This week I welcome Chin Pham. Chin and I met at our mentor Marie Forleo’s Rich, Happy, Hot Live last year in NYC. We sat next to each other all weekend, experiencing all the wicked speakers, Marie’s brilliance, and shaking our booties every time someone spun the wheel of dance (that’s right- wheel o’dance!). This girl could MOVE and I fell in love with her energy and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and her calling as a life coach. We vowed to stay in touch and I thought she would be a perfect addition to our little blog. This week she’s written this handy post about detoxing negative peeps from your life. Take this girls advice people- it will help you not just with your life but also in your business! Now on with her post….
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain
Firstly: my definition of a toxic person- Someone who complains and dumps their problems on you but doesn’t do anything to change their situation. Someone who is not supportive. Someone who makes you feel bad. Someone who shoots down your bright ideas, big goals, or bold (and risky) decisions that you need to make in order to be successful.
Secondly, this article isn’t intended to reprimand or paint toxic people in a negative light. Toxic people are usually in a place in their life where they are not open to constructive feedback or changing, so they are stuck in their current situation and don’t have the insight to see beyond their own struggles. And that’s okay. This article is meant to advocate for you so you don’t allow their negativity to impact your life.
First, why it’s important to detox your life of negative people:
- Negative people slow you down towards achieving your goals. Whether they know it or not, they end up discouraging you from being ambitious or following your dreams by questioning what you’re doing and planting doubts into your head.
- Negative energy from toxic people affect your energy level, not to mention your stress and anxiety. Ultimately, it’s your health and well-being, so you are responsible for taking care of it!
- You need to create space for positive change to happen. Being in toxic relationships with people and allowing their negative energy into your life will hold you back from manifesting opportunities for success. Also, releasing negative people will create space for the positive people to enter, who will encourage, support, and help you grow as a person.
How to detox negative people from your life:
Step 1: Decide that you’re worth it
- You need to feel as if you’re worthy of achieving your goals and changing into the person you want to be. Letting go of any negativity in your life will help you get there faster. You’ve got to be committed to doing this for yourself otherwise your guilt for letting go of these relationships will prevent you from moving forward (more in Step 3).
- How to realize you’re worth it: Decide. Simply make the choice and decide that it’s time you committed to yourself, your goals, and your dreams and you won’t let anything or anyone slow you down.
- Think about the negative side effects of holding onto these relationships. Ask yourself:
- What effect are these relationships having on my life?
- What are my goals and how badly do I want to achieve them? Are these people supporting my goals or slowing me down?
Step 2: Identify the toxic people
- Toxic people make you feel worse than when you started talking to them. They bring your energy level down. They leave you feeling bummed out. Notice how your body feels after talking to them, particularly your chest and stomach which are areas where most of us carry stress and anxiety.
- There is a difference between someone sharing with you their struggles/challenges vs someone who constantly complains. The difference is the prior is willing to listen to constructive feedback and is open to change (and does change). Conversely, the latter (i.e. whiners and complainers) don’t want to change and just want you to feel sorry for them.
- They shoot down your ideas. e.g., They question what you’re doing. They may say something like, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t change careers because you have so much job security here. What about your benefits? Or your retirement?” This is pretty common and sometimes subtle and harder to notice. Even though it may sound like they’re giving you advice, in the end they’re just putting more doubts into your head because your actions may bring up their own fears and insecurity.
- Toxic people can fall within the spectrum of being subtly draining to all around toxic and poisonous. Even if they fall on the less severe end of the “toxic people spectrum”, it’s important to identify this and work towards letting them go as they will still affect you negatively.
Step 3: Let them go
- Just start. Use whatever method you think is appropriate. Avoid them. Don’t pick up their calls. Apologize for being distant but you do not need to explain why or defend your actions.
- You don’t have to explain anything to them unless you feel like you need to because they’re being persistent and pushy. Avoid explanation because they are probably in a state of mind where they won’t listen to what you have to say, take it personally that you are letting them go, will probably get on the defensive if you try to justify your reasons.
- Do it gracefully and with love. Send them off with love and a prayer. Be open to the possibility that if and when they are ready to change and be more positive/supportive, then you would be open to rekindling the relationship.
Step 4: Don’t feel guilty
- Again, you are worth it. You must be your own BEST FRIEND. If you don’t take charge of your life and well-being, nobody will do it for you!
- You are not abandoning them even though you may feel like that. There is a distinction between abandoning someone vs letting them go so they can find their own way. If you’ve already tried giving them advice, encouragement, or even a wake-up call and nothing happened, then no amount of wise words from you will change their thinking or behavior.
- It’s not your obligation. You may keep these people in your life because you feel like you have to or you’re obligated to. Maybe they’ve been your closest friend since grade school. Or maybe they’re your cousin and you feel obligated through your blood ties. Whatever the reason, people grow and change and it’s normal for relationships to evolve.
Step 5: Bring in the positivity! Surround yourself with positive people. These are people who:
- Support your ambitions
- Encourage your ideas no matter how scary, risky, or seemingly unknown the outcome could be because they know how important it is for you.
- Are up to big things. They are people you admire because you think they kick ass in life!
You are worth it and you can do this. It begins with an intention to change your life and a commitment to yourself.
Chinh Pham is a fear conqueror and life revolutionizer helping people embrace their inner badass so they can create a bigger vision for their biz and life!