As the saying goes, you're the sum total of the five closest people you hang around with.
And if you're doing something new, or being really open about what you truly want, people will have something to say about it - and usually, it'll be negative.
It's much cooler and acceptable after all (especially in stiff-upper-lip Britain), to be sarcastic, cynical and dry, than it is to be earnest, positive, and optimistic.
It's easy to take pot shots at someone who is being open about changing their life, but it's a damn sight harder to be that person who carries on anyway.
You'll never get as much bullshit advice or as many negative or sarcastic comments on your life as you will when you put your head above the parapet and state your intentions to try something new.
And when you're feeling vulnerable, for them, it's a joke; for you, it can feel like the end of the world.
So that's why you absolutely must surround yourself with people who are on the same journey, who believe that what you want is truly possible. Because it is.
It's way fucking easier to do something if you go out and find people who have done it before you.
People who are afraid of you changing, or who are uncomfortable and terrified at the idea of you succeeding at something that they've failed at, will tear you back down to their level at all costs.
They'll make a joke about your attitude or your happy approach or act concerned. They'll tell you it will never work, look doubtful, and drain your positive mood quicker than you can say "OK, you're right, I'm giving up".
When I said to people that I was setting up a business as a love coach, there was sarcasm, questions, blank looks, jokes designed to hurt, cynicism, and even some genuine anger.
I mean, hell - there was all that even the first time I pinned a positive postcard on my office noticeboard. People took the piss, because it was easier than opening their minds to the fact that being positive could be a good thing that could change lives.
And you know what? Beyond a couple of seconds' embarrassment (because I'm human, after all!), I was too bloody busy getting on with it to truly give a shit. It just made me more determined.
Same when I downloaded Tinder for the first time, and everyone told me not to bother and just delete it. They never found anyone good on there so I wouldn't either; all they'd ever received were dick pics, and oh, I'm blonde so I'll just attract players and...? And then I proved them wrong by finding a lovely man quickly. Done.
Believe you can, and leave anyone who's gonna drag you down behind. You don't need their baggage as well as your own.
If people want to sit there criticising others, then let them.
It's that saying - First, people will ask you WHY you're doing it. And then, they'll ask you HOW you did it.
And you know what? There ARE people out there who won't reply with a sarcastic comment or lame joke, or a story about their cousin's ex-girlfriend who did that and it didn't work, or reveal how scared they are about their own sad lives by criticising your desire to change yours.
Go out and find people who have done what you want to do, who have achieved what you want to achieve, who have succeeded when all felt lost.
And 95% of the time, those people are not the exception. If you surround yourself with those people, you'll gradually start to believe it yourself.
Here are my top 5 ways to change the people you hang around with, so you believe that want you want - a new relationship, business, life - actually IS POSSIBLE.
1. Find real-life friends who have what you want - such as a successful new business, or a happy relationship - and ask them how they did it, and believe them. Spend less time with people who bring you down.
2. Find online Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts, TED videos etc who are proving that what you want is possible. Reach out. Connect. Be positive, generous, and open. You'll be surprised by how willing people are to talk if they see you're genuine.
3. Read uplifting books by people who have done what you want, and make notes on how they did it. Google and Amazon recommendations are your friend!
4. Read success stories of people who did what you want to (e.g. if you're dating, on the 'Success Stories' section of Match.com - I did this when I was single!). Remember, these people aren't successful because they're superhumans who are massively different from you. Most of the time, they just believed they could do it.
5. Ignore the jokes and the naysayers and the critics. Build yourself a bulletproof self-esteem jacket and wear it like the rockstar you are. Ain't nothing sexier than just quietly getting the fuck on with it, and staying focused no matter what.
Oh, and come join my tribe - we're a load of awesome women who are sick of effing up our love lives and who want to cut through the BS and the negativity to truly get what we want.