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What To Do When You’re Failing & Feel That Negativity
3 Ways To Stop Negativity In Its Tracks
1. Write down a positive thought for every negative one (even if it’s really hard)
I challenge you to turn every negative thought that you have around in your head, as soon as you have it.
Actually, I’ve been doing this myself for the last couple of months. I recognize a negative thought once I’ve had it, and mentally take the time to rearrange that thought into something positive or at least neutral.
Here’s a simple negativity example:
I noticed a lot of negativity passing through me every time I pass a certain elderly person in the park while walking my dog. This person was unfair, rude and inappropriately angry at me and my dog last May. My dog was injured (couldn’t walk), and I was carrying her to do her business; she weighs 33kg!
Instead of helping me lift my dog, he and his friend stared as I used the doggy bags, and left them under a bench. I fully intended to come back and put the bags in the bin once I had taken my dog upstairs
I simply couldn’t carry the dog bags and a 33kg dog and didn’t want to leave her in the middle of the path without a leash.
Then, the negativity came out:
I had barely made it halfway across the crossing to my building when the old man, hobbling on his cane started screaming at me in front of many neighbours. He accused me of not picking up after my dog, refusing to let me explain. Soon, five or six other neighbours who had not even been there joined in, admonishing me. I was enraged that they wouldn’t listen to me say I had used dog bags, and was coming back down to pick them up in a minute.
When I did come back – the old man and his friend still wouldn’t give it a rest. They actually came to tell me off again, telling me I’d never have come back down if it weren’t for them yelling at me.
Walking by that man nearly every day makes me furious, even six months later.
The past few weeks I have been trying to turn that thought into a positive one: I’m so happy and grateful that I spend my days working and with friends, not grumpy and sitting alone all day on a bench. I repeat this over and over and until my dog and I’ve walked right past him.
2. Ask for Help! (& Share Your Story)
It is okay to fail.
It is okay to fail. Strangely, I don’t think we’re told that enough (so I’ve repeated it). It’s also okay to need help to succeed.
Whether they are failures, successes, or stories that enrage you (like the one in point #1), tell them. It helps so much to vent to friends, a journal, or even a community of blog readers 😉
3. Set Your Priorities (& Be Okay)
So, I’m all for setting priorities and making goals at least twice a year. The hard part, though, is the “be okay” part. Choose your priorities and be okay with them shifting.
Clearly, these past weeks my priorities have shifted from working on my blog to teaching and my PhD. I calmly try to recognize that the balance will shift back soon. Breathe.
Embrace Those Failures
One sure-fire way to combat negativity is to embrace the failures you make. As I mentioned above, I don’t think we’re told to take risks and to fail enough. Even though I’m pretty sure of my long-term career and business plans now, it took me a LOT of failing to get here.
Even now, just this week, I feel that I’ve been failing my blog by not focusing my efforts on it. Failing to meet the metrics.
You know what though? It’s a learning opportunity, and that’s what we need to keep in mind.
Have you seen the viral video by Spanx founder Sara Blakely about the question she was asked every week at the dinner table as a kid? If you haven’t, take a look at it below:
Sara was told to fail. To take risks, to try something new. Failure was not associated with negativity, but rather with a positive learning opportunity.
What have you failed at lately? What are you going to do to embrace the failure and get rid of negativity? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂
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