An interesting topic came up in one of my workshops this week and I just wanted to create a quick blog post to explore it in a little more detail and share it with you.
I get asked a lot about positivity-actually I have one ‘friend’ who simply cannot stand the fact that I am often positive and he maintains that the whole thing is a complete nonsense and that I am deluded. As I am a regular human being (which he clearly failed to observe) I am NOT positive all of the time at all.
So this week when one of my students asked me if I am positive all the time I was very quick to admit that no, I am not.
Despite what people may think, I do not advocate positivity as an avoidance strategy for dealing with all the stuff that life likes to throw at us on a regular basis. You cannot have a full life without having to deal with sadness, grief, anger, frustration and yes-negativity as well. All of these emotions are really valuable and they help us deal with life, they give us vital coping strategies and enable us to navigate our way through life’s most treacherous emotional upheavals.
We will all have to cope with challenging times and while I write a lot and teach a lot about finding ways to be positive, the work I do is so much more than that. It is about having the confidence to believe in yourself and trust that you CAN cope when things start to get difficult, rather than letting your reaction to a situation derail you.
Maintaining a balanced outlook that enables you to draw on positivity is really useful and can help enormously when the going gets tough, but you cannot IGNORE stuff that is hard. That has to be dealt with first.
Fake or false positivity is not a good thing. Genuine positivity is, but, although you may have it in spades you will still encounter difficult times when you simply CANNOT or DO NOT want to be positive and that’s fine!
Those times make you who you are and give you the resilience to get through whatever it is that is happening.
If you have coping mechanisms in your life tool kit that you can dig out and use when you need to then THAT is where positivity truly lies-it is the ability to see past obstacles, to dig deep and find some good and to know that things will eventually get better. I use positivity to help me move forward BUT I always acknowledge what is going on, accept it and THEN make plans for positive change.
So this week when I was talking to one of my students about how having an attitude of gratitude is really helpful, he told me a story about how he had been a drug addict, convicted drug dealer, sleeping rough and living a life of danger and chaos. He admitted that finding any ounce of positivity in that situation was hard but he eventually got to a point where he knew things had to change and he somehow found the energy to make that change. Now he is grateful for things that most of us take for granted-a warm bed, a safe place to live, food in the fridge. He agreed that being grateful and finding positivity has really helped him but that he did find it hard at times.
He really understands that you can’t be positive all the time and there is no point in faking it-if things aren’t going well you need to de-clutter, get some clarity and then move forward and that is how adopting a realistic but more positive outlook can really start to help you make significant and lasting changes.
So to anyone out there who thinks I occupy a world of rainbows, fairies and pink unicorns and that my life is just one long Disney film-you are so wrong!
I have created a way for anyone to make positive change and develop life strategies that can help us cope when things don’t quite go according to plan. Once you have learned the strategies you have them for life so that at least you KNOW what to do when life is throwing you a curve ball.
Find out more by checking this out-it’s FREE and I promise you-no pink unicorns or fairy dust are involved! (and it only takes ten minutes to read too!)