T Nation

Staying Motivated Around Unmotivating People


#1

This is more of a life question than a workout question, but I love the lifting community because there are a lot of dedicated hard working people.

Basically, I live in an area where there are a lot of people that are ok with the status quo. Im frequently told to give up on my goals, settle for less, etc. I dont believe any of these negative statments one bit, and I usually counter them by simply asking the criticizer "why?" Of course, they never provide an answer other than "You just cant!" or "That's not what normal people do!"

So, how do you guys stay motivated when your around people that are just opposite of wanting to achieve or live beyond the status quo?? It sure as hell is depressing being surrounded by them.


#2

I don’t talk with them.


#3

I already dont do that! It is lonely as hell. There are so many more people nowadays that will give someone a list of reasons why they cant, shouldnt, or dont, do something, but few that will give you a list of reasons why you “should”. It is toxic.


#4

Let their existence be your motivation and lets be honest. They do not want you to succeed and accomplish anything more that what they have.


#5

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I already dont do that! It is lonely as hell. There are so many more people nowadays that will give someone a list of reasons why they cant, shouldnt, or dont, do something, but few that will give you a list of reasons why you “should”. It is toxic.[/quote]

How do people you aren’t talking to give you lists of reasons?


#6

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I already dont do that! It is lonely as hell. There are so many more people nowadays that will give someone a list of reasons why they cant, shouldnt, or dont, do something, but few that will give you a list of reasons why you “should”. It is toxic.[/quote]

Try making friends that don’t suck? Also use an apostrophe with contractions.


#7

“The World is not designed for the common man. You must have a force of will stronger than the force of will designed to control you.”

“You are the master of your universe, thoughts, actions, emotions, reactions, and happiness.”

“If you are the smartest (or most driven) person in the room…you are in the wrong room.”

Don’t let it be depressing (see second quote) When you can get yourself to a place mentally it can become almost funny to listen to them. Trust me I currently work in paint and body and have coworkers that are not inspiring to me in any way. They can complain about things that seem they are just complaining to complain.

After a while in the state of mind like in the first two quotes you might have times when you can start to slip into a negative frame of mind around these people, but you will be able to start to recognize this and you can release that negative energy and return to positive energy. I haven’t talked about this with my coworkers but over time one of them is becoming less and less negative. Our conversations are starting to branch out into things that are much more enjoyable for me to talk about during free time.

Just don’t bring up your goals or anything like that, steer the conversation into topics that you can enjoy talking about with them. You don’t need their approval to strive for your goals. Your goals and them are not connected in any way unless you let them become connected.


#8

[quote]Aero51 wrote:

So, how do you guys stay motivated when your around people that are just opposite of wanting to achieve or live beyond the status quo?? It sure as hell is depressing being surrounded by them.[/quote]

Sometimes in life you just have to be what you need. You try to get what you need from other people, but there are times when YOU have to be that person YOURSELF! I am very goal orientated. I thrive from goals. Each one of us are different. You may receive a lot of good advice from this thread regarding your question above. But in the end you will have to do it/create it or make it work for yourself.

I am a very positive person, but I was not always. My mom is very negative, so I made up my mind when I was in my late 20s to become more positive and less negative. You see, I know what you mean when you ask,…“how do you guys stay motivated when your around people that are just opposite of …” Man, you just have to shake it off when people start saying negative crap . Don’t let it sink into your head- no matte WHO has said it!

There are other things too which may help you. If you are having a hard time with this I suggest that you surround yourself with people & things that motivate you. Type out motivating quotes, enlarge them & print then out and stick them up around your house. Try to regularly watch encouraging shows or movies, read self help books on how to stay motivated- do whatever it takes. I will admit, I did none of those things to help me become as positive thinking as I am today. I am 46 yrs. old and the change in me happened relatively quickly. I have a close relationship with God and through that bond my entire life has become better. Something else that helps me be positive and reach my goals is that I write motivating things (I create poems or sayings myself) and put the things I have written on my bathroom mirror and 'fridgerator.

I am not sure if any of the things I mentioned above will work for you since I don’t know you. However, most people who really want something find a way to receive it. Writing this post- really good idea. I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of dealing with this.


#9

Don’t judge your insides by other people’s outsides.
You can’t think yourself into right action but you can act yourself into right thinking.


#10

[quote]mbdix wrote:

Don’t let it be depressing (see second quote) When you can get yourself to a place mentally it can become almost funny to listen to them. Trust me I currently work in paint and body and have coworkers that are not inspiring to me in any way. They can complain about things that seem they are just complaining to complain.

After a while in the state of mind like in the first two quotes you might have times when you can start to slip into a negative frame of mind around these people, but you will be able to start to recognize this and you can release that negative energy and return to positive energy. I haven’t talked about this with my coworkers but over time one of them is becoming less and less negative. Our conversations are starting to branch out into things that are much more enjoyable for me to talk about during free time.

Just don’t bring up your goals or anything like that, steer the conversation into topics that you can enjoy talking about with them. You don’t need their approval to strive for your goals. Your goals and them are not connected in any way unless you let them become connected.
[/quote]

I like the advice that you gave him… I hope it helps. It makes me feel good that someone wrote something that will help him.


#11

I’m in my late 20’s now and I’ve been there before twice. Surrounded by mostly negative people, but a lot of had to do with negativity that I was feeling myself and I think like attracts like in that type of scenario and it becomes somewhat of a positive feedback loop.

Both times I finally realized that nothing was going to change in the position that I was in, in the place that I was in. Both times I got so fed up–or motivated–that I uprooted myself and shifted directions, changed jobs, went back to school, moved to a different state or city, basically rearranged my entire life so as to have a completely fresh start.

That feeling of doing something completely different–or stepping completely out of my comfort zone–was always more than enough to give me the kick in the ass I needed to reintroduce positivity and progression in my life.

How does that cliché saying go? If you want something that you’ve never had before, you have to do something that you’ve never done…


#12

Allow me to play Devils advocate for a moment…

Perhaps they’re offering sound comments and rational advice to your crazy arsed pipe dreams. Afterall “you can’t do that” is perfectly good advice to many a bad idea. And “normal people don’t do this” is a valid response to an insane suggestion.

Don’t be discouraged. Many great leaders were once thought to be crazy. But there are far more guys who aren’t great leaders…they’re just crazy.


#13

[quote]Captnoblivious wrote:

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
I already dont do that! It is lonely as hell. There are so many more people nowadays that will give someone a list of reasons why they cant, shouldnt, or dont, do something, but few that will give you a list of reasons why you “should”. It is toxic.[/quote]

Try making friends that don’t suck? Also use an apostrophe with contractions.[/quote]

I agree with this advice. Your friends are dicks. Get new friends.

And use apostraphes. It doesn’t cost anything.


#14

[quote]Aero51 wrote:

Basically, I live in an area where there are a lot of people that are ok with the status quo. [/quote]

This about describes anywhere. Just be a constant reminder to average people what they could be if they put a little work in.


#15

Usually I just respond to all the negative and unmotivating people by saying “fuck off and don’t tell me what I can’t do”. Then I go and do the what they say I couldn’t.


#16

[quote]Glittergirl69 wrote:

[quote]mbdix wrote:

Don’t let it be depressing (see second quote) When you can get yourself to a place mentally it can become almost funny to listen to them. Trust me I currently work in paint and body and have coworkers that are not inspiring to me in any way. They can complain about things that seem they are just complaining to complain.

After a while in the state of mind like in the first two quotes you might have times when you can start to slip into a negative frame of mind around these people, but you will be able to start to recognize this and you can release that negative energy and return to positive energy. I haven’t talked about this with my coworkers but over time one of them is becoming less and less negative. Our conversations are starting to branch out into things that are much more enjoyable for me to talk about during free time.

Just don’t bring up your goals or anything like that, steer the conversation into topics that you can enjoy talking about with them. You don’t need their approval to strive for your goals. Your goals and them are not connected in any way unless you let them become connected.
[/quote]

I like the advice that you gave him… I hope it helps. It makes me feel good that someone wrote something that will help him.
[/quote]

Thanks…I hope so too.

I also believe that having S.M.A.R.T. goals and action plans to reach those goals are very helpful.


#17

Thanks for the advice everyone, really appreciated. Between working full time, lifting 3-4 days a week, teaching myself graduate level numerical methods, and barely getting 4-6 hours a of sleep a night, this helps a lot. Ive been feeling guilty about being so tired, and it only makes things worse when you tell people your goals and dreams (get a PhD in engineering and start a business) and all they do is give you shit why it is ok to stick around at a menial 9 to 5.

My best defense so far has been to ask them why…but honestly it is tough coming home at night, being so tired that sitting on the couch results in passing out for a few hours (this Sunday after I got home from the gym I sat on the couch and passed out until 10pm), on top of not having anyone to talk too (because they are so damn negative, undisciplined or lazy).

Ive got a good friend for example, I asked him to look into investing in a business together. We both have a complementary skill set and I believe as a team we’d have great potential…But at the end of the day a 9 to 5 route is simply easier. And that his the path he choses, but then goes on about all the crap he wants to do. I said to Im “If you aren’t doing it now youre never going to do it.” Sent him a wonderful speech “The Art of Being Fully Human” where this message is repeated. Sigh…

I guess I am feeling a little like I did when I was living with my parents. They hated the idea of me being successful. I was regularly put down and discouraged from doing anything remotely impressive. Still got my degree in aeronautical engineering (with great letters of rec), lead a team to design a UAV which met some pretty impressive goals (alas, we did miss deadlines), and in the weightlifting circle, I’m very close to a 315 ATG squat and probably over a 500lb farmers walk/frame carry. I got into a gym where we have some people going for their pro-card in strongman.

So screw the people who say what you cant do!

I was enrolled in a PhD program, but I didn’t even make it past the first semester. I was so depressed… It was like “I cant believe I made it through all this.” and something in me shut down. Like I couldn’t handle the fact that I got though all those years of put downs, abuse, and negativity, without resorting to drugs or self harms. I got offered a position researching turbulence in supersonic flow and after that for some reason this incredible cloud of doubt and sadness came over me. I feel like that mistake screwed my life up so much. Every day I wake up wishing I had my life back right before I started that program. Every hour I think about it (it has been 2 years). And the worst part is for the first time in my life I doubt myself.


#18

A PhD isn’t the end all and be all that it seems. It’s just another degree; it may open a few doors, but it’s not a ticket to fame and fortune by any means (I just got mine last year, ask me my salary, haha). If you really feel like you want the degree, try and get back in the program. I know several people that needed to step away from school for their sanity’s sake, and they were able to get back into it after a break. However, it sounds like you’re more interested in entrepreneurial work than grad school. Think it through carefully before making a choice.

As for negativity of others, it’s just part of the territory if you’re out to accomplish something. People see you working toward something with all your heart, and it makes them a bit jealous or ashamed of themselves. Do your best to brush it off.


#19

[quote]Fishdog70 wrote:
As for negativity of others, it’s just part of the territory if you’re out to accomplish something. People see you working toward something with all your heart, and it makes them a bit jealous or ashamed of themselves. Do your best to brush it off. [/quote]

Definitely this. When you have big goals/dreams and voice them to others, it almost forces them to look in the mirror. Most of the time, they don’t like what they see so they try to discredit you.


#20

[quote]Ripsaw3689 wrote:
Definitely this. When you have big goals/dreams and voice them to others, it almost forces them to look in the mirror. Most of the time, they don’t like what they see so they try to discredit you. [/quote]

This is one of the reasons I talk about not talking to these people. I see no need to share my personal goals with other people. What are they going to do for me? Either they’ll respond with negativity or a hearty “good luck!”

Achieving the goal is it’s own reward.