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Harness Negativity – And Jumpstart Your Life To Move Forward

Spartathlon 2013 (beat down)

In life, we have great moments when everything works well, normal moments when we get what we put in, and times when things are just going bad. Some call it luck, some call it destiny, and some call it just LIFE. Being successful is primarily due to our commitment to move forward. If we can maximize the “easy sailing,” push through the day-to-day, and somehow survive the downward spirals, success is almost guaranteed.

Nobody gives up when things go well, however a few people start to give up when things are just normal. The vast majority, as expected, give up when things are not going well. The important message: Focus on what you do when you are down.

What kind of strategies can we use to insure our forward movement when down?

The reality is that everyone can be hopeful and motivated when things are going well. But when we are down, and things are not going well…, we are by definition feeling at an “all time low”. We are emotionally depleted, mentally beat, and might even have physical problems as well. And the only thing left is – you guessed it – negativity, which surprisingly, is a powerful source of energy.

“… the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place… and I don´t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently, if you let it. You, me or nobody, is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit… It’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward… how much you can take, and keep moving forward. That´s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you worth, go out and get what you worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying: You ain´t what you wanna be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain´t you! You´re better than that..” – Rocky Balboa

To be successful using negativity we need to create an attitude where we do not accept defeat and we do not give up. We have to refuse to accept any other outcome. All we need to do is think back: How many times have we felt that we weren’t good enough? How many times have we been told we weren’t good enough? How many times we failed and understood we were not good enough?

All those times when we felt inadequate, or we’ve been told we were bad, all those times we failed we experienced very powerful emotions which stay ingrained in our memories and come out only under certain circumstances. By allowing those emotions to surface under our control, one by one, and try to “prove them wrong” the energy brought by these emotions can feed us to move forward.

If every time we feel like quitting we have a list of all the insults, all the failures, and the feelings we experienced and we control our mind to focus on one at the time with the intent of disproving them we have something to focus on.

Imagine we were being told we were quitters and now – right now – we have the opportunity to disprove that statement. Pushing forward not only disproves the memory we have but at the same time it fortifies the present memory that we are NOT quitters. Ultimately we rewrite our own story every day – and it will either be one that empowers us or dis-empowers us. We have all the fuel we need: we’ve all been told at some point that we are weak, stupid, incompetent, etc. Turing all those emotions into energy gives us enough motivation to move forward until we reach our goals – which is a high in itself.

And this is the ultra-marathon of life – several miles of high, lows –each one posing a question: How do we keep going? As we can imagine, like with life, an athlete will have periods of high hopes, normal emotions, and very low hope. During the lows we use the memories of every failure in life and push one more step forward refusing to quit. Sometimes we even prepare the list – lay it out like race fuel –of every single failure, missed chance, hurt, insult and criticism. Drink it down – and push on. And keep smiling. Because if we don’t, we will quit and we will have to feel IT again – the sting of giving up.

It’s like pouring bleach on the stains of negativity – and when you reach your goal, cross whatever line you need to cross, you will emerge with a new you. A stronger, more positive, you.

Imagine what can you accomplish if you disprove all the negativity bestowed upon you, one item at the time? Be the athlete of your own life – one step at a time.



Photo Credit:  Alexandre Lacombrade (Spartathlon 2013)

References:  Stallone, S., (2006). Rocky Balboa [Motion Picture]

Harness Negativity – And Jumpstart Your Life To Move Forward

Andrei Nana

Andrei Nana is a licensed attorney, specializing in business law, business owner, and ultra-runner. Andrei has completed 22 races of 100+ miles or 24 hours, including the Spartathlon in 2013 and 2014 – finishing 2nd American and 27th overall in 2013. Recognizing the need for organization in international ultrarunning, Andrei founded the International 100+ UltraRunning Foundation, which focuses on developing elite international ultrarunning. Nana is also the creator of the first six day race in Florida, the Icarus Florida UltraFest. Sought out for his ability to overcome excuses and his unique approach to commitments, Andrei created Nana Endurance Training and frequently presents to organizations, businesses and works directly with individuals.

For more information about Andrei, visit: or

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APA Reference
Nana, A. (2015). Harness Negativity – And Jumpstart Your Life To Move Forward. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from


Last updated: 28 Feb 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Feb 2015
Published on All rights reserved.