Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Giving Negative Nancy the Boot
Giving Negative Nancy the Boot
What you focus on becomes your reality. Our thoughts become our lives. Furthermore, we become our thoughts. Okay, now really let this idea soak into the brain.
I’m writing about this today because on Black Friday I took part in an online treasure hunt and trivia game to win prizes from an online store (who shall remain nameless because I couldn't get a hold of them for permission to publish their name). There were not too many people playing, just enough to create a fun competition. As time went on, I won a five-dollar gift certificate and a candle. I was so excited, because one, I love winning and two it rarely happens.
Everyone was having fun and cheering each other on, yet one person decided to make a comment that the shop owner had favorites and that there was not enough notice given to her, which is why she wasn’t winning any prizes. Negative Nancy, came in full force to blame others, feel sorry for herself and play the victim and throwing around a general nastiness. When suggestions were given to her (and yes, that would be from me) that she could sign up for a newsletter to get all the latest news she complained that no one posted a link to the newsletter. She couldn’t possibly take the responsibility to look it up herself like everyone else did; rather, she believed it was other’s responsibility to hold her hand. Therefore, it wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t receive the newsletter. Ultimately, and since no one else replied to her, she gave up and discontinued playing.
The truth is that there was plenty of notice in several forms and the shop owner was playing by the rules she created. The truth is that Negative Nancy lives in a life of learned helplessness and entitlement. Her negativity has crippled her and the only way she can feel better is to spread her anger to others. Now at this point I will admit that I should not have responded to her, but being the Amazon of Truth that I like to think I am, I could not resist. My bad.
What we often forget, myself included, is that our every thought, our self-talk and what we say out loud creates our present and our future. For example, how many times have you said or heard a friend say, “Life sucks”, only to feel depressed, angry and have run after run of bad luck? How many times have you walked into work thinking, “I hate my job” or “my boss sucks”, only to continuously have bad day after bad day? Ultimately, these thoughts are blaming others for your misfortunes, when you have the ability to improve your life with your thoughts. This even extends to how we view and think about ourselves. With thoughts like, "Ugh, I hate my thighs" or, "I'm so fat" one might drown their sorrows in food, or, find it difficult to get motivated to exercise.
Often times I look at people who are positive and happy in their lives. Everything for them seems to come easily and naturally. I see that they do not blame others for their misfortunes. They talk positively and with gratitude for what they do have. They do not feel as like a victim, but rather that life is a gift and an adventure to which they look forward. Most of all, they choose to find the positive in every situation.
Now, let me say this: We cannot stop our thoughts. The subconscious is constantly going. However, it is the conscious thoughts that we can recognize and alter. That is to say, that when we start to think negatively towards life, others and ourselves, stop for a moment. Observe that thought. Why did this come forward? How do we feel when we go to that dark place? Think about what kind of tone that will set for the rest of your day and if that is what you truly desire. My best guess, is that when people judge, condemn and criticize it is because people believe it will make them feel better. However, I can promise you that the opposite is true.
The Negative Nancy Snub Challenge
Create five affirmations of what you want more of or less of in your life. Write, read and repeat them several times throughout the day every day for a week. The make note either to you yourself or written down of any changes that you experience.
For myself, “I am excited to experience the positive changes that life has in store for me”, or, “I experience a positive internship with mentors who want to help me succeed ”. Find what works for you, stick with it and let me know about the changes that you see in you life as a result. You might start feeling softer toward yourself, excited about life, or you might begin to feel more confident than before. Don’t be afraid of the changes and don’t let the Negative Nancy’s in the world rain on your parade.