It sure is “funny” how things just happen to pop up at the most ironic of times. As I sit down to write about how I’ve learned to let go of negativity, my mind has actually been fraught with negative thoughts all day.
I find that it is filled with and anxiety as my monthly period approaches. If you’ve spent time studying the female cycle, you’ll know that this isn’t abnormal and usually happens in conjunction with the full moon which happens to be tomorrow. Also, tomorrow, I will have an in-person meeting with a potential dream client. As someone with social anxiety, I find meeting someone in person a major struggle. It is almost like a perfect storm of negativity is brewing. So, of course, every possible catastrophe, mistake, and worse-case-scenario has raced through my mind today.
I’m sure none of these crazy negative scenarios will play out tomorrow. But why not worry about them now? Uh, how about because I want to get rid of this nasty negativity and get myself into the proper headspace to wow and land my dream client? What is a better way to remind myself to let go of these negative thoughts than to write about it?
My close friend, the MacMillan Dictionary, says negativity is, “the attitude of someone who always sees the bad aspects of a situation.” I literally cannot think of a worse way to be. Like, really, who wants to always see the bad? I like the good. The good is what gives me life.
Negativity comes in many forms. Some people are negative about themselves. Some people are negative towards other people. And the worst of the worst people are negative about every damn thing. Seriously, being negative is exhausting!
Stop! I want you to think about this for a second. David Lynch (he’s the guy who directed and produced “Twin Peaks”) is quoted as saying, “Negativity is the enemy of creativity.” I think he knows a little something about creativity (if you’ve seen “Twin Peaks,” you know what I’m talking about). Negativity hinders creativity! Creativity fuels entrepreneurship and innovation. Negativity will hold you back from your dreams, your big dreams!
Now that we all agree that negativity sucks, it’s time to get to the part where we learn to (like Princess Elsa) let it go.
Here are three tips that have helped me to let go of negativity.
1. Stop pointing fingers and blaming others
According to health, nutrition, and natural beauty expert, David Wolfe, one of the top 12 characteristics of negative people is that they blame others for their own mistakes. Pointing fingers and blaming others is a defense mechanism.
Those who blame others are insecure about their abilities. Insecurity comes from negative opinions of yourself that you’ve internalized. Removing these internalized negative thoughts will take some mindset work. But I know you’re up for that!
You’re not perfect, no one is. Acknowledge your imperfections. Take ownership of your mistakes. Own it. If you do you, authentically, your negative thoughts will just wither away. Your positive attitude will be left to shine.
2. Stop thinking worst-case scenario
Instead, think about how great it could be! Because it could be great!
Now, I’m not saying that you should reside solely in la-la-land, thinking unicorns will come and make everything better. That is just absurd. If the worst-case scenario does creep into your thoughts, that is okay. But don’t let it engulf your being. Combat it with a plan! A good solid plan. It is of the utmost importance to be realistic and prepared.
If the absolute worst possible thing happens but you already have a contingency plan in place, was it that terrible in the first place? Was it worth all of the negativity and stress? Foreseeing a problem and planning a solution is actually what I’d call ingenuity!
3. Surround yourself with positive thinkers
Negativity is contagious!
Most people feed off of or adapt to their environment. If the environment itself is negative, your mood is likely to shift to the negative. In the same way, positivity or a positive attitude can also be contagious.
Often, we can’t choose the people who surround us. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t surround yourself with positive people, try your darndest to shift the conversation to the positive. If someone is complaining, point out a positive perk. If someone is talking nasty about someone else, avoid the gossip or change the subject. If someone is nasty to you, kill them with kindness.
But in every situation possible, choose to surround yourself with positive supportive life-giving people.
I’ll leave you with this gem handed on to us by none other than Gandhi, “l will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” It’s taken time and a conscious effort but I’m learning to be more like Gandhi. I hope you’ll join me and keep your mind clean of dirty, dirty negativity.
Written by our contributor Julie McNulty. Julie is a writer, educator, and organizer at heart, living in the Green Mountains of Vermont with her husband and two young boys. She is the owner of Writes Well With Others, offering virtual services in content strategy and marketing. Julie practices Ayurveda and yoga and is passionate about an active outdoor lifestyle. When not outside hiking, biking, skiing, or swimming with her family, you’ll find Julie cooking yummy fresh meals, reading giant books, or writing blog posts about momming-it. You can follow Julie on Facebook and Instagram. Become our contributor too! Apply here.
More from our contributors – What I Learned During 4 Months Of Celibacy.