I have found in life that most people have been given too many lemons. They have grown tired of lemonade and just try to pass the sourness on to everyone around them. Human nature tends toward the negative…except for those freaks who are truly upbeat and look for the best in every person and situation. Negativity is a learned behavior based on emotion, rather than thought or logic. Fear, jealousy, anger, frustration, and doubt highlight all the little things that are wrong with our lives causing unhappiness. We then consciously, or unconsciously, try to drag others down to our miserable level.
We (I use we because saying I makes me feel vulnerable when talking about weakness) focus on small irritating things so much that they snowball and become ridiculously distracting. Then, once in a negative frame of mind it feeds itself and narrows our focus to only pessimism. Also, we are programmed to dwell on the things that are not going the way we want, or the things we do not have, as opposed to being grateful for what we do have. Often our biggest obstacle to achieving happiness and success is our own negativity. So how do we break the cycle?
First and foremost, you have to recognize that you are negative oriented. It is so common to see only people’s flaws, mistakes, and weaknesses. Instead of being grateful for all the amazing things and unique individuals in our lives, we complain about every little slight and discomfort. We need to evaluate our thoughts and words to see if they are predominantly negative and critical. Listen, really listen, to how your friends and family speak. Do they use words like can’t, won’t, or hate often? Do you?
If you have discovered, or someone let you know, that you are a negative oriented person, make the decision to improve your outlook. This will make you conscious of the things you say and think. Once you are aware of the problem, it just takes practice to turn it around. Correct your negative words and thoughts as soon as you identify them. Tell friends and family of your resolve, so they will help hold you accountable. It may also help them evaluate their own outlook.
It is very important to identify your triggers. What events, situations, or people elevate your ire? If your spouse ate the last serving of Crunch Berries does it taint the rest of your day? Simply knowing what causes you irritation or sadness makes it easier to avoid or plan for. Make a conscious effort to avoid the things that cause negative emotions and seek out the positive.
Read inspirational and motivational books and articles. Install an app on your phone that gives you an uplifting quote every day. Starting each morning with a dose of uplifting media, whatever it may be, can set the tone for the entire day. We become the things that we devote the most time to. Our personalities are not unchangeable, rather, they are fluid things that we can mold and improve.
Surround yourself with positive happy people. Their attitude will be contagious. It is hard to be miserable around a person who truly loves life. The opposite is also true; if you are often with persons who complain constantly, you will be negatively affected. Be cognizant of what you say so others won’t be affected in an adverse way. Strive to continuously be in a positive environment and around supportive people. If we can get rid of some of the negativity in our life everything will be better.
You have heard the argument that the glass is half full or half empty. It’s all a matter of perspective, the way you look at life. Train yourself to stop and look at every person or situation twice. Your initial impression may be unfavorable, based on emotion, but if you take a second look, you might be able to find some positive aspects. Eventually this exercise will become second nature and you will continually look for the good things in every individual and every setting that you come into.
Another key point on overcoming negativity is gratitude. If we are always grateful for every opportunity, we start from a position of positivity. It is easy to become complacent and forget to appreciate the things we have and the people in our lives. Change your definition of success to equal where you are in life now. This will allow you to see your life with a new clarity interpretation. Everything that comes after will be icing on the cake.
In conclusion, remember that life is short. Every day is a gift and much too valuable to waste with doubt, resentment, jealousy, and anger. Cherish the people in your life, your health, and your ability to control your attitude. We can choose how we respond to every situation. Will you sweat the small stuff until it drives away every ounce of happiness, or will you find the goodness that is always present? Change your blood type to BE positive, and help others to just be thankful they have a damn glass!
Having a piss poor attitude because your glass is half empty with too many lemons sucks, but Idaho does not!
Note: the author has been known to have a piss poor attitude every waking moment…and then some. This article is as much for his benefit as it is for yours. If you would like to see more of his self improvement project, visit the Success Immersion page on Facebook.