Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Sour Puss Saboteur

by Kris Pitcher

What is with the sour puss saboteur? You know the one...the person who just can't seem to get on board with your success. The person who despite your every effort, seems to want to throw a wrench in your plan.

Sabotage can be self-inflicted or put in our path by people around us. And surprisingly, it's often our loved ones who become the worst offenders. So just how do we deal with the saboteur?

First of all it's helpful to be on the lookout. Being watchful for comments and actions which aren't in your best interest helps you identify who's looking to sabotage your efforts. I don't necessarily think people mean to do it on purpose...I think it's just in their nature to pull people down who are succeeding.

Next, call it like you see it. I find it best to be direct rather than to passively accept comments. For instance, a comment from a spouse like, "This new 'exercise thing' is really taking up a lot of your time. I sure hope this isn't going to last long this time." Now, I can imagine a number of scenarios playing out here. But keep in mind your goal is to communicate what's important to you.

A reply such as, "You're right honey, regular exercise is important to me and has become part of my lifestyle - it's going to take the place of other things I used to fill my time with. I hope my health is important to you too." You've called your spouse out on their "dig" at you, stated what's important, made it clear you plan to continue, and let them know you hope what is important to you is also important to them.

If it's not...well that's a whole other situation. Usually the saboteur is simply feeling left out, and left behind. Seeing someone else succeed while you're not is difficult. It can be helpful to share your success with them if they are open to change. It's important to let them know you're sticking to your guns, and they can choose to get on board or keep quiet about it. And if they're not?

Leave 'em in the dust! No, really. Sometimes our sour puss friends just suck the good right out of us. Surround yourself with like-minded people, make stronger connections with people you are meeting in class or at the gym. Put yourself out there and begin to build relationships with people who share your path. Don't let the sour puss saboteur stop you from your success!

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