I live in Florida.
I moved here in 2009 from Pennsylvania and one thing that I didn’t realize about this part of the world is that there is an abundance of insects.
Now, most of them I handle pretty well.
I don’t have any phobias about them and in fact, most of them are pretty cool.
Those are the things of nightmares.
I stayed with my mother for a week or so before the house I was to rent finally became available.
And I made a deal with the landlord in order to move in quicker.
I would clean the place up myself.
Little did I know that this would soon become one of the most memorable times of my oldest daughter’s life and that I would never live down the events that took place because of this one small decision.
See, in PA I rarely saw a cockroach.
But, in Florida…
Those creepy little buggers are everywhere.
And when I began the task of cleaning up that house I learned the hard way what happens when you don’t take preventative measures to keep them at bay.
Normally, at least I thought, the disgusting creatures would venture out at night.
Not in Florida.
They have no qualms about making their presence known.
Heck, they’ll pull up a chair next to you at the dinner table and ask you to pass the cauliflower mash.
And when I began cleaning that house, they were EVERYWHERE.
Every time I moved something, opened a cabinet door, turned on a light…
They were there.
Just when I thought I had gotten rid of them all and relaxed…
They would come back.
Then I started getting that itchy feeling.
I could feel them on me no matter where I was, even though there was nothing there.
You know what I mean, right?
All of a sudden you start to feel the creepy crawlies? Every time the wind moves a strand of hair or your clothes brush against your skin?
I swear they were using some kind of cockroach voodoo on me to force me out of their home.
My daughter, lovely child that she is…
Would throw small bits of leaves and sticks and well, anything she could find at me when I wasn’t looking to make me think a cockroach had dropped on me from somewhere.
She’d brush up against my arm with a twig or feather to make me think they were crawling on me.
I would jump and scream.
And she laughed and laughed.
Until one day I was attempting to vacuum out the kitchen cupboards and a kamikaze cockroach came flying out of one like a damned ninja and landed on my shirt.
I lost it.
I shrieked, flung that monster off of me and sobbing, climbed up on a dresser babbling about moving back to PA where the bugs are docile and accommodating.
To Hell with Florida and it’s vile cockroaches.
I was done.
Eventually, I learned about the superheroes they call Pest Control Specialists and enlisted their help in conquering my evil invaders.
But, I’ve never lived down my breakdown.
Not that it bothers me. If you ask me, cockroaches are practically invincible and I dare any life-long Northerner to tackle them on their own with no knowledge of how to beat them.
We’re pretty resourceful, but a cockroach invasion is something that you can’t fix with Duct Tape and WD-40.
Anyway, my daughter brought these events up the other day and it got me thinking…
If negativity were a bug, it would definitely be a Florida cockroach.
Negativity is everywhere.
It seems sometimes as if you can’t escape it.
Turn on the TV, it’s there.
Turn on social media, it’s there.
Head out in public, it’s there.
We’re basically surrounded by it every day, everywhere we turn.
And it can take its toll on any sane, unsuspecting person.
And just like the cockroaches almost made me give up on moving into my new house, negativity can make you lose sight of your goals and dreams.
You’ve got to learn how to have mental pest control and keep those nagging negative thoughts and feelings away.
Otherwise, the fear of failure will defeat you and you’ll be stuck with all the same problems, irritations, thought processes, and feelings that you’ve been fighting to overcome.
It’s a simple process, but it’s not necessarily easy.
And you’ll have to work on it every day.
Take preventative measures to ensure that it doesn’t sneak back in.
Below are four ways to crush some of the negativity in your life & achieve success in anything you set out to do:
Get Rid Of Your Negative Self-Talk. I can’t remember where I saw it, but at one time I read an article on the difference between how we think and speak about ourselves and how we think and speak about other people.
Typically, we are harder on ourselves than anyone else. When we make a mistake or try something and fail, we can be especially critical of ourselves. But, what would you say to a friend or family member who is going through the same thing? Lighten up on yourself!
Change Your Influences. If you’re surrounded by negative people, it may be time to limit your exposure to them. Increase the positive influences in your life by surrounding yourself with those whom you aspire to be like.
Want to be successful in business? Align yourself with the leaders of your chosen field. Want to be successful in your home life? Align yourself with the people who have achieved what you would like to achieve for yourself.
Change Your Thoughts. Read books, watch videos, and listen to audios that help you reinvent your thought process. The more you fill your mind with positivity, the less room you’ll have for negativity and you’ll be more apt to recognize it when it rears its ugly head.
Kick Perfectionism To The Curb. One thing that can absolutely freeze your progress is thinking that everything has to be perfect. This is something that I’ve struggled with and honestly, I didn’t even know I was a perfectionist until I started reading a book by The FlyLady on housekeeping many years ago.
My life was in total chaos, especially my home until I learned to let go of my idea of ‘perfect’. Nothing is perfect, but we can do our best at whatever we put our minds to. Change your goal from ‘perfection’ to doing your absolute best.
I know that the things I’ve said above might sound like a bunch of fluff, but if you commit to getting rid of as much negativity as you can in your life, success will be much more attainable.
We can’t escape negativity entirely. Just like the dreaded cockroach, it will try to infiltrate your life through whatever cracks it can find.
It’s resourceful and persistent.
So, you have to be, too.
Use some of the ideas above to crush the negativity in your life like a bug. Then don’t let your guard down, but instead, take preventative measures to keep it away.
Till Next Time,