Why You Should Avoid Negative People

Although your success isn't dependent on others or their opinion of you, everyone is somewhat affected by who they are surrounded with. Because of that, it's important to remember the negative influence people can have on you. Not just friends and family, but even your extended circle can impede your path to success.

It should go without saying, but there are a surprisingly high number of athletes, and people in general, who simply accept certain "downers" into their lives. Sometimes it's a family member who thinks they're being practical and helping you be realistic. Other times it's a "buddy" who, as much as he seemingly wants you to succeed, is too jealous to get beyond his own pettiness to fully and wholeheartedly support you. And then, there's that friend-of-a-friend who doesn't even pretend or put on a show. They just hate on you because they can. They don't want you to succeed. They don't want you to do well. They will talk smack on you every chance they get just to steal your thunder. They subscribe to the philosophy that "if I put out your candle, mine burns brighter."

This is also known as "crab mentality." If you put one crab in a pot, he can easily escape. However, if you put several in the pot together, they instinctively pull each other back in anytime one of them tries to get out. Together, they seal their own, destructive fate.

There's no doubt that this exists in human behavior. It’s born out of envy, jealousy and basic competitive instinct. Does it work? Does your personal success make someone else associated with you look worse? Does this philosophy make sense? In all cases, absolutely not. It's a petty, short-sighted perspective and yet with the popularity of social media, email, online forums and all sorts of safe places for "trolls" to fire cheap shots from, it's more prevalent than ever before. That's why it’s also more important than ever to shield yourself from the type of people who hide behind a computer screen or under the guise of "being your friend."

Listening to others who belittle your achievements and spending time around dream-stealers could be costing you more than you realize. Don't be afraid to unfriend, block, disassociate and delete anyone who might be having a negative effect on your self-confidence and ultimate progress. Sometimes we get so concerned with not wanting to offend someone that we allow ourselves to get harmed in the process.

Defending yourself against anything hurtful applies to your psychological preparation as much as the time you put into the gym. The final battle may be won or lost in the ring, but your state of mind sets the stage long before you climb through the ropes.