Over the years, I’ve read probably a thousand articles, books, and countless threads on social media, about how negativity needs to be avoided at all costs.
They often go as far as to say how it has no place in your life or in your business.
Many online gurus and motivational speakers will try to tell tell you over and over again, how negativity can destroy everything around you.
But what if negativity wasn’t ALL bad?
In all the years I’ve been involved in business and, I know that you can never EVER avoid negativity 100%.
There will be times you’re going to feel negative about certain situations.
Some types of negativity actually HELPS me through situations, and motivates me than a positive emotion can.
I do agree that some types of negativity are soul destroying, and have no place in our lives, but definitely not all.
I’ve found it more effective to see negativity for what it actually is, and use it in a positive way to help you surge through in difficult situations.
I find personally, that negativity not only definitely has a place in many aspects of business, but that it often can be a powerful motivator towards extremely impressive, positive results.
Negativity isn’t only a good thing for you, but it can be a solid driving force behind your forward motion.
In fact, there are sometimes things in my life that are purely driven by a negative emotional connotation, and not the ‘happy-go-lucky’ dream world that is often presented to us.
Don’t worry, by the time you’ve read this article, you’ll get what I mean. You’ll be able to take negativity and put it to good use, and even use it for your benefit. Negativity will have less affect on your own sense of well-being, and as a result, you may find yourself less stressed out.
I hope you’ll see this as a powerful insight into what drives and inspires us as individuals to move forwards with our ideas, and get out of bad situations we’re in.
Happy-go-lucky individuals always driven by happy thoughts and progress towards a new beginning every single day, need not read on.
If you’re like most of us and find that certain day things do get on top of you, and you’re trying not be negative at all costs, this article should have some helpful insight for you.
By the time you’re done reading his article, you will have learned to recognize the different types of negativity, and let it flow through you, and channel it towards achieving your goals.
Get Pissed Off
I would absolutely agree with most people, and a lot of mentors that tell you getting angry can cloud your judgement, and lead to a lack of productivity. Out of control anger can lead you to feeling overwhelmed, and therefore seek distraction, or become the distraction itself.
This type of negativity, we definitely DO NOT NEED, but getting pissed off about something and channeling that energy towards a positive result, can not only lead to solutions being sought, but can lead to entire new products and motivations.
All products are a solution to a problem. Somebody got pissed off enough somewhere, to rectify the situation. They actually got mad enough about it and became motivated to make a change. It’s this type of passionate response to an issue, that can lead to some of the greatest breakthroughs.
What else you gonna do, quit? Not gonna happen, sorry.
I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life developing the pivotboard product, and it started out mostly because I hated the other company’s products out there. I thought they were absolutely terrible, I hated riding them, and knew that I could do better.
This motivation by negativity led me to learn skills I had never known, and do things I didn’t know I was capable of. IT was a passionate and positive response to my own negativity towards the products available to me.
I figured I could either stand around and complain about the products available, and be critical of others (a form of negativity I despise), or I could get off my ass and do something about it.
Now, as a result of a good balance between negative emotion towards the competition’s product, and positivity gained from making and skating the best boards ever produced, I continue to drive forwards, and never lose a moment’s enthusiasm to work on that project.
A lot of people get inspired, and motivated by positivity, and I’m all for that. I wish in some ways, that I was like that, too. More often than not, however, it’s a negative emotion that starts the ball rolling for me.
In 2015, I decided to shut down a business I had been running for about 8 years. It was time for it to go. I had a terrible business partnership, and was struggling to get paid my profit share. It took a huge amount of negative emotion and courage for me to finally decide it was time to shut down the business I loved, and had grown from the ground up for 8 years, to get a job for a while.
I went back into my old favorite job, sales, and I’ve been much happier ever since.
My sales job is pretty sedentary, and a huge change from my old business which was extremely active. I commute for 90 minutes to work each day, and sit for 8 hours at a desk. I found myself gaining a little weight, so it was time to skate more, drink less beer, and inevitably, even work out (something I didn’t have to do before).
My motivation to stay fit is not charged from a positive perspective. I’m driven by the negative emotion of never wanting to be fat or overweight.
The anger at myself for letting myself go, and fear of being fat or overweight, drives me to stay healthy and fit, not the positive results of the workouts. The positive results come, but only from the negativity I initially feel that motivates me to change.
Whenever I’m working out and want to stop, I think of being a fat guy, or being where I don’t want to be. That’s not an option for me, so I push through and complete the exercise.
I’m driven to earn more money, not because I love the positive effects of financial security, but because I absolutely hate being broke. I’ve done broke to death, and refuse to do it anymore.
I’m motivated to move forwards, and away from the negativity. My goals are to make my life better than it is today. Sometimes I think if things are super positive, then I’ll be happy and content… …well, what then? You’re done?
The absolute worst part of business is criticism, especially when it’s personal criticism against you. Now, I absolutely wish that criticism in business would go away forever. It is literally the worst thing in the world, and the closest thing to seething hatred you can experience.
I’m not talking about constructive feedback, either. That can be useful, or assessed to see if it would benefit your brand or the client to implement such an idea. More often than not, a ‘customer’ (because criticism is often coming from people that are not even your customers) won’t complain or criticize your business in a nice, useful way. They attack the business with zero intelligence, zero useful input, and can be extremely abusive in their behavior. Quite often it can be a scathing attack on you personally, even if you weren’t involved in the situation. Often the things they say will destroy your character, and have absolutely no relevance to the event that lead to the criticism to begin with.
This brings to mind the ‘dichotomy of business’.
The Dichotemy of Business
Every single business that’s worth a damn, started out because they wanted to do something good. Whether you provide a service, or sell a product, you found a solution to a problem. You decided to change the world around you for better. You gave people something that they needed.
As a result of you doing so, enough people wanted to pay you for the priviledge of using your help, and it became a sustainable business model. You maybe even made money in the process, and the majority of the people using your service or product appreciate it and continue to use it. The business continues to exist because you’re doing a good job, and people want what you provide.
So now that you’re doing something good, and people appreciate it, and many more of them are buying your product or service, sooner or later you’re going to find a critic or few.
OH, don’t worry, you won’t find just one. The more successful you become, the more people line up to criticize you, and tell you what you SHOULD do, instead of what you’re doing. They’ll even tell you that you’re an asshole for not doing what THEY want. They’ll even go to the lengths of attacking your personality because you don’t make your product the way THEY want it. Hence the phrase, “You can’t please everyone.”
You’ll even find these people may join together and form groups, and constantly criticize your every move, and get pretty hateful about it. You now have groupie haters. THAT is the sort of negativity the world could REALLY do without isn’t it?
NOPE. I disagree.
Why? Fuck those people, that’s why.
I believe these people are actually important, and without them, I wouldn’t get as much done, or perhaps keep going at the hardest of times.
Don’t get me wrong… …I hate these people with a passion, but I use that to actually help me stay more motivated, and push me harder than anyone else possibly could. How? It’s quite simple, and comes down to human nature.
Tell me how wrong I am, tell me I shouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, and I’ll move heaven and hell to make it happen despite what you’re telling me.
If you have a service or product, it took time to develop. If people are buying it, it took time to tweak it and make it work in a way that made sense to you, and makes sense to all your customers.
The thing about these critics, is that they also love what you do, but it’s not done the way THEY want it to be done.
Now, they COULD do what you did, and actually take the time to make the product or service the way they like it, motivated by their dislike for your version, but they won’t. They’re too lazy for that. These people have literally no worth in this world.
If the critics were motivated by negativity, they’d be out there making the world a better place. Instead, they will criticize, abuse, and berate you and your product. These psycho’s actually believe that by being negative, you will listen to them, and you will change your product or service to make it better for THEM!
The truth of the matter is, we would never want them as our customers anyway, and you could never make them happy in a million years. Stick them in the ‘jerk file’, move on, and continue to use them as motivation towards making your product better for people that ACTUALLY ARE your customers.
There are many ways that you can take negativity and help it drive you to work harder, smarter, and faster, with more motivation than ever before.
You can never have a world without negativity, so use it to your own advantage, and make it work for you, in your favor, whole others continue to let it affect them negatively.
Understand ONE thing, if there’s only one thing worth knowing. That one thing you need to understand, is that if you’re in business, if you’re creative, if you’re an individual making changes in the world, or motivated to make the next world’s best gamechanging bookmark, then you are a thousand times more awesome than any of these people could ever dream of being.
You must have incredible, and completely indelible self worth, and understand you are the one making the world change. Let their negativity become part of the task, let their misunderstandings of your true goals, fall to the wayside, because they are beneath you.
You are better than they are, because instead of criticizing, instead of being negative, you’re taking every bit of negativity around you, channeling it, and turning it into positive energy.
Become the solution to the problem, and understand without the problem, you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing. The problem must exist for a solution to be found. Let the negativity in the problem fuel the fire that drives towards the solution.
That’s how negativity motivates me.