Now here is a true challenge, staying positive in a negative environment. Sure there are pockets of positivity but you can’t turn on the news, browse your social feed, or have a water cooler conversation without negativity layered in.
Do you feel like a positive person? Someone who sees the glass half full vs half empty? Always searching for the silver lining, turning a frown upside down? Well, congratulations! Now, more than ever, that is a rare characteristic. Because at every turn we are met with negative emotions, situations, and outcomes. Have you ever heard “If you can’t beat them, join them”? If you haven’t it feels like everyone else has.
Negativity perpetuates itself, breeds dissatisfaction and clutters the mind. And when the mind is cluttered with negativity, happiness is much harder to come by. Debbie Downer and Steve Stuck in the Mud are real and they want friends, lots of friends.
“They control how I feel in the morning, and are always there when I to sleep. They often cause me to feel out of control. They dictate how I react to the people around me. They often cause me to feel offended, angry or hurt, whether it was truly justified or not. They never cease to remind me of my shortcomings and flaws, making me feel inferior and often undervalued. They constantly try to pull me down with discouragement or hopelessness, stealing my peace and joy.”
Who are “they,” you ask? They are negative thoughts.
It’s time to give yourself an intervention and change lanes. If you see your self careening off the road at a high rate of speed, pump the breaks and make some healthy and positivity changes before you are so off course that you don’t even realize your there…NEGATIVE.
1. Spend MORE time with positive people. You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.
2. Redirect a negative conversation into a positive light. This starts with empathy, not sympathy. Empathy means you “understand” and Sympathy means you “agree”. If you can’t redirect, simply change the subject. No need to scold, just abort the conversation.
3. Lead by example: a good day starts and ends with you. It’s all YOUR perception. When you wake up what are you willing to embrace and what are you willing to let go.
4. Thoughtfully respond vs react. You can’t control the situation but you can control your reaction to it. Molehill meet Mountain.
5. Seek solutions instead of pity partygoers. Of course, situations can be disappointing but instead of focusing all your energy on what you should have done focus the majority of your efforts on what you can do next time.
6. Smile, even when it’s painful. Smile at someone so you get a smile back and if you don’t, that’s ok…they got yours!
7. When you’ve established a healthy boundary for yourself be open to listening. Be a sounding board without offering advice or a solution. Some people just need to tell someone in a safe environment.
8. Every day can’t be packed with rainbows. Real life is about highs and lows and sometimes the lows let us appreciate the highs. Take a breathe and work through it knowing it’s temporary if you make it.
9. Close the vault on things you can not change. Painful memories don’t have to live in your present. It won’t change the fact that you experienced them, that you suffered, and that you hopefully survived. Don’t let the negative points from the past steal your positive future.
10. Keep your eyes fixed on the horizon. Life is short and drama is the sludge that keeps you from moving forward. Step over and onward – no one has time for that saga.
CHALLENGE: Don’t be that guy or girl who can’t let things go. Don’t be the one who has to point out the obvious shortcomings of the everything around them even the guy standing closest. Look up not down and see the bigger picture. You are the one making a strong push forward or limiting your potential.
I know YOU can do it!