22 April 2019
Are you a positive or a negative person?
It’s an interesting question and one that the answer to which has the power to completely transform your life.
I recently watched a video of a Joe Rogan podcast that reflected my thoughts on this. He was talking with US actor Kevin Hart. Kevin highlighted that it’s cool to be negative, to disagree with popular consensus.
He was saying that the cool thing is to be different – people like to be negative to be different. Often, then someone else jumps on the bandwagon, and more people want to hop on the negative train. It’s simply not cool to be positive or happy.
In school it is usually the low-energy kids, who don’t care about school, who are the ‘cool kids’ and the positive, eager learners who are ‘the nerds’. The internet seems to have amplified this by a million!
Now, throughout all areas of the online community, there seems to be an undercurrent – from comments to mainstream media outlets – of finding the negative in everything! This behaviour is inherently bad for everyone.
Fascinatingly, the podcast host, Joe, says that this is likely symptomatic of that fact that they are unhappy in their lives. He says: “Do you think Michael Jordan leaves YouTube comments?” No because that’s not the behaviour of “winners”.
Flip the habit
Do you ever feel good when you’re complaining about something? Frowning, sighing and hunching your shoulders. Compare that to when you really love something; you’re full of energy, smiling and it feels good. So why do we fall back into those habits of promoting negativity when it makes us feel bad?
When you feel down, tired or frustrated, constantly reminding yourself that you’re feeling bad reinforces that feeling. It compounds it and you feel worse. So when someone asks how you’re feeling and you respond saying that you’re tired, you’re compounding your feeling of tiredness, reminding yourself that that’s how you feel.
However, if you flip your mindset and your behaviour with it, your mood quickly changes. Try it the next time that you’re feeling low energy. When someone asks how you are, tell that that you’re fantastic, you feel amazing! Just saying the words is often enough to make you feel a little better. Language is incredibly powerful. Using negative words, easily starts a negative spiral in your behaviour.
This may sounds incredibly simple, that’s because it is! I speak from experience. When someone asks how I am or how my day is going, you will never hear me respond negatively or even neutrally, that’s how seriously I take this.
Making that simple switch leads into positivity into the rest of your life – it’s the reverse of a negative spiral! When you build momentum in the right direction, suddenly it becomes a force to be reckoned with, a spinning flywheel. Soon it’s habit to react positively, and the negative mindset becomes something alien.
A different way
Imagine if you could approach your day happily. If you flipped Monday morning so that instead of dreading the working day, you were excited to see what you could achieve that day. Or instead of dreading working out, you looked forward to the challenge of it. Rather contemplating the discomfort, imagine how proud and satisfied you will feel when you complete your session. It’s far more motivating.
This mindset switch may be a simple step but it’s not easy. It takes practice, especially when people around you are innately negative – many of us are! We can all get frustrated and everyone like a good moan once in a while, to offload, but maybe you don’t need to.
Try it this week. After the Bank Holiday weekend, back in the office on Tuesday. When the inevitable question is asked: ‘How was your weekend?’ Respond not with ‘still too short’ or “not bad” that classic British phrase, but with something positive, ‘it was wonderful, thanks.’
Let me know how this simple step changes your week.
Ultimately, if it is cool to be different, it’s too easy to be negative and surely, the different thing to do now is be positive!