Ok. I’ll admit that I haven’t stopped being negative. That’s a bit of an over exaggeration and, frankly, not very realistic.
Instead, “How I Became Less Negative” is probably a more accurate title. Despite semantics, I am less negative than I once was. So, how?
I decided to be less negative
Sounds simple, right? Sounds unrealistic too, I’m sure. I’m not saying that by deciding to be less negative I automatically was. Obviously, that ideology doesn’t fit with reality.
But I made a conscious choice to actively try to be less negative. This involved really looking at how I behave and calling myself out when I notice myself acting in a negative manner (ie. complaining, whining, looking only at the cons and ignoring the pros, acting from a black/white all or nothing point of view and generally being a Debbie Downer.)
Stop publicly complaining
There’s a difference between stating that “things are hard” or that you are struggling and putting every negative aspect of your life on display without balancing it with the positive. If you want to be less negative, you have to put less negativity out there.
When I initially decided to be less negative I looked at my facebook wall and I noticed that most of my posts were negative, complaining, poor-me-nothing-ever-goes-my-way, everything sucks updates.
I posted nearly every negative thing that happened throughout my day. While I may have felt better to vent these things at the time, later looking back it only justified and proved (my perceived belief of) how shitty my life was. So I tried to stop presenting every perceived “poor me” moment.
Look at and present both the negative and the positive
I also noticed that these negative posts were almost all I posted. From the viewpoint of someone only seeing me through my facebook, nothing positive ever happened to me.
Even if every negative post I made was 100% accurate (and not skewed or exaggerated) my omission of positive updates only fed my cycle of negativity and this was only on facebook! What level of negativity did I present in my actual physical daily life!
Sometimes it isn’t easy for us to see the positives in our life. It’s certainly a lot easier to see the negatives. But only focusing on the negative encourages more negative and presents an inaccurate viewpoint to others and ourselves.
Even the worst situations have something positive, despite how small it might be.
I don’t want to live in an all or nothing, black or white, negative mindset. Am I always positive and never negative? No. Like seemingly everything else in life, its finding a balance and I choose to try to see both the negative and the positive, with neither weighing greater.