For many of us, our daily fight with negativity comes from a history of disappointment(s) and false promises. We have been let down, scammed, swindled, hurt, misinformed, or misled in our lifetime – or someone close to us has been.
Negative experiences tend to stick with us. And if we go through a number of them, especially in a condensed amount of time, it can affect our moods and our ability to think positively. We become more hyperaware of the bad things happening around us.
When this happens, our mind becomes more closed, we become more defensive and walls go up, even if that is not our intention. Many times we don’t even realize it. All of this leads to a negative mindset.
Case In Point
Have you ever bought a new car and then start seeing it all over the road? It’s not necessarily that “everyone else” bought the same car; you are just more aware of it.
This happens with negative experiences too. Sometimes it happens when we are just plain feeling down for one reason or another. Other times, it happens with major life changes and experiences. Example: the loss of a job. You don’t know what it is like until you have been through it and you think you are alone. But when you do lose your job, you find there is this “club” of others who have been through the same sort of loss. Some of those people have been able to make it out of the rut and others are still on the search for a job. In the latter, it can sometimes appear that the world keeps throwing us signs that it’s an uphill battle. We look around and see positive for everyone else making us feel alone and defeated. It can be a quick downward spiral – if we let it.
Don’t Allow Negativity to Multiply
You might be thinking, who welcomes negativity? It’s oftentimes unintentional. Good news travels fast, but somehow, bad news travels faster. When we are more aware of the negative, it is what our minds gravitate toward, whether it is because we are seeking someone who has it worse than us, or, we are seeking someone to relate to. Do you ever watch the news and think there is more crime, abuse, and scandal than there was 10 years ago? It might be true. It might also be that we hear about it more often (or a combination of the two). And it might also be because we have recently been through a tough situation and we are allowing ourselves to gravitate to other tough situations.
Technology is a part of our culture – television, news feeds, internet – we are constantly being fed information. Think about the Internet for a moment; it has given us the ability to look things up as soon as we wonder them. However, there is a huge chance what we find is less than accurate. A large portion of what we see, read, and hear is laden with opinion and not fact.
Technology is a wonderful thing, but it can also empower us in the wrong kinds of ways. Our mouths and our gasoline to the wrong information. It truly is hard to believe what is “real” anymore.
ISO: Positive Reinforcement through Education
So, how do you look at life and opportunity with possibility instead of an armor of negativity and doubt – even with a history of discouragement? Even when the world and your conscience both seem to be shouting at you to disbelieve?
My advice is to open your mind and feed your brain. Educate yourself. It takes a little more effort these days because we are so connected that research doesn’t seem necessary. But it is necessary. Good does exist, and your belief in it will multiply over time. Your search for the good can become viral. Be a part of the voice that spreads good news and inspiration and you will make positive butterfly effect.
There is a big difference between knowledge and wisdom.
What was good yesterday might not be good today; and on the contrary, what was bad yesterday is not necessarily bad today. And beyond the laws, who determines what is right or wrong, good or bad anyway?
Instead of believing you already know everything, be willing to do some research. Instead of thinking everything is a scam, or fearing disappointment, learn to ask questions. Consider the worst case scenario in keeping the open mind (it’s not that bad, is it?). Also, consider the source – where or who is the information coming from? Are there others involved? If so, what is their credibility and reputation? Consider finding multiple sources and continue the search for fact (and not feeling) in all scenarios.
Be the person who truly KNOWS what you are saying NO to (and knows what you are saying YES to). Doing so will help to protect you from the false promises and the future disappointments and will keep you open to opportunities.
Wisdom is a Key Component to a Happy Life
Just as not everyone has good intentions, not everyone wants to take you for a ride or recruit you into a scam. Open-minded does not mean naive. This is why educating yourself to become more wise is so important. You will find in doing this, you will not be defensive, but instead, smart and open to possibility. Fueling your brain with facts and being open-minded will provide space for the proper positive things to come your way.
History might repeat itself – but it doesn’t mean it is going to repeat on you. Remember, what happened once won’t necessarily happen again – and it likely won’t happen to you. That’s not to say you will never face disappointment in the future, but you can make a deliberate effort to fuel your brain and then find and attract the good.
“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life.” ~Sandra Carey
“Be happy. It’s one way of being wise.” ~Sidonie Gabrielle