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© 2019 by Uncommonly Positive, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

Dragged Down By Negative People?

"The most damaging phrase in the language is

'it has always been done that way.'"

-Grace Hopper


When you find yourself about to take a leap -- beyond your comfort zone, into the unknown, in pursuit of your dreams -- prepare yourself. Criticism and Critique will come for you. That's daunting enough. But what's more painful is the source: friends and loved ones. 


"What makes you think you can do that?"

"What will you do when you fail?"

"Remember, I warned you."

"You don't have what it takes."


Take a deep breath. Their comments aren't meant to hurt you. They're not trying to sabotage your success. They just don't want you to get hurt. When you don't seem scared of your choices (even if you ARE, but you're resolved to face them), loved ones often take it upon themselves to make sure you feel their fears. They'll grasp for stories, statistics, or crash-and-burn examples about your dear Uncle Charlie who tried to do the same thing and ruined his life. 


Receive their comments with gratitude. Then refocus, and solidify your resolve. Most times these lectures simply reveal ignorance. They're just warnings passed from one generation to the next.


Here's a gorgeous story to illustrate this reality. 


Researchers placed four monkeys in a room. (This sounds like the start of a bad joke.) In the middle of the room, there was a tall pole with a bunch of bananas suspended from the top. One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to grab a banana to eat, but as soon as he would reach up to grab it, he was doused with a rush of cold water. (I picture a fire hose.) He would squeal, and abandon the banana, and retreat down the pole. Each of the other monkeys had a similar experience: each attempt resulted in being unpleasantly drenched by cold water. After a few more tries, they finally gave up on their precious bananas. 


But the story gets juicier. 


The researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room, and replaced him with a new monkey. 

When the newbie saw the bananas, he would begin to climb the pole with a refreshing sense of enthusiasm. BUT, the other monkeys would immediately grab him and pull him down to the ground. After trying to climb the pole several times, only to be dragged down by others, he finally gave up, and never attempted to climb the pole again. 


But the story gets even juicier.


The researchers replaced the original monkeys, one by one, with new ones. And each time a new money was brought in, he would be dragged down by others before he could reach the bananas. Eventually, the only monkeys in the room were the new ones, who had never been doused with a cold shower. But none of them would climb the pole. And they prevented one another from climbing, but none of them knew why. 


The moral of the story.


Much like the original monkeys, negative people try to pull you down with their criticism and critique. They’ve felt their own dreams within their grasp but they fell a few inches short, or got doused with a cold torrent of resistance along their path. Rather than push through their pain,  they fled instead. Now they’ve made it their self-appointed mission to prevent anyone else from going for their dreams. 


They may be convinced that their motives are pure, but they’re actually reminded of their failed dream every time you pursue your future dream. Uncomfortable with your actions, they’ll try to prevent you from feeling pain by pulling you down too. 


Keep moving and growing.

While people stuck in old ways of thinking sit in scarcity and poverty, maintain your focus, don't be distracted by their fears or criticisms, and you will experience abundance and prosperity. 





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