Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable-The People

Jan 18, 2024

First, I’d like to say thank you to those of you who shared your goals with me following last week’s thoughts, your trust and camaraderie in this adventure means a lot to me. In our first week of this series, I promised to challenge you to be the courageous CEO of your own life because you owe it to yourself and the people who depend on you deserve the best version of you. In the following weeks, we’ll cover taking an honest account of where you are, examining routines, and getting started. This week we’ll take on what may be the most difficult topic of all, the people we surround ourselves with.

CEOs have a responsibility to ensure that people in their company meet 3 major criteria. First, they need the right attitude. Next, they must be talented. Finally, there needs to be the right number of them. Let’s break these down.

Let’s start by adding some definition around the one that, in my opinion, is the most important – attitude. My definition of attitude encompasses the non-tangibles. It’s the push and pull of their influence and the joy in which they do it . I took the liberty of asking ChatGPT about the effects of being surrounded by negative people and here was some of the response:


  1. Impact on Brain Patterns: Constant exposure to negativity can reinforce negative neural pathways in your brain. This is due to the principle that "neurons that fire together wire together," making it harder to escape negative thought patterns.
  2. Emotional Drainage: Negative people often require a lot of attention, sympathy, or validation. They might play the victim, complain constantly, or manipulate others, leading to emotional exhaustion for those around them. This continuous negativity can cause anxiety, lower self-esteem, and even lead to questioning one's sanity.
  3. Impact on Mental and Physical Health: The stress and tension from dealing with negative people can have both mental and physical repercussions. Constant criticism and belittlement can erode self-confidence and contribute to feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and depression. This can also lead to social withdrawal and isolation.
  4. Boundary Disruption and Relationship Impact: Negative people often disrespect personal boundaries, which can lead to a breakdown of trust and constant vigilance or fear in relationships. They might also recruit others to their cause, creating a toxic environment.

I wrote several weeks ago about human magnets. The negative people are the end of the magnet that pushes things apart. They separate your joy from your day and opportunity from your possibilities. You may know these people as your coworkers who always talk about what’s going to go wrong. They are usually the people stopping progress because it “hasn’t been explained well enough to them”. Translated as “what they want is most important because they always know best.” They are the people who put themselves in front of everything else.

Worse than the effects of being surrounded by negative people at work is being surrounded by bad friends. I asked ChatGPT about what happens when you are surrounded by friends who are unhappy about the level of success you’ve achieved.

Here is the answer:

Being surrounded by friends who are unhappy with your success can have a range of negative effects on your mental and emotional well-being. When friends display resentment or jealousy towards your achievements, it can lead to feelings of guilt, reduced self-esteem, and even stress. Here are some of the specific effects and considerations:


  1. Financial Insecurity: Sometimes, friends may feel insecure about their financial situation, especially when they see someone close to them achieving financial success. This can turn into resentment as they grapple with their own challenges and compare them to your accomplishments.
  2. Craving Stability and Adventure: Friends who feel a lack of stability in their lives might envy your success, particularly if they perceive it as bringing you stability and contentment. Conversely, some might crave the adventures and opportunities your success represents, feeling stuck in their own stable but unfulfilling situations.
  3. Victim Mentality: Friends who are trapped in a victim mentality might find it challenging to be happy for your success. They might see your achievements as a reflection of their own perceived failures or injustices they believe they have faced.
  4. Impact on Your Well-being: Being around negative people, including friends who are unhappy with your success, can increase your stress levels. Increased stress can lead to a variety of physical and mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and even chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

Beyond dealing with negativity, the people you surround yourself with must add value through their talent. Consider your conversations, are they about how you can improve each other or make an impact? If not, are they the right people to move you forward? Hear this - that doesn't mean every conversation needs to be impactful. Great friends are also the people you can sit and watch the game with over a cold beer and not have to worry about impressing anyone. My point is they must be more than that to be the group you surround yourself with to achieve success. Both for you and them.

The third focus point is how many people are on the team. You can't have too many people that are driving activity and progress. Good people pay for themselves both literarily and figuratively. The key is to ensure the team ONLY consists of those type of players. If not, the phrase addition through subtraction comes into play. In all reality, there are only so many places on the team. Don't waste them on the people who aren't contributing to success.

As the courageous CEO of your own life, you may need to make some hard choices. As I've referenced, when it’s time to move the company forward, CEO’s have to make some hard choices about who will be a part of the team. In our professional realm, dealing with negative people is an inevitable challenge. We absolutely must approach these interactions strategically. Make sure we stay positive and avoid getting drawn into negativity. Set clear boundaries to protect yourself. Be bold and engage in constructive feedback to address these issues. You can't change who you work with, but you can control your reaction and create a positive influence in your work environment.

Continuing on, as courageous CEOs must carefully select their team, in our personal lives, we too must be bold about the people we keep close. Are they uplifting and supportive, or do they drain our energy and dampen our spirits? The choice of who we surround ourselves with can profoundly impact our journey towards personal growth and success.

That leads me to this week’s challenge… This week let's focus on evaluating the relationships in our lives. Ask yourself: Do these people inspire me to be my best self? Do they challenge me constructively, or do they hold me back with negativity and doubt? Remember, it's not just about cutting ties but about growing relationships that are mutually enriching. Side note... if the feedback from ChatGPT offended you, YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. See it, own it, and DO BETTER!!! It's time to be intentional about our social circles. Cultivate connections that are rooted in positivity, growth, and mutual respect. These relationships will not only support us on our journey to improvement but will also create a network of like-minded individuals who push each other toward greatness.

Being the CEO of your life means making tough decisions about people, just as in business. It's about creating a team—a community—that propels you forward, challenges you, and celebrates your successes. So, this week, take a step back and evaluate: are the people in your life the team members you need on your journey to being your best self? And remember, as you’re evaluating others, strive to be someone who brings positivity, growth, and support into the lives of those around you. Be a magnet for good, attracting and nurturing the best in others.

I’m thankful that you were willing to go to work today, that you took the time to read this, and for being a part of what makes this world amazing!