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Proving your critics wrong or proving your fans right?

Fitspo' quotes. Do you love them or hate them? 

I love seeing quotes and memes on social media. Mostly on weight loss or fitness pages. I'm intrigued to see if I can tell what a person's motivations are. I think a lot of people post these quotes and memes to show how positive they are but they probably aren't aware that they are revealing more negativity than they realise. 

 

Positive people?

One of my favourite types of people to follow on Twitter are athletes. I find them fascinating. These are supposed to be mentally tough people, they work with sports psychologists after all. Yet It's still interesting to see their reactions after a loss or win. Some speak of proving haters wrong. They make big declarations about how they don't care what others think or what they say.  They take great pride in describing how they 'shut people up'. It's the same on dieting websites and Facebook groups. Sound like a positive thing to you? 

Try this exercise now.  

Think of someone you'd like to prove wrong and how you will do it. Make this image as vivid as you can, think about what they look like, what is being said and what is happening in this scenario. 

  • Where is your focus? 
  • How does it feel thinking about it? 
  • How much energy does it take? 
  • What sort of things are you thinking about? 
  • How are you measuring your success in this situation? 
  • How much of this can you control? 

When you focus on your critics your focus has to be external. You put your focus and energy on people who may not give you their approval no matter what you do. It takes energy because being fired up to prove someone wrong is a high energy state. It might feel good at first but once the initial wave "I showed them" subsides you feel exhausted. The other problem is that it's impossible to think about your critics without focusing on criticism, the result is that it doesn't feel very nice. You measure your success by the absence of criticism or silence! You can work your socks off only to find your critics are still critics. 

 

OK, now clear that thought from your mind. 

Now think of someone who thinks highly of you that you'd like to prove right. Someone who knows your strengths. Again picture them as clearly as you can. What do they look like? What do they say? Where are they when they are speaking your praises?

  • Where is your focus? 
  • How does it feel thinking about it?
  • How much energy does it take? 
  • What sort of things are you thinking about? 
  • How are you measuring your success in this situation? 
  • How much of this can you control? 

When you focus on your fans you focus on your strengths. This tends to bring the focus inwards as you think about your finer qualities. It feels good doesn't it? As a result, you feel more energised and motivated to act. Furthermore, you are thinking of success rather than avoiding failure. When you focus on avoiding failure you still have to think of failure (as I explained in this blog). You'll reduce your efforts when the criticism subsidies. But think of proving your champions right and you'll keep reaching for the stars to keep giving them something to cheer about. 

 

Notice the difference

Next time you are on social media take the time to notice the quotes and memes. Are people trying to convince themselves or others? Are they trying to be positive by proving critics wrong or is their focus on proving their fans right? You'll probably notice that people who post about happiness are those who lack it most. Don't believe the hype, don't be allow yourself to be intimidated by others 'positivity' or be drawn into to their negativity either. 

What about you?

Do you post quotes and memes? 

Do you post for yourself or for others? 

Are you focusing on your detractors or are you focusing on your fans?