadweight people:
- The Pessimist—Finds the negative side of everything. “The program will never work.”
- The Complainer—Always whining about something. “It’s too hard. I’m too sore/tired/busy/lazy to workout.”
- The Critic—Is an expert at what you’re doing wrong, even though he/she has no personal experience. “Working out will wear out your joints.”
- The Hedonist—Lives by the motto: “Life’s too short, do whatever you feel like.” More often than not, the hedonist’s life turns out to be short. “I don’t want to be healthy because I enjoy fatty/sugary/salty foods too much.”
- The Temptress—Is always dangling an indulgence in front of you to test your willpower in order to make you feel bad. “I bet you can’t resist this chocolate double-fudge ice cream cake that I got for you.”
- The Dream Destroyer—The one who learns about your positive aspirations and immediately shoots down your plans. Stay away from this type at all cost because they are dangerous. “You’ll never be able to get ripped. You don’t have the right genes.”
- The Saboteur—They attack, ridicule, belittle, and undermine your efforts. These types are even more dangerous than the Dream Destroyers because they are deliberately malicious. Their goal is to knock you down and they get off on seeing you fall. “You work out all the time but look, you still have love handles.”
On the other end of the spectrum you have the Supporters. They also come in different types.
- The Optimist—Sees the bright side to everything and radiates positive energy.
- The Complimentor—Looks for the good in everyone and goes out of his/her way to tell you about it.
- The Cheerleader—This person pumps you up, motivates you, and encourages you to do your very best.
- The Accountability Partner—This person holds your feet to the fire. If you say you’re going to do something, this person will keep you accountable to your goals.
- The Coach—Helps you see your potential and brings out the best in you. Provides honest feedback and constructive criticism. Quick to praise you when you’re doing well and will correct you when you veer off course.
- The Emotional Supporter—The friend who is always there to pick you up and boost your confidence in times of doubt.
- The Dreamers—They are the builders, creators, and big thinkers. Sometimes their goals and ambitions are so lofty that even the Optimists will have doubts.
What Does Your Circle of Influence Look Like?
The idea is to spend less time with the deadweight people if possible. Obviously, you can’t totally avoid or remove certain people from your life, but understanding how their actions, words, and thoughts can influence your behavior and habits is something you should be mindful of if you’re looking to completely transform your life. The best thing to do is to reduce your exposure to deadweight people and prioritize your time so that you share most of it with positive people.
Ignore the Negativity and Focus On Your Goals
As great as it sounds, it is impossible to eliminate all negativity from your life. You will need to develop thick skin to immunize yourself from criticism and negativity. Do not allow people to suck energy from you. You know what I mean. There’s some people that you enjoy spending time with because they always make you feel good, and there are those who make you feel drained just being in their presence. The people who are malicious or who wish to actively sabotage your chances of success need to be eliminated from your life.
Another thing I have learned is you may not know who is a supporter or deadweight until you start making big changes. You may even be surprised at what happens. You would expect that when you decide to do something positive in your life, your friends would be happy for you. This is not always the case. People are funny creatures. They want to be around others exactly like them, and if there are any changes in the works, they immediately feel threatened. The friend that you had expected to join you on your fitness quest might turn out to be the person who is most intent on shooting you down, and vice versa.
DO NOT back away from your goals because your friends won’t support you. People hate change. There was a famous actor who was known for being fat. When he decided he didn’t want to be fat anymore and lost a bunch of weight, he got crap from his fans who insisted that he stay fat, otherwise he would be considered a “sellout.” What a bunch of idiots. The same thing could happen to you. Most people would prefer for you to stay exactly the same even if you’re fat, unhealthy, and unhappy. Misery loves company. You may have to go through this alone, if that’s what it takes. Remember that you’re going through this journey for yourself and not anybody else. In the end, you may inspire a few friends to follow in your path (maybe the same ones who said you’d never be able to do it), or you may lose a few friends who insist upon you being the “old you.”
This is where thick skin helps. Do not let anyone’s negative comments deter you or get you down. Just remember that a deadweight person’s attitude about your goals is borne out of insecurity and fear of the unknown.
The relationships which can be the most tricky to manage are those of your close drinking buddies. They’re not going to necessarily appreciate the “new healthier you” because that could mean losing a drinking buddy. There’s nothing wrong with occasional drinking, but a never-ending routine of alcohol and late nights will not make you healthier, leaner, and more successful. You’ve got to make the decision to do what’s best for you, or stick with your routines and stay the same. You’re reading this right now because you don’t want to stay the same. The bottom line is that if you change nothing, nothing will change.
You may also have to expand your network. Luckily, there already exists such a network of like-minded people who are ready, willing, and eager to achieve fitness success. I highly recommend joining Team Beachbody. It is FREE to join, and there are tens of thousands of people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and interests who can help give you the support you need. You can join existing workout groups or create your own. No matter what time of day it is, someone will be working out. If you have a question, everyone is more than happy to help you.
Think about all the people in your life. Decide if each person is a deadweight or supporter. Remember that a person who is a supporter in one area of your life may be deadweight in your fitness goals. The same is true the other way around, too. If you determine that someone is deadweight and won’t help you advance in your fitness goals, you may not want to share your dreams with this person. Until you develop thick skin to ignore the negative crap that you inevitably will hear from them, just keep things to yourself. If someone is supportive of your goals, spend as much time with that person as possible. Better yet, get them involved with your fitness goals.
Signup for a FREE Team Beachbody account here. Browse around and learn about all the great tools at your disposal to help you achieve fitness success. Join a discussion group and start meeting like-minded folks.
If you want more support, send me a Facebook friend request. Include a short message letting me know who you are and I will be happy to show you the way to a stronger, better, and healthier you.