Mark Richt, the head football coach of the University of Georgia, took an unusual approach with his team last year. He had all his players read The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon and had an artist draw a huge picture of an Energy Vampire on the wall of their team meeting room. When a player said or did anything which displayed a negative attitude, he put that player’s picture on the wall. No one wanted to be there. By his actions, Coach Richt was telling his players that he would not allow negativity to sabotage the team and their goals.
I think that’s a good thing to do in every area of our lives. Is a friend’s negativity sucking the creativity and positive energy out of you? I know there are times when we need sounding boards and someone to listen to a rant, but if that’s a constant aspect of the relationship, maybe it would be better to avoid the energy vampire and find a few more positive people to include in your circle.
As a writer, I have to have positive, yet honest, feedback. My betas (Gayle Mills, Wendi Sotis, and Stephanie Hamm) are honest about what isn’t working in my writing, but they also encourage me. They are honest without tearing me down. My friend, Laura Hile, is my writing cheerleader. Donna B., a friend of mine from church, always has a positive word for me. I want to be “that” person for someone else.
Who encourages you?