The Bane of Negativity!

Negativity is insidious. Few people like to acknowledge having a negative attitude.  To counter such a suggestion people say, “I’m not negative, I’m being realistic!”  But being realistic is not the opposite of being positive!

This is not to say that all negative statements are out of place. There are statements which are realistic, sensible and need to be said, even if they carry a negative message.

Negativity helps no one. It destroys goals, aspirations and achievements. It creates a skewed view of oneself. It depletes self-esteem. It nullifies joyous living and reduces the quality of life. It limits possibility-thinking, keeping us trapped in our comfort zone.

Now you might be saying. “It’s alright for you, you don’t know what I have to put up with from life” Well that may not be quite true. I find looking after my wife 24/7 is no small task. It is hard to see the health of your spouse deteriorate. It would be easy to become negative about the situation.

However, I ask myself, “why be negative?” It would not help. In fact it would make matters worse, especially mentally. It would be nothing more than a pity party. How much better to look for the good, for the positive and live in hope that things will improve? Last week we celebrated 54 years of marriage – I guess that’s positive!

I believe that negativity takes away the spark of life. It sees the downside of life. It sees the faults and not the achievements.  Sadly, it can also have a detrimental effect on our health. Once it gets a grip, negativity is difficult, but not impossible, to remove.

We cannot control what negative experiences come into our lives but we can control our reaction or response to them.

Someone once said “If you think you can you are right. If you think you can’t you are also right!” If the predominant aspect of our thinking says “I can’t” then the possibility of achievement diminishes quickly.

You know the excuses, “I can’t do it,” “I think it is too much for me,”  “I am afraid I will make a mess of things.” “I am afraid of what people might think of me” and so on. Consequently ideas get deferred or written off completely.

What’s behind all this negativity?  Why do we allow our minds to run along these tracks? It is fear, plain and simple.  Fear creates negativity.  Fear of risk, fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of people. Fear that all will not work out exactly as we hope or plan.

Situations and circumstances are often unchangeable. We cannot change people. It does us no good to dwell on that which we cannot change.  We need to face it, rise above it and overcome it and not let it defeat us.  We must seek the positive in every situation.

No one tells us how to think or what to think. We are in control of our thinking and our attitude. We can blame no one else.  We can choose not to be negative.

So let’s look for the good, see the best, think the best, think optimistically and go with the flow. Let’s brighten up the day. Think positively and allow things to fall into place on their own – they usually do!

One last thought. However bad we think our circumstances are, there are always people whose situations are worse than ours – always!  Don’t you agree?