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Go on a Negativity Fast

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Despite all of our challenges, we humans continue on our relentless upward trajectory. Thanks to breakthroughs in technology, medicine, science and the arts, life just continues to get better and better.

This isn’t the story that you find told on the nightly news, however. The way the events of the day are reported on television, on the radio, on the Internet and in magazines would have you believe that the entire world is going to hell in a hand basket. There is no “fair and balanced” reporting (regardless of the source) when the only things that receive coverage are negative. It’s all negativity, all the time.

I’m not suggesting that you pretend there aren’t real problems or real tragedies in the world. But it’s also not right to pretend that this is all there is. If all you ever take in is negative, you will end up with a very distorted and inaccurate worldview. To improve the only thing you can control — and the thing that makes the biggest difference in your sales results, your attitude — go on a negativity fast.

Avoid negative news shows. Fasting is good for you. It gives you time to remove things that are harmful to your system and to recover and restore balance. This is true for your mind as well as your body. Take a week off from negativity, starting with the news. No New York Times, no Wall Street Journal, no Financial Times of London, no National Public Radio, no CNN, no Fox News, no Politico. Nothing sensationalized.

Instead of taking in all the negative events of the day, take in something better. Listen to music. Listen to an audio book. Work on your own personal development. Start a gratitude journal. Watch an inspiring documentary.

Avoid negative people. I sometimes find myself trapped by people who want to share problems and challenges with me, but always in a way that is negative. They want to blame or criticize someone else. They don’t really want help; all they really want is to complain. They don’t have any ideas as to how to make things better. These people are just negative, and they can take a toll on your attitude, your outlook and your mindset.

Do you have people like this in your life? Think their negativity isn’t having an impact on your attitude? Think again. Negativity is the only cancer spread by contact. Maybe you can’t avoid the negative people in your life forever, but you can avoid them for a week. Or maybe you can explain to them that you are on a negativity fast and that you only want to share with them in a positive, meaningful way.

Questions. Here are a few questions to get you thinking about your negativity fast: Ever meet a really successful person who is also really negative? Ever met someone who is happy and grateful and also negative? Does it matter what you put in your mind? Can you put only negative things into your mind and expect your attitude and mindset not to be affected? How do you balance all of the bad, negative and sensationalized news with something positive and meaningful? How do you avoid allowing negative people to infect you with their negativity?

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Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, so go


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