3 Ways A Toxic Environment Can Destroy Your Attitude (Environment Series Part 1)

Our environments can make or break us. They have the power to either inspire us or totally demotivate us.

We are surrounded by different environments 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is why they have tremendous impact on how we think, what we feel and how we behave or act.

When referring to environments, they include:

  • Physical — anything physical we rely on such as our home, car, office, workspace etc.
  • Relationships — people we interact or associate with daily such as family, friends, colleagues, customers, vendors, etc.
  • Body — our physical body and health.
  • Nature — the outdoors, and the seasons of life.
  • Financial — things that support our financial well-being.
  • Spiritual — our connection to a higher power or God.
  • Mindset — things that may affect our beliefs, paradigms, habits, values, passions, thoughts, feelings, etc.

how does our environments affect us

Stop for a moment and think about your environments. Would you say your environments have been designed exactly the way you want them to be?

If you’re like most of us, chances are you have some environments that are designed quite well, and you also have some environments that could be improved.

Before I learned about the different environments we are exposed to, I could only relate to the physical environment. However, there are a lot more environments to consider as they all have an impact on our attitude.

If we are not actively designing our environments, they can end up being destructive and have an impact on our outlook on life.

Here are three ways our environments can be detrimental to our attitude. Having this awareness will better position us to make the necessary adjustments we should, in order to design our environments the way we want them to be.

  1. We tend to become like the people we surround ourselves with. Ever noticed that it takes a lot more effort to whine and complain than it is to maintain a healthy, positive attitude? Jim Rohn said it best, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

    If we are around people who are constantly focusing on things that are not right or not going well, it will cause us to also start focusing on those things. Similarly, if we’re around people who are driven, positive and goals-focused, those habit will also rub off on us.

  2. Our environment will influence our actions. Consider someone who has the habit of buying unhealthy or junk food and keeping it in their home. How much easier will it be for that person to get tempted to eat unhealthily? Obviously it will be a lot easier because unhealthy food is easily accessible.

    Unless we are actively designing our environments, we can end up taking actions that are not in our best interest. Our actions will impact all our environments in some way. The challenge we face is we’re constantly surrounded by negativity. Just think of the news on television or on radio — they’re constantly focused on things that are not going well, which is why negativity can be extremely dangerous and affect our actions.

  3. Our environments reflect our attitude via our results. Have you ever taken health advice from someone that does not have healthy habits or a healthy lifestyle? Chances are you probably have not. As much as we can try and pretend things are “fine” or we have things under control, our results do not lie.

    Our results convey to the world what is going on in our mind. As James Allen beautifully shared in his book, As A Man Thinketh, “We think in secret and it comes to pass; environment is but our looking-glass.” Our results reveal what we habitually think about, what our predominant emotions are, and the actions we’ve taken or have been willing to take.

Our environments have tremendous power over us. One thing to always remember is that our environments will always win. Therefore, rather than fight against our environments, we must intentionally create or design them to support us in achieving the results we want.

If we don’t, chances are we will not create what we want and be constantly battling to have what we want in life. Designing our environments the way we want them does take time, however if we do, life gets so much easier and enjoyable.

In Part 2 of the Environment Series posts, I will share some specific questions to reflect on as you start designing your environments exactly the way you want.

Action Step: Spend some time reflecting on the different environments as listed above. Have they been designed the way you want them to be? If not, starting with your physical environment, what are some steps you can take to have it exactly the way you want it?

Question: How else do you think can our environment affect our attitude and the results we achieve in life?

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