Nix the Negativity

Pollyanna with Hayley Mills

Pollyanna with Hayley MillsIt used to be my natural tendency to look for what was wrong with every situation. I was a real hoot. I still battle this negative outlook at times.

Negativity adds complexity to life where it doesn’t need to be.  Negativity steals joy and diverts gratitude. It contaminates a healthy get-up-and-go attitude with a crippling lay-down-and-die approach to life’s challenges. When we focus on the negative, we miss…well, we miss the positive!

I said I was simple, not profound.

I am on a mission to rid myself of negativity. So far so…heading in the right direction.

One thing I have noticed in my battle against discontent is that, instead of being truly content as things are, I will sometimes use negativity to talk myself out of discontent.  Even though I am much better than I used to be, I still sometimes use negativity to make what I don’t have look bad instead of using gratitude to make what I do have look good.

Confused? Here is an example.

The old me would subconsciously formulate unwritten lists of exactly what was wrong with every place I had ever dreamed of living, just to make where I currently lived appear that much better. And if I couldn’t think of anything bad, I would come up with a whole lot of worst-case scenarios that would undoubtedly happen if we moved there.

Somewhere there is a psychotherapist just itching to get a look at my brain.

The truth is, I can find joy anywhere. Life happens anywhere.  Blessings rain down anywhere.  But sometimes in life we pass through valleys, and, in my case, those valleys are laced with discontent and negativity.  I have come a long way. I know I have, because when I hear others speaking the downer lingo, it hurts my sensibilities.  But there is plenty of room to move on up the positivity scale before falling off into the oblivion of unrealistic.

Just as with kicking discontent, nixing negativity requires more than just trying harder. It requires a change in perspective.

Whenever a negative thought races in, I chase it out with a positive one.  Gratitude, positivity, and a will-do attitude are powerful weapons, my friend.  They help put the bad situations in perspective and keep them from overcomplicating life.

Oh, psychobabble!  Perhaps, but it works.

What about those people who are downers in your life?

PollyannaWe all know people who can suck the joy out of a popsicle.  Perhaps your joy-sponge is a parent, in-law, or spouse.  You don’t exactly want to put them out on the curb with a “free to good home” sign.  So why not become accountability partners!  Ask them to join you in your pursuit of a positive attitude.  Or play Pollyanna’s Glad Game with them by finding something to be glad about in every circumstance. Counter negativity with intentional joy. (Warning: negative people detest this. I know from experience; I used to be one. So do listen respectfully and be understanding before joying them.)

Give it a try.  When the can’t-do, won’t-work, why-me whine sneaks up on you, pounce on it with a will-do, could-work, thank-God attitude.

Life is too precious of a gift to spend mired in negativity.

When you look for the bad in mankind,

expecting to find it, you surely will.

~Abraham Lincoln, as printed on the

locket of Pollyanna Whittier

Related link: Trevor Lund’s Live Above the Negativity is a 40-day challenge to eliminate negativity from your life. Well worth the five minutes a day!

3 thoughts on “Nix the Negativity”

  1. Great article about having a positive attitude. I love that you illustrated it with Pollyanna. I know it’s dorky, but as a woman of cough cough cough years old, I am still crazy about the movie and the book.

  2. Well I am 33 and I love Pollyanna! It was one of my absolute favorite movies as a child!
    Funny you should us it in a post, I’ve been looking for it for my sons to watch! (along with many other childhood favorites of mine)
    Great post (though I am a very optimistic person-I”m married to world’s worst pessimist! LOL Boy do I get on his nerves sometimes with my happy thoughts!)

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