What is Negativity?

Though this question can be answered in many different ways, here is a very simple answer. Simple but comprehensive. It covers all the aspects of negativity.

This answer not only gives a definition, but also shows you where you end up if you allow negativity to run your life.

Negativity is a barrier. A big barrier.

Barriers prevent access. They stop you from going where you want to go. They tell you that you have gotten to the end of the road. So what should you do? Turn back. Why? You can no longer continue with your journey. It won’t be a success.

Unfortunately, there are many such barriers on the path called life. It also happens that barriers like negativity are more on the paths which lead to the best destinations. Be it happiness, wealth, peace of mind, a great career, success in business etc.

All these destinations are good and just because they are good, the path to them is full of barriers.

Negativity however, is a special kind of barrier. Whereas you may find a barrier on a road that is undergoing construction, it is never the case with the barrier called negativity.

The road under construction will become better and accessible after some time. But the path blocked by negativity will become worse and still remain blocked.


First, that path will not be used by anyone, save for a few. As a result, it will soon grow weeds and probably turn into a thicket. Those who seek to walk it later will have extra work to do.

They will have to clear the way before walking it. Such is the norm for roads less traveled.

Secondly, being a barrier, negativity poses as an authority. Every authority seeks to be respected. If this authority is respected by many, it becomes difficult for someone to disrespect it.

Negativity will speak with authority as it tells you why you can’t go past it. And if many people obey it, why not you?

Either way, things have to change. Sooner or later. Someone will come along and challenge negativity. Either through a face-to-face confrontation or by simply ignoring it and taking the path blocked.

This person will have to be bold. And determined.

Could that person be you?


Negativity flows from people who have issues they have not fixed. It may be that they’ve never had the chance, don’t know how to or simply don’t want to. For those who don’t want to, it is because fixing the problem requires some work which they are not comfortable doing.

They may have to go deep into their past to deal with the cause of problems. If the past is painful, they may not want to take this route. Maybe the effort required is just too much, so they think, and decide to maintain the status quo.

At this point, it will be important to clarify something about negative people. This will also help you keep things in the right perspective.

Negative people are in need of help. Their negativity comes from something buried deep within. Unless that thing is dug out and dealt with, they will remain trapped in their negativity.

This means they will continue producing negativity and affecting more people. Maybe your siblings, parents, cousin, spouse, children, the list is endless. There are many people out there who are vulnerable.

So, since they need help, it would certainly be a good thing to get it. And if you can, go ahead and offer it. For example, if you are a psychiatrist, you can be of great help to them.

The problem comes when you are friends with these people and you are still struggling to rise above your own situation.

When you are starting your journey to success, you cannot afford to be around negative people. What you need is supportive and inspiring people. Negative people will simply suck passion, energy, creativity, confidence and everything else they can, out of you.

Now that you know this, exercise some boldness, deal with negativity and achieve your goals.

Since negativity expresses itself in many ways, here are 37 inspirational quotes to help you when it crosses your path.

1. “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

If you feel you cannot do it, achieve it, manage it, then you have made a decision about it. You think it is because someone told you so? No. It is because you believed the lie.

You agreed with them about what they said. Now you are living out what you believed.

If you allow people to talk you down or out of your goals, then they will. But you have the option of not allowing them to do that. If you’re down because of what someone said, just know that you allowed it.

To break this, make the opposite decision and assure yourself that you can do it.

2. “The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” – Chinese Proverb

Why exactly should someone make you doubt your abilities? He may know you from your childhood.

But if you have decided to pursue your goals, and he’s surprised, then he doesn’t know you well enough. If he did, he would know that you could do it.

This is a reminder about a very important thing to do when a negative person tries interfering with your goals. Just tell him to mind his own business. Anyone coming to feed you with talk of impossibilities is not worthy of your time.

3. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein

Many negative speeches center on your current situation. They will present facts and all the necessary statistics to show that you can’t go far. In fact, you can’t go anywhere. You better settle where you are and be content with life.

Have you ever heard of successful startups which began with no money? Ever heard of successful career changes which happened long after the “right” time to make career decisions?

Your current situation is where you take your first step from.

4. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln

Success starts in your head. More specifically, your mind. What you decide to see matters and shapes your perspective. Your perspective determines how you act or respond to challenges.

In the case of this quote, do you see a thorn bush or a rose bush? Either way, there are roses and thorns.

If you see a thorn bush, you won’t go near it. You won’t get the roses and definitely won’t enjoy their smell.

If you see a rose bush, you’ll be cautious while going for the roses, but will still go for them. Your eyes will be fixed on the roses and you may probably not be pricked by the thorns.

5. “Letting go of negative people doesn’t mean you hate them. It just means that you love yourself.” – Anonymous

As a barrier, negativity thrives on lies. Lies you have believed which cause you to be held back by them.

This quote seeks to correct one of the lies you have believed. A good reason why you tolerate negative people is probably because you think leaving them means you hate them.

Whereas they may even have told you this if they noticed you withdrawing from them, you need to just do that—leave them.

If you don’t, then the love you are showing them will soon be unavailable for yourself and others. This is because negative people suck everything out of you, including life itself.

Do yourself a favor. Show yourself some love and walk away while you still can.

6. “Negative people can only infest you with discouragements when they find you around… Just get lost and get saved!” – Israelmore Ayivor

This is simple practical advice that is sure to work. You want to achieve your goals? Just stay away from the wrong company.

It doesn’t take much of an effort really. You know them and their habits. You also know that they somehow look for people to infect with their negativity.

Stay away from the places they frequent. Make yourself busy (doing something important). As long as you are unavailable, you’re safe.

7. “All negativity is an illusion created by the limited mind to protect and defend itself.” – Ambika Wauters

An illusion is something that doesn’t exist, though it seems to. For the negative person, this comes from the source of issues built up within them.

They accepted a lie about their abilities and as such, hold onto limiting beliefs so as to defend the reason why they can’t move forward.

When such people see you move forward, their wrong beliefs get challenged.

Unfortunately, instead of breaking those beliefs and facing their fears, they allow themselves to be crippled by them. To avoid guilt and condemnation, they will endeavor to convince you that it’s not doable.

8. “Stop allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions.” – Steve Maraboli

You are solely responsible for how your day turns out.

From the moment you wake up, you start crafting your own day. For example, when you go to work, you carry your version of the day around. However, there are some opportunities for others to also chip in.

If you meet someone who hasn’t decided to have a good day, they will naturally want to spoil yours.

Don’t wait for it to happen then start complaining. Anything contrary to what you planned out should be rejected. Do this and you stand a chance of finishing the day happy.

9. “Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.” – Robert Tew

Reasoning out negative thoughts happens in your mind. These thoughts have been put there by people. You have actually allocated those people some room in your head from where they speak.

Anyone who has access to your mind is powerful. Watch the below short video to understand this. Simple discouragement can make you fail even in what you’re good at.

10. “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, the negativity of the world can’t put you down unless you allow it to get inside you.” – Goi Nasu

Remember the great Titanic? Very big, luxurious and hailed as unsinkable, until the unthinkable happened. It sank.

It could remain afloat with four of its sixteen watertight compartments flooded. But the collision with the iceberg made six compartments flood. Meaning it took in more water than it could hold.

Don’t fool yourself that you can move while entertaining negativity. You can only take in so much and you’re better off not putting yourself to the test. Don’t allow negativity into your life. At all.

11. “STAYING POSITIVE does not mean that things will turn out okay. Rather it is knowing that YOU will be okay no matter how things turn out.” – Unknown

Of course fighting negativity does not mean you have become unrealistic. The unexpected always happens and everyone experiences such moments. It is part of life. The difference is in your response.

If you’re a positive person, you will quickly bounce back after an unfortunate turn of events.

The negative person will have to wait longer, if at all he will bounce back. He will have to go through long pity parties, lose some more sleep, be overly stressed and maybe even go through depression.

Choose your path now and have some control of the future.

12. “Negativity is cannibalistic. The more you feed it, the bigger and stronger it grows.” – Bobby Darnell

You have had your share of experience with negativity. If you’ve been keen enough, you’ll have noticed that negativity takes a toll on you. It leaves you emotionally and psychologically drained.

When you allow it to run your life, you are actually feeding it. It however turns the table on you and starts feeding on you.

Give it some minutes and you’ll notice your whole body being involved, slowly making you tired. Give it enough time and your whole body will have no strength.

Not to mention that you will have wasted time too.

13. “People who project negativity typically have low self-esteem. They feel badly about themselves, and their negativity is simply a reflection of those feelings.” – Hendrie Weisinger

Here is a quote which helps you understand the root of the problem. Negative people have issues they haven’t taken care of. Since they haven’t developed themselves, they are jealous of the progress you make.

Whatever words they speak to you, just know that they are expressing their dissatisfaction with their own lives. Understand that and you will have an easier time keeping the effects of their comments and advice at bay.

14. “Some people can’t function without negativity because bringing down others makes them feel better.” – Anonymous

This is mediocrity at its best, and negative people always end up living mediocre lives. Negative people get comfort from the “fact” that things can’t be done.

As a result, the more the people who can’t do those things, the better. This shows them that the problem is not with them but with the situation.

As such, when they spot you moving forward, they will try to pull you down so as to sustain their beliefs.

15. “Do not allow negative people to turn you into one of them.” – Anonymous

This is one of the goals that negative people have. Consciously or unconsciously, they try to recruit others into their club. This is their way of feeling comfortable. They become uneasy seeing someone else doing what they cannot do.

You should not blame them for what they are doing. You have the ability and power to change the outcome of your life. So take charge and stay on the right path.

16. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

Afraid that you have lost the opportunity you had? Thinking that you could have made it if you made the right choice during your teen years? Thinking you’re now too old to achieve your goals?

Your mind is as good as you let it be. Whether seemingly young or old, your age should not hold you back.

Once you decide you want to achieve your goals, you will find ways of improving your mind and it will cooperate with you. Believe in yourself. Decide that you can do it. Decide to do it then go for it.

17. “Fall seven times and stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

Success never comes without some failures. Why? If it did, then you wouldn’t know how to maintain it.

You would not have learned enough lessons to teach you how to handle success. Or how to navigate through the challenges of living with success.

You need to have experienced shortages in money to know how to budget; betrayal by friends to know that you can’t trust everyone with everything; faced enough opposition to know how to fight so as not to lose your success.

Therefore, failing is not an end in itself but a necessary stepping stone.

Treat failures as opportunities to learn through experience. And no matter how many times you fail, you can still rise up. Remember to focus on your goals.

18. “When the world pushes you to your knees, you’re in the perfect position to pray.” – Rumi

For the determined soul, there is no giving up. And the truth is, no situation is bad enough. You can turn any situation to work in your favor.

When you’re down, it’s not an opportunity to cry but to pray. At some point, things will get beyond your human strength; that will be the best opportunity to seek God.

Praying does not mean you’re weak, it means that you’re smart. Smart enough to know that you need God to help you, especially if you’re going after a big goal.

19. “If a person finds negative people in his life, then he needs to mend his own nature than that of others, for his own basic grounding decides the level of acidic or toxicity surrounding him.” – Anuj Somany

Some things happen so naturally that you don’t get to notice them. You only notice the results. If you are wondering why there are always negative people around you, you may need to check yourself first.

Your genes and environment contribute to how you relate with others. As such, your disposition may be what brings negative people around you. One way this happens is when you’re too nice to people.

Afraid of hurting them, you tolerate them and end up hurting yourself. Watch the below video to know what to do about it.

20. “Sensitive souls draw in the negativity of others because they are so open.” – John Gray

This may surprise you, but it’s true. You see, negative people are everywhere, but they concentrate on certain people.

If for example you are an empath, you’ll notice that you have had many experiences with negative people. It’s not a coincidence. Negative people are attracted to empaths because of their sensitivity.

Negative people desperately need love and attention, though they cannot admit it. Sensitive people like empaths can easily detect this and are always open to offer it.

Since empaths have huge reserves of compassion, negative people feed on this as they give out what they have. The result?

The sensitive person grows weaker because while he sought to help, the patient never really wanted help. He just wanted a soft landing without the work required to make changes.

If you are a sensitive person, look out for signs of negativity and learn how to stay safe.

21. “The more you dwell on what you don’t have, the more you get what you don’t want.” – Unknown

This could be taken as a definition of negativity. Focus on the wrong thing and that’s what you get.

Ask any entrepreneur who never had enough money to start his business. It is never about what you don’t have but what you have. If you sit all day thinking of what you lack, you won’t move.

The truth is, you have whatever is most important. Do you want to start a business? You don’t need money, you just need an idea. The resources are all over and you will get them.

22. “Worry and negativity are a misuse of your imagination.” – Anonymous

Worry and negativity are just perceptions of the reality. For example, you may have a great voice. That’s the reality. Negativity will however tell you that you can’t sing because you’ve never been recognized for your voice.

Do you see the disconnect from reality?

Whether you’ve been recognized before or not, that doesn’t change the fact that you have a great voice.

Do all musicians have the same voice? No. Yet they are successful in their own right. Stop using your imagination on worst case scenarios and imagine the success. Imagine the fame. Imagine the inspiration you will give others.

There are better things to imagine, not the false realities which cause you fear and anxiety. Break free today and become what you’re meant to be.

23. “Every day you must unlearn the ways that hold you back. You must rid yourself of negativity, so you can learn to fly.” – Leon Brown

Whatever number of years you have lived on this beautiful earth, your mind has taken in some negativity. Although your mind cannot fill up like a computer hard drive, it sure needs cleaning before saving new, more useful information.

Unlearning the wrong things is necessary if you are to learn important things. When you unlearn, you create room for what you want to learn.

After deciding what you want, destroy what tells you that you can’t achieve it. Fight it then replace it with the new information. The truth that you can achieve your goals.

If a voice plays back all the facts that prove you cannot make it, tell it that you can and remind it of your special talent.

Does it tell you that you don’t have experience? Even those who have it were never born with it. You are too old to do it now? Determination will see you through. Talk back to that voice and soon, you will dominate it.

24. “Negativity is the enemy of creativity.” – David Lynch

If you’re negative about your goals, you can never see how to achieve them. Achieving your goals needs you to be open minded and creative so as to come up with solutions.

Rarely will your mind generate solutions if you’re trapped in negativity. Creativity will simply not work, unless it is showing you new ways in which you cannot succeed.

25. “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” – Prov 4:23 (NLT)

It is in your heart that your dreams and visions are generated and housed. If you want to find your life’s purpose, check with your heart, not your mind. Your mind is just a tool, albeit a powerful one, to help you act out what is inside you.

This wisdom from king Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, tells you how best to live a worthwhile life.

Your life is precious and the essence of it flows from your heart. Guarding your heart saves you many problems. You will avoid unnecessary betrayals, disappointments and other setbacks.

This does not mean you close yourself up and be scared. It means be careful who or what you allow into your private space. It is in your private space that you craft your success.

26. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

Every person has a unique path in his quest for success. A common tragedy that befalls many starts when they compare themselves to others.

You may see others go fast. But do you know what they are really chasing? Maybe they decided to achieve a small milestone then drop out of the race. Is that what you also want?

Be comfortable with the pace you’re going at. Of course, go faster where possible. But don’t condemn yourself when you don’t go as fast as you think you can.

27. “No matter how valuable you are and your ideas, fools will certainly play both of you down, so exclude yourselves from the inflammatory environs of fools.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

It is not an insult to refer to those who cannot see and respect your value as fools.

Fools generally do not know the value of what they have; be it friends or their own strengths. This is why they misuse what they have. And one of the most misused resource in the hands of fools is time.

If a fool knew the importance of time, for example, he would understand that you needed to succeed yesterday. He would then either help you or simply stay out of the way. And if he also wanted success, he would consult you.

But what does he do instead? He idly tries to talk you out of your dreams. His speech is full of harmful pessimism punctuated with facts which point in the wrong direction. Keep off his company.

28. “When someone tells me “no,” it doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it simply means I can’t do it with them.” – Karen E. Quinones Miller

It’s important to understand what some messages really mean. This helps you stay positive as you will not bear any unnecessary burdens.

If someone does not believe in himself, that should not make you stop believing in yourself.

This actually helps you weed out potential problems. You now know that they are not willing to put in the effort to succeed. This tells you that you cannot trust them with any part of your goals.

If for example you’re starting a business, such people would not be ideal partners. Not even good employees.

29. “Negativity may knock at your door, but that doesn’t mean you have to let it in.” – Anonymous

Opportunities to indulge negativity abound. The number of people who gave up on their dreams are more than those who pursued and achieved theirs.

Therefore, negative advice, comments and opinions will always be floating around. It’s your job to ensure they don’t gain entry into your life.

If they do, you won’t be able to achieve your dreams. Watch the below video for more on this.

30. Life is too short to spend in negativity. So I have made a conscious effort to not be where I don’t want to be.” – Hugh Dillon

You need to make this decision. It is for your own good.

It also shows that you value yourself and if you do, then you will want to keep the company of negativity away. Love yourself and pursue what will bring joy and meaning to your life.

31. “Remember…Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

Is someone trying to pull you down? They are just being jealous that you rose above them. This is despite them having the opportunity to decide to also rise.

But because you have decided not to settle for mediocrity, you have to keep soaring.

Understanding this truth will enable you know the direction you will head if you allow negativity to rule your life. With the power to make choices, make the right one. Keep rising and moving till you get to your goals.

32. “The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.” – Unknown

On the path you have taken towards greatness, challenges will show up. What will your response be?

Will it be that the challenges are too many? Will you be getting tired of overcoming them? Doing this will empower thoughts of giving up.

Instead, be positive and look at those challenges as opportunities to develop more strength. With more strength, you stand better chances of achieving your goal.

Do you even realize that the past challenges are the ones which enabled you get this far?

33. “If someone tells you, “You can’t” they really mean, “I can’t.” – Sean Stephenson

People will always try to project their inabilities onto you. When they try doing something and they fail, they assume that everyone else can’t.

Worse still, they try to ensure that no one succeeds so that they are proven right. This way, it remains true that they haven’t succeeded because it’s impossible.

When you understand that they are merely expressing the inabilities they have embraced, you will have an easier time moving forward. You will not be bound by their negative perspectives.

34. “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” –- Vincent Van Gogh

Nothing beats negativity like giving it hard evidence proving it wrong. It gets silenced and starts respecting you immediately, even if it doesn’t want to.

The best way to get this hard evidence is by tackling your fears.

This also has the added benefit of building up your mind. If you consistently tell off negativity by doing the opposite of what it expects, you become more courageous. It will then be easier to overcome challenges.

35. “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” – Brian Tracy

The issue is not what happens, but how you respond to what happens.

When you have a positive attitude towards the situations you are in, then you stand a better chance of attaining success. A positive attitude helps you see the opportunity in every situation.

This gives you a head start in making the changes required for a better outcome. If you are negative, you will spend more time grumbling about the situation.

You will end up being forced to change and the direction to go will be forced on you too.

36. “You only have control over three things in your life – the thoughts you think, the images you visualize, and the actions you take.” – Jack Canfield

Though only three, these are very powerful things to be able to control.

What you think, you create. The images you visualize, are closer to being achieved because you have now seen the end result. Now what remains is acting accordingly.

And that also is in your hands.

37. “If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.” – Michael Jordan

There is only one reason you have decided to take action about your life—to change things for the better.

You are the one who knows what change you want. You define it, work towards it and achieve it. When you allow yourself to live as per people’s expectations, you will be trying to live their lives.

Allowing their expectations to direct you means you abandon your goals and start pursuing theirs.

You will only become miserable because you’ll be seeking their approval. Let them pursue their own expectations. As for you, pursue yours and see your life change. Then you can enjoy the results.


There you go, champion. You have the power in your hands. By now, you should have already decided not to give negativity your attention.

Recognize it, ignore it and move forward. And do you know what the beautiful thing is? Soon enough, negativity will either have to change its opinion or remain forever silent.

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