Quit Complaining March 24, 2015 – Posted in: Confidence, Personal Development, Relationships – Tags: advice, family, gratitude, Life Coach, Life Coaching, Personal Development, Positive psychology, positivity, relationships
It’s so easy to look around and see what’s wrong with the world, your life, your day, the weather, that person, etc. Negativity abounds in our culture – the news is teeming with stories of ‘bad things’ happening in a ‘bad world’, we connect with strangers by complaining about the rain and we’re encouraged on TV to revel in our misery by making financial claims for things that have gone wrong.
Why do we glory so much in negativity?
I think it’s because many of us learnt to be negative as children – it was the cultural language of bonding: ‘Play the victim and we’ll get behind you and agree with you that life is tough and people are bad,’ said our neighbours and our peers and so we did – we complained in order to belong to a group of complainers. And, we became practised not only at labelling negative things in our lives but also expecting negative things to happen.
And here’s the rub – if you look for negativity IT WILL FIND YOU! But, negativity sabotages and destroys your life. Negative energy has a powerful life of it’s own, which, if invited into your life will bring you down.
So what’s the solution?
In my experience, the way to overcome any defective thinking or behaviour is to practice the opposite thought or behaviour. So, in this instance it means practising positivity. Here’s an example: last week I was let down by someone quite unexpectedly and, for a moment, I felt quite bruised and upset. BUT (and here’s where months and months of practising what I preach come in) I was quickly able to stop and ask myself what the lesson was for me in this situation.
Had I expected too much from my friend? Did they really intend to hurt me or were they just dealing with their own stuff? Was this a negative event or just a bump in the road? By choosing to believe the latter answers to all those questions, I was quickly able to stop the slide into negativity, take the lesson and wish my friend all the best. Within hours I felt peaceful about the situation.
And so, this is why I practice positivity (note: NOT idealism) in my life, because positive energy also has a life of it’s own. One that encourages growth and peace and goodness – I know which I’d rather have. Oh, and when it rains, try being grateful that we all have enough to drink as a result!
This article first appeared in The Bath Magazine for which I write the monthly Life Column.