Negativity is so…easy. It’s so easy to look at things with a critical eye- to find faults with ourselves, our friends, the general public, experiences and even things. How many times have you had a great night out- good friends, great food/new restaurant, fun time but you were able to name at least 5 things that could have been better? “That was a great meal but the server could have smiled more, the portions could have been a little bigger, the chairs could have been more comfortable, did XYZ have to laugh at every corny joke her husband told?”
Why do we do that? You can search “negativity bias” and read countless psychological studies on why the negative always overshadows the positive in human nature. I want to challenge that. My personal 2015 goal is to find something positive in every situation and (here’s the big part) to really focus on ignoring the negative aspects.
I’ve always been a “hunt the good” person, even long before Resiliency Training (shout out to all the MRTs out there!) It’s not always easy, and sometimes it can take days, months before I can see the good in a situation.
If you know me personally, you know that I’m not a ray of sunshine. I’m not trying to sound like I am. I try to be pleasant and positive- my patients have even commented on it. “You are so good at finding the good in this awful situation.”
Why? Because in my mind, good=hope. As long as I have hope, no matter how dismal things look, I can keep going. I am human- I still might have the breakdown, the cry, the overreaction, the day where I have to drag myself out of bed, but I will find the hope. Even if the hope is “it can’t get any worse than this.”
I challenge you to reflect on your negative thoughts and statements- be aware of them, rate their validity, and always try to find that silver lining, because sometimes that’s all that’s keeping someone alive today.