I met with my life and business coach a couple of weeks ago and she brought to my attention the fact that my perspective had become tinged with negativity. My initial reaction was to deny and disagree and point to exhibit A, B, and C as the real culprits for my poor attitude. But a quick reflection of the days and weeks prior to that meeting was all it took to remind me of an essential truth: My outlook is my responsibility and I had been choosing a crappy one.
“How do I keep forgetting this?” I asked myself. “And more importantly, why didn’t I see it myself?” The answer to both questions is simply that I wasn’t paying attention. We humans are a silly bunch. Most of us are fully aware of all the unhealthy habits and patterns that harm our minds and bodies, yet we repeatedly fall into the same traps. It takes so much more energy to break out of these vicious cycles than it does to exist on cruise control in the safe confines of our comfort zone.
So, in order to avoid another long-term stay in the land of negativity (or at least become more intentional in immediately recognizing when I have checked in there), I have made a list of what it looks like when my mindset takes a pessimistic turn:
- I become overly critical of myself and others
- I focus on lack
- I avoid journaling, praying, and reading anything that requires me to examine life too deeply
- I constantly feel exhausted
- I have the urge to numb out on mindless TV or mild fiction books
- I procrastinate in addressing difficult, more involved tasks, and take more time than necessary to complete simple ones
How about you? Have you ever been stuck in a rut of negativity? What does it look like for you?