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Know a Debbie Downer? Learn to Ward Off Energy Vampires

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Some people give you energy, some people zap your energy.
Air Date: 3/4/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Cornell Thomas, Author & Motivational Speaker
Cornell-ThomasCornell Thomas is a basketball coach, trainer, life coach, motivational speaker, and author. Through his program Crossroads Basketball he has helped hundred of kids in the last nine years reach their goals. For the last four years Cornell has been inspiring and motivating people of all ages through his own motivational quotes and blog site at www.powerofpositivity.net
  • Book Title: The Power of Me
  • Guest Twitter Account: @cornellthomas
Know a Debbie Downer? Learn to Ward Off Energy Vampires
Some people give you energy, some people zap your energy. 

According to special guest, Cornell Thomas, an "energy vampire" is someone that sucks the life out of your day. A drama bomb... someone who never has anything positive to say, is always complaining, is never supportive.

The unfortunate part is that their negative energy impacts YOU. No matter how well your day is going, energy vampires can immediately change that for the worse.

What if you love someone who is an energy vampire? Be honest with him or her. A good way to approach it is by (gently) saying: "If you wake up every day in a bad, negative mood, you continue to attract that type of attitude throughout the days and weeks."

It's difficult for people to see they need to change when they're immersed in negativity day after day, but oftentimes a wake up call can be helpful.

Cornell believes that life is 90 percent of how you handle adversity and 10 percent of what simply happens to you. For example, getting a flat tire is part of that 10 percent that just happens. How you handle it, whether you sit by the side of the road kicking your car OR get out the tools to fix it, makes up the 90 percent.

How can you avoid being an energy vampire yourself?

Listen in as Cornell joins Lisa to share more about energy vampires and how to handle them, as well as his new book, The Power of Me.

RadioMD Presents: Naturally Savvy | Original Air Date: March 4, 2015
Hosts: Andrea Donsky, RHN & Lisa Davis
Guest: Cornell Thomas

Your organic search is over. Here’s Naturally Savvy with health experts Andrea Donsky and health journalist, Lisa Davis.

LISA: Hi. I’m Lisa Davis. Andrea is off today. You know, some people give you energy. Some people zap your energy. Today, we’re going to talk about how to handle energy vampires with our fabulous friend, Cornell Thomas.

He’s a basketball coach, trainer, life coach, motivational speaker and author and he joins us now.

Alright, Cornell, let’s jump in and what is an energy vampire?

CORNELL: An energy vampire. We use this term a lot in sports. It’s someone that just sucks the life out of the team, so when I go and speak I talk about energy vampires in terms of people that we have in our lives that just kind of suck the life out of our day. You know, like we all have that person who is just a drama bomb. You know, everything is going good and you’re like, wanting to talk about your new promotion and as soon as you talk to them, there’s like this big, dark cloud over therm. It’s just like, “Well, this is what happened today and this is terrible,” and “this sucks” and it just kind of takes all your energy away. So, I try to stay away from energy vampires. I don’t have too many of them in my life and I think that’s just good advice for everybody. Try to be aware because no matter how good your day is going, they can suck the life out of it.

LISA: Now, what if you love someone who’s an energy vampire and you care about them and you want to approach this with them and say, “Hey, I really care about you, but I feel like sometimes your energy brings me down,” or like what would you say? Have you had that happen or is it just these people that are on the periphery of your life, so it’s not that big of a deal?

CORNELL: Well, I have this happen pretty much every day where there’s someone that comes up to me and talks to me and they’re just super negative at first and especially if you love someone, Lisa, you should be able to have that open communication. So, if I have a friend of mine that is just super negative, I’ll just approach them and be real with them. Like, “Look. What you think, you attract. So, if every day you wake up, you’re in a miserable mood and everything’s going wrong and the sky is always falling, you’ve got to think about that. Like why is that happening every day? Because it’s what you’re thinking. You’re attracting it into your life. You’re manifesting it into your life.” And that’s the conversation I have with people and it’s hard for people to see things that are right in front of them. Things like energy, you can’t really just see it in front of you, so it’s hard for people to understand that, but that’s what I write about. I mean, that’s what I talk about. It’s just what you think, you’re going to attract it. So, if you’re negative all the time, usually, negative things happen. If you’re positive all the time, usually good things happen to you.

LISA: Now, sometimes when you’re positive, negative things can still happen, but it’s how you handle it, right?

CORNELL: Yes. Yes. Life is 90% of, you know, to me, how you handle adversity, I really do believe it. The 10% is what happens to you. Ninety percent is how you handle it. I mean, if you have a flat tire, you can do two things: you can sit on the side of the road kicking your car or you can try to fix it. It’s either…You only have two options there. There aren’t a lot of things you can do. It’s like, even though I’m a super positive person, I’m human. There’s days where I’ll wake up and things are not going the right way and that cloud is starting to form. The key is, when I see that cloud forming, I just take out my umbrella. I don’t sit there and cry about it.

LISA: Oh, I like that. Yes. You know, I injured my leg and I’ve been kind of down because I can’t be as active and, quite frankly, it really flippin’ hurts, you know?


LISA: I can’t bend my knee without pain. I can’t get comfortable sleeping without pain and I can see where if you’re dealing with like a chronic pain situation or there are certain people where, I feel badly because I can understand why they’re an energy vampire and then maybe they need to talk to someone. Do you know? Like there are certain circumstances that make it tough.


LISA: I mean, I’m hoping I’m not an energy vampire.

CORNELL: Definitely not.

LISA: But, I just feel lately like I’m not quite myself, right? Because it’s hard to deal with things that are…Or, if you constantly have things going wrong in your life all the time. Big things, like people dying or you divorce.

CORNELL: Yes, for sure.

LISA: Not like, “I stubbed my toe,” or something, right?


LISA: So, you have to have tools.


LISA: So, you yourself, Cornell, went through a pretty big change in your life where you were going to be a professional athlete and you were injured and how did you--for people who don’t know your story, tell us about that. How were you able to handle this situation?

CORNELL: Well, I was two weeks away from playing professional basketball in Europe. I was going to go to Portugal and I blew my Achilles tendon and if you want to talk about an energy vampire, for that first couple days, that would be me. I was in my room. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I didn’t want to see anybody. I was just miserable and I told myself that this is transitory. It’s eventually going to pass and it’s up to me to either work towards getting back to where I was, or I could sit there and just whine about it and be miserable. Me being miserable, sitting in my room just looking at the four walls really wasn’t doing anything, so I just turned it around. I seriously looked at people that have it worse than me. You know, we all have aches and pains, if we’re working out, we all have injuries that happen and you have to look at it…I look at it in terms of yoga. You know, I’m there shaking like leaf. My whole entire body’s hurting in a pose. My yoga teacher’s always saying, “Cornell, this will pass. You’ll go to the next position.” And, I’m like, “When is that next position going to ever come?” but you know that eventually it will and that’s the same thing in terms life. Eventually, that storm’s going to pass. You just have to fight it out until that happens.

LISA: That’s true. Well, talk to us about The Power of Me. Your first book is The Power of Positivity: Controlling Where the Ball Bounces. This is The Power of Me: Army of One. Tell us about it.

CORNELL: Well, The Power of Positivity, the first book, was my story and I wanted to tell people how I dealt with adversity. The Power of Me is really, I look at it in terms of a workbook. It’s to help you. It’s all about the reader. So, The Power of Me just talks about positive self-awareness and self-belief even when things are happening in your life that don’t make you feel very confident. And, the difference between this book and the first book, another difference is, there are worksheets in there and there are actual drills you can do to be more positive and to believe in yourself. So, that’s what people were asking me after my first book. “Well, how do you do this and what are some of the things I can do to fix my negative mindset?” Now, I have them in this book, so there’s really no excuse now.

LISA: So, give us an example. There’s no…You’re like, “No excuses!” Give us an example of one of these things in the book that we can actually do. I love that.

CORNELL: Okay, so one of the examples, one of my favorite ones is the chapter called, “I will” and in this chapter, it basically is just me saying just different positive affirmations. Like, you know, “I will accomplish what I set out to do. I will overcome adversity. I will be great.” What I have you do in this drill is every morning, I want the person to look in the mirror and say they will do something that’s on their goal list. So, say for you, it’s like, “I will be on Oprah one day.” You know? You’re going to look in the mirror. You’re going to look yourself right in the eye. It doesn’t matter if you have your make-up on or not, you’re going to say, “I will be on Oprah Winfrey.” Or, “I will have a national television show.” And, I think when you say it, it might not hit your conscious all the time, but it’s hitting your subconscious and that is so powerful and so much more powerful when it hits your subconscious because it doesn’t go anywhere. So, that’s one of the drills that’s my favorite one. I actually wrote down today--I was in the middle of shoveling and I just wrote down some more affirmations that I want to tell myself every day. And, that’s what I say in the mirror every single day I wake up.

LISA: Now, are you saying you’re going on Ellen? Is that one of them? Because that would be so awesome and you have to take me with you.

CORNELL: That’s one that’s written down. Me and Ellen have a date. She doesn’t know it yet, but I’ve already put it out there. We have a date and when me and Ellen do have this date, I’m going to come on the show and I’m going to say, “Remember when we were talking about me being on Ellen?” And you’re going to be like, “Yes, Cornell. That’s great. I was on Oprah yesterday.” So, I mean, we’re going to go back and forth for a very long time.

LISA: I think it’s so cool because having these affirmations, again, you have to believe in yourself and that’s The Power of Me.

Cornell, I just love everything that you do.

You can find out more about Cornell. Your website is PowerPositivity.net.


LISA: And, you can follow Cornell @CornellThomas and he joins us here once a month on Naturally Savvy and I’m just so grateful. I think—has it been a year? Or, I think it’s been a year and a half since we met. So, it’s been…

CORNELL: I think it’s been a year and a half.

LISA: Fabulous.

CORNELL: Our anniversary’s coming up soon. I’m pretty excited.

LISA: Oooh! Alright, we’ll have to do something special. Well, I want to thank you, Cornell.

CORNELL: Thank you.

LISA: And, thank you, everyone, for listening. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @YourRadioMD and @NaturallySavvy.

I hope you all have a great day. Write down your affirmations. Look in the mirror, make up or not and believe in yourself just like Cornell and stay well.