There is a saying that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. And one negative person can affect everyone they come into contact with.

I was recently sharing some of my short term business Goals with someone in my professional peer network.

While I do have a tendancy to aim high and set some outrageous Goals, I also have the drive and determination to take decisive action, advance them at a rapid pace and see them through to completion.

When I shared my exciting Goals with my “friend” their response was not encouraging and enthusiastic. All I got was negativity and discouragement. I knew this friend was having some personal struggles, but I intuitively realized I needed to separate myself from them for the time being.

I realized a pattern had been developing, where every time we talked, I felt emotionally drained after the conversation.

Have you ever had that experience?

There are times in life when some of the people around you become a bit toxic to you.

They complain a lot, they whine, their attitudes are poor and they act helpless. I have a tendancy to try and shine the light on all of the good around them and within them, but sometimes even that is unwelcome. There is a wall of resistance. You can tell because they would rather have a big old pity party, blame others and be the victim, than transform themselves into a more positive resourceful state.

I love coaching people in how to turn things around. It’s easy to do with coaching clients because they pay for that expertise and are typically looking for change. There is nothing wrong with being stuck, however no one is obligated to be on the receiving end of someone else’s drama or drain.

I believe in serving others, but sometimes the people around you are not receptive to your kind efforts. No matter how hard you try to serve them, sometimes they try to drag you down. I could not remember even one recent conversation where I felt good after a discussion with this particular person.

That’s when I knew… it was time to limit my association with them.

Often when you share your Goals with people, they see everything from their own lens, from their own perspective, and ultimately from their lack of vision and their own limiting beliefs. This is one of the reasons it is so important to have a coach and/or a mentor. Your coaches job is not to judge, but rather to guide you and help you find the way to your Goals.

Seven Steps for Maximizing The Power of Association

#1. Be selective about which Goals you share with which people. Whenever you share your Goals or ask for feedback, consider the source. Ask yourself, is this the right person to share this particular goal with? Will this person be objective or will they be negative, cynical and critical?

It is inevitable that some people around you right now might not understand what you are trying to accomplish. Perhaps they are even a little (or a lot) competitive with you. Sometimes they are downright jealous. Sometimes they are afraid if you become successful, you will leave them.

#2. Do not allow other people to determine your chances of success. Ever. What seems impossible for them may very well be within your reach, range and ability, especially if it is something you are passionately committed to achieving.

If I allowed other people’s opinions to sway me from my Goals, I would have never become a cadet (junior firefighter) at the age of 13.

I would have never become a firefighter/EMT at the age of 18.

I would have never painted works of art in my early 20’s that are now hanging in Government buildings and on the walls of some pretty remarkable people.

I would have never started a business of my own, not to mention built the network of companies that were once only a dream, and are now a bright, shining reality and working with amazing people from all over the world.

I would not be talking to you right now.

I want you to think about the people in your peer network right now.

#3. Make a list of your current associations (both professionally and personally). On paper, write down the names of everyone you came into contact with in the past few months.

On the list include all of your friends, your family, your coworkers and acquaintances.


#4. Determine who among them is positive and encouraging. Thank them.

Seriously, write them a note, send them a card or even give them a phone call and just say “thank you, your support and encouragement mean so much to me.” Tell them what it means to you.

#5. Determine who among the list of people is negative, draining and toxic to you. Perhaps it’s time to limit your association with them. Limited associations mean you still love a person, but you do not obligate yourself to spend time with them or talk frequently with them if they repeatedly have a negative impact on you. Sometimes the only way to salvage a relationship is to take a break from it.

#6. Get rid of the energy vampires. I mean it. I'm talking about those dream stealers. Don’t give them your time anymore and if for some reason you must interact with them for professional reasons, limit your time with them. You be the judge on whether or not they are adding to or taking from your energy and what level of interaction seems wise.

You will become like the people you surround yourself with.

You need to continually monitor the effect of the people around you. Sometimes you need to reduce the time you spend or sometimes drop the dead weight and excess baggage in your life in order to expand your network and make room for new, empowering people.

Your time and your energy (both emotional and physical) are two of your most precious resources.

7. Get around people who have Goals. Get around positive people. Get around people who want to help you achieve your dreams and help them with theirs every chance you get.

The most amazing people in my life are usually the ones who read, who hunger to learn, to grow, they are kind and enjoy making positive contributions to the lives of others. They are honest and they have passions and Goals. And sometimes we have to make room for more of them to enter our world.

Live Your Dreams

Author's Bio: 

Jill Koenig, the 'Goal Guru' is America's Top Goal Strategist. A Best Selling Author, Coach and Motivational Speaker, she is an expert on the subjects of Goal Setting, Time Management and Business Success. Her passion in life is helping you UNLEASH your full potential. Get your FREE Goal Setting CD at: