Even people like Tony Robbins, Oprah, and Nelson Mandela have had to face humungous negative challenges in their life. No one is immune to them. Whether these negative situations infect you or not comes down to your toolkit of self-development weapons.
The last two weeks has given me two unexpected situations to deal with.
I decided to sell a car recently and received a call from a man that sounded pleasant. He was ready to buy it and wanted to see it as soon as possible. When he arrived at my house, I took him for a ride in it and all seemed to be well.
Then something unexpected happened. He checked the engine oil, and it was missing a few liters even though it was serviced a few months prior. Like a mad man, he began hurling some of the nastiest verbal abuse I’ve ever been victim to in front of his eighteen-year-old daughter.
This scenario left me broken for at least twenty-four hours afterward. At no stage did I ever expect to do the wrong thing by this person and the lack of oil in the car was an accident because I had no time to prepare the car and check these vital components beforehand.
A friend of mine has been causing me constant pain. Each day they set a high level of expectation around what they believe I must say and do so that they can feel happy. After weeks of suffering, the tension became too much, and I decided enough was enough.
I suggested we either not be friends anymore or take a break for a few months to see if each of us form a different perspective. This approach started a wave of negativity and abuse that I wasn’t prepared for. The text messages escalated and each conversation became less friendly to put it politely. The outcome has resulted in me no longer being friends with this person which saddens me.
With these two enormously negative situations in mind, here is how I became bulletproof from all the negativity and how you can do the same:
1. Don’t react
When a negative situation occurs, you have to learn not to react. It’s this one skill that will see the effects of a negative situation quickly diminish. No matter what a person says or does, aim to remove yourself from the environment as quickly as possible.
Treat this negative environment like a war zone of dead bodies. You wouldn’t want to hang around there long would you? So evacuate as quick as you can and choose non-reaction. The self-talk stories in your head will last a few hours, but pretty soon there will be no energy left to power them because you have chosen non-reactivity.
2. Sleep ASAP
The quickest way to escape a wave of negativity is to sleep. Sleep will force your mind to rest and allow you to take a break from all the stories that are running through your head like an out-of- control subway train.
Before making any critical decisions about the negative situation, sleep first. Wake up the next day and see how you feel. Nine times out of ten you’ll experience a lower level of negativity so that you can at least function. Double down with a healthy dose of meditation if need be.
3. Disconnect from all conversations
Being bulletproof from negativity requires you to disconnect from all conversations about a negative event. This takes extreme discipline. You’ll never be able to escape a negative situation if you keep talking about it.
The more you talk about it the clearer the image of pain becomes in your mind. Your mind focuses on whatever you spend the most time thinking about. If it’s one of those negative situations like mine, then there probably is a solution. The best thing to do is hit the eject button and go to a safe zone.
My safe zone is being around beautiful people that lift me up and want me to achieve my dreams. These people are everywhere, if you look for them in the right place. You probably won’t find them at the pub or in a nightclub. They’re at seminars, meetups, personal development blogs, at the gym, and they are probably starting or running businesses.
They’re the people that are winning at life because they’ve constantly chosen to disconnect from events and people that don’t empower them. Are there any conversations you should disconnect from right away? If so, then do so right now.
4. Remember the one thing that matters to you
To be bulletproof from negativity, you must always keep your dream in sight. What can happen is that negativity can distract you from your dream and take you off course. By going off course, you feel even more negative emotions because you’re missing out on the fulfillment you get from your dream.
The way I got back on track was to remember what the one thing was that matters to me: inspiring people through entrepreneurship and personal development. It’s my two-sentence vision, and it’s how I recover from all the landmines that appear in my life when I least expect it.
“You can become bulletproof from negativity when you practice the habit of always going back to the thing that gets you up in the morning”
5. Lose yourself
Becoming bulletproof from negativity requires you to lose yourself when a negative wave of events hits your human radar. Practically speaking, with the two situations above, I became lost in my own world and went and drove my brand new car.
I drove to the airport and watched the planes take off. This reminded me of how much I love traveling and how small the world is. It reminded me of how I used to think I was afraid of flying and would never travel. Now this fear is abolished, and it was all because of crushing my BS thoughts about why I thought I couldn’t do something.
I also lost myself by going to the beach and having a swim and watching the sunset. Nature can have a wonderfully positive effect on us if we let it. Nature brings us back to the present and reminds us just how much beauty there is in the world when we step outside ourselves.
“Becoming bulletproof is not about forgetting; it’s about losing yourself and being okay to be lost once in a while. It’s knowing that we can’t be laser focused 365 days a year and sometimes wandering off the walking trail can help us see a different world”
***A happy ending to the story
So with both of these situations that I mentioned, I tapped into my belief that things will change for the better. The wonderful thing about this belief is that you leave yourself open to whatever comes by. I was surprised when the next day I woke up to this article that I wrote on Entrepreneur.com going semi-viral.
My social media accounts exploded, and I was inundated with heartfelt messages of inspiration and praise. It’s like I always say; if you put out good in the world, then everything you could ever want will come right back at you.