(This Blog originally appeared on my other website; www.secs.ie)
For a little over a year now, I have made a conscious effort to eliminate negativity from my life. It has been difficult at times but on the whole the change has been fantastic. I try to look at life situations differently, I try to find the positive in ‘bad’ things and, probably most importantly, I have given myself the power and authority to decide how I should react to whatever I encounter.
Periodically I have told people of what I was trying to do. The range of reaction has been interesting; some have looked at me disbelievingly before launching into a tirade on how I shouldn’t bury my head in the sand, or how negativity is a part of life, while others have congratulated me and asked me how I do it.
So I began to think a bit more about the concept of negativity and in particular how we all already selectively refuse to accept negativity.
Picture the scene, you are walking down your local hight street. It is a beautiful day and you are enjoying your time browsing from store to store. Life is good. You are in a good place and you are happy. Suddenly you are accosted by a group of youths who are running around noisily and are bumping into you and your fellow shoppers. They are shouting, laughing and generally being a nuisance to everyone. Do you consider this to be a scary situation? Is the group of youths having a negative effect on your previously happy day?
Maybe you actually have been through something like this. Maybe it wasn’t a group of youths, but someone who was the worse for wear from alcohol or drugs, or maybe it was a couple having a very public argument. Any one of these would have a negative effect on you and your day. So what did you do? Be honest!!
In most cases, when we are faced with situations where we feel that we are being threatened or scared we do what we can to get away from the situation. It is basically our ‘Fight or Flight’ instinct kicking in. We take ourselves away from the threat and get on with our lives. This does not alter the fact that the situation occurred, but we give ourselves the choice not to become involved in the negative events of others.
Now let’s look at home. You are relaxing and watching TV. During the program you see images that upset you. They may be of a surgical procedure, or a violent riot, or a particularly gruesome attack. What do you do (even for an instant)? Your reflex is to turn away, close your eyes or change the channel until the event is finished. In effect, you choose not to watch (or listen to) the upsetting and negative events being portrayed on screen.
How many times in your life have you found yourself in a situation you didn’t like where your remedy was to take yourself away from the issue? We have all done it.
So why do we believe that we HAVE TO take on the negativity that we see, hear and read every day in the media? How do you know that by refusing to accept negativity, I haven’t found a way through the current climate without the baggage that you have to carry from accepting negativity as a part of life?
As I have shown, negativity exists everywhere, if we let it. But we have the power to either accept it, get caught up in it and carried along in the tide, or we can swim to the shore, get out and choose not to be part of it. This power is within us all. Just imagine how much quicker the current recession would end if we all chose to focus on positive instead of negative. How much more energised would we be if we didn’t have the baggage of negative thinking weighing us down.
As a final test, ask yourself, if you think that negativity is necessary, who’s negative thoughts are you accepting as your own? Go on ask yourself that question and see what answer you come up with.
If you believe that you should accept what you read in the press or hear on the news, then you are accepting the negative (and often biased) information that another person has decided you should hear/read. So in effect, you have given them the power to tell you what you should (or shouldn’t) believe.
I make a point of listening to a news bulletin at least once per day (I have not become a recluse just because I am working to eliminate negativity from my life), but I tend to listen to the headlines only. That way my thoughts and decisions are not going to be affected by what a reporter wants me to believe. (If I need further information, I will research it myself and come to my own decisions.) Once I have an idea of what is going on in the world, I can get back to what is going on in MY world and its interaction with those around me and those I meet.
Basically, I have control of the one thing that I can control; ME.
What about YOU???