Surround yourself with positivity

– a reliable strategy for boosting self-esteem

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” is a famous quote by Oprah Winfrey containing words that are echoed by plenty of other inspirational people. Below we discuss the importance of choosing the right people who will get you closer to your goals of leading a fulfilling and happy life, however bringing positivity into your environment extends beyond just the physical people. 

Following on from an earlier article about 'Boosting your Self-esteem for a Brighter life' we dive into the individual ways to boost self-esteem mentioned in that article, starting with ‘surround yourself with encouragement’ (or positivity). Future articles will cover the other elements.

Further to Oprah’s quote above… it is accepted in psychology that people tend to become like those that they associate with. It’s worth thinking about who you spend most of your time with and considering whether they are people you aspire to be like. Do they encourage you, want the best for you, inspire and motivate you? At the very least you need to think about whether they want to bring you down and limit your exposure to those that do. 

When you surround yourself with positive people, something magic happens – the way they shine and make a difference in the world will start to rub off on you. You’ll notice good things unfolding in your life.

Sometimes it is difficult for people to completely remove negativity from their lives (family ties/living circumstances), so here are some tips that should help: 

  • Drown out the ‘noise’ of negative people by adding in more positive people – this should tip the balance towards positivity
  • Positivity from people can take different forms, not just real life! – for example you can include more positive people through listening to podcasts, reading books by inspiring authors or successful people, watching documentaries about triumphs and people overcoming personal challenges
  • ‘Level up’ by gaining new skills – if you attend a class in person or online you will be joined by other people looking to achieve similar goals to yours. These are the type of people who are also trying to better themselves and are likely to be a positive influence

Aside from other people, YOU yourself can also give yourself encouragement and support positivity. Here are some pointers for how you can be your own biggest fan:

  • Be aware of your thoughts – the words you say to yourself matter. Is your self-talk positive? To improve awareness of your thoughts, meditation is a useful tool and can be practiced in a variety of ways…you don’t need to sit cross-legged on the floor for hours, just 5-10 mins a day in a way that works for your lifestyle can be enough. You can even do ‘moving meditation’ while taking a walk
  • Practice self-compassion. Are you being kind to yourself and demonstrating the same type of care you’d give to a good friend? Being a good friend means offering understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. Recognise that suffering, failure, and imperfection is part of the human experience we all share – be your own best friend
  • Learn about what matters to you. Spend some time discovering your goals, your values and really getting to know yourself so that you can identify the type of people you’d like to surround yourself with. This will help put you on the best path and point you towards positivity.

Finding resources for developing positivity

There are plenty of free resources available online. A google search using the following keywords should lead you to information related to the topic of positivity; self-compassion, meditation, mindfulness, self-love, positive thinking, self-awareness, personal growth, self-improvement.


Mark Douglas

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