Tag Archives: insecurities

Negativity SUCKS!

Have you ever been around someone that never has anything positive to say?

Everyone has the right to be negative at some point in their lives.  There will be circumstances and relationships that could play a major role in affecting someone’s attitude.

The question is… when those times come in your life, would you rather swim in the murky waters of negativity or work your way to the clear waters of a positive perspective?

OH NO!  Not another POSITIVITY GURU!!!  I get it.  You do not wish to hear another person talk about how you should be positive no matter what the cost.  You are sick of having someone point out that if you “just have a positive attitude, your day will get better.”

Not to worry!

This is not a “Let’s Get Positive” speech.

What I will attempt to do here is to help us focus on our relationships, how important they are, and why it is important for each of us to be a part of someone’s life helping them to be positive.

This is a “It Takes Work and Relationship to Be Positive” exhortation.

Let’s think about a clear glass of water.  This clear glass of water is a representation of pure unadulterated positivity.  There is no negativity in a clear glass of water.

clear-glass-of-water

Over a person’s life, negative things will happen. Negative people will infect them. Negative thoughts will arise. Insecurities, imperfections, troubles outside of their control, and rejection can take their toll on someone. These negative experiences stay with us. If we are not careful, they can cloud our judgment and especially hurt our relationships with others.

Each time something negative happens in our lives, imagine the same cup of water with blue food coloring dropped into it.  The blue food coloring is a negative event, word, or thought.

Clear-glass-of-water-BLUE

Over time, many negative events begin to taint the clear water and turn it blue.

Clear-glass-of-water-More_BLUE

If we are not careful, the entire cup of clear water can turn blue.  This is when we allow negativity to take over our thought processes and it infects everything we do.

Negativity produces more negativity in relationships.  Have you ever been in a conversation where someone shares a negative story, and all of a sudden the conversation takes a giant leap into who can share the most negative information?

So how can we be a positive influence in our relationships with others to stop or even reverse the negative cycle?  There is a tendency in some where we just want to avoid any negative people, circumstances and relationships.  However, this just adds more blue food coloring to the already tainted water in someone’s life.

How do you take a negative person or relationship and turn it into a positive one?  How do you remove the blue food coloring from a cup of water?

Please forgive the water and coloring analogy, but this is where it gets interesting!

You could poor out the water, wash the cup and fill it up again.  This would be unrealistic in this case because no one can undo something negative that happens or that is said to them.

The best way to rid the cup of water of blue food coloring is to stick it under a faucet of clear water and continually fill the cup to overflowing until all the blue coloring has been washed out of it.

This is where we come in.  If we begin to pour into our relationships encouragement, love, caring, respect, dignity, a listening ear, appreciation, affirmation, gratitude and anything that lifts a person above their circumstance, eventually the negativity in their life will slowly begin to disappear.

Unfortunately you cannot stop negativity in this life. You and I CAN keep the faucet of positivity flowing so we do not allow the negativity to cripple us or those we are in relationship with.

This can be applied at work, at home, at church, with your friends, and with your family.

Recently on Facebook, there have been friends that have been challenged to share three things they are thankful for, I’m assuming in order to focus more on the positive side of life than the ever-so-prevalent negative side of life. This is a great way to begin to change the color of the water back to crystal clear fresh perspective!

The next time you have a friend or co-worker that is being overly negative, take some time and feed in some positive encouragement – not in a fake way. Instead of shying away from them, decide to be the positive flow in their life.  You may earn a deeper friendship in the process.

Take caution though! Beware that in your desire to take this on, you too can allow the negativity you are trying to overcome to overtake you. This is counter-productive.  Look for your own source where you can refresh yourself, gain a more positive perspective in your life and flush out the negativity that can cloud your thinking, your decisions and your relationships.

Try an experiment at home with a cup of clear water, any color of food-coloring, and a faucet of clear water. Start with the clear cup and drop as many droplets as you can into and allow the food-coloring to overtake the water completely changing its color. Then begin to slowly turn on the faucet and watch the color change back to clear.

Let the experiment be a reminder of how we need to keep refreshing our minds, have an outlet and develop our relationships where negativity can be flushed on a constant basis.

Take 10 minutes and watch this video by Alison Ledgerwood (Social Psychologist) called, Getting Stuck in the Negatives (and How to Get Unstuck).

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please post a comment below. If you like the article, share it with your friends.

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Inhibitions

Inhibitions – those pesky little thoughts that we allow to keep us from doing something, accomplishing something, speaking to someone, taking that risk, seizing that moment, speaking in front of a group of people, getting on that roller coaster, flying down that zip line, and the list can go on.  They are also what stop us from entering into, developing, or even taking the time to be in “relationship” with others.

Another word for inhibitions would be insecurities.  When the words, “I can’t…” or “I don’t…” or “no one will…” or “who are you to…” come into our thought streams, we have a choice to make.  Do we allow those thoughts to cripple us and keep us on the ledge overlooking relationships with others? OR Will we jump off that ledge into the waters below immersing ourselves into the messiness of relationships.

Our insecurities are the inner screams we wish no one would hear. We do not wish to confess them for fear they make us look weak. When someone discovers them, or sees them in us, we build up a fortress that looks strong on the outside. As a matter of fact, I can hear that inner voice right now saying, “No one wants you to write about this. What if someone thinks less of you or stops caring what you are writing?”

Yes, that’s right.  I have struggled with battling my inhibitions and insecurities most of my adult life.  I wish I could say I have overcome them. However, whenever I get close to a success the battle rages.  I have become more proficient at silencing these thoughts – but I remain humbled by them nonetheless.  Why would ANYONE confess this?  I must be crazy right?

Maybe.  However, one thing I have learned is that being vulnerable up front (not baring all my faults, but showing others that I am who I am, faults and all) tends to shoot down the negative thoughts flying around my thought airfield. It has taken me a long time, and I am not successful at this all the time. Yet, when I am faced with the uncertainty, anxiety and diffidence surrounding me, it has become easier to climb over those emotional obstacles when I make the decision not to listen to them.

Do I still fail? Do I still make mistakes?  YES!!! When I do, do I still battle with the afterthoughts that try to plague my next step forward? YOU BET YA!!!

The difference, you might ask? The difference is I embrace it now.  Sometimes I need a good swift kick in the aft deck by someone that loves me and reminds me that I am slipping into the lake of timidity saying, “JUST CUT IT OUT! Pick yourself up off the mat and go back swinging!”

Kobe Bryant, point guard for the LA Lakers said, “I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”

What would happen if today you decided in one of your relationships – to take a step forward and take a risk. Take the risk that says, “I don’t want to pretend to be something in order to impress someone. I will be myself even if that means I show I have faults.” Find a safe environment, some people you can trust. Open up about your inhibitions/insecurities and what you feel is holding you back. Allow them to speak into your life and call you out when you allow those pesky thoughts to hold you back.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Please post a comment. Share this blog with someone and invite them to the conversation.  What holds you back? What helps you prevail over those negative thoughts?