I am a pessimist. I hate to admit it, but I am.
I try to look on the bright side of things, but it’s a struggle.
There is a battle constantly going on in my head over pretty much everything. When I look in the mirror. At my paycheck. Staring at a messy house or an unhappy child.
I see failure. But if you don’t let them overtake you, there is power in those negative thoughts. Because within the negativity is change, growth and success. It’s all in how you look at it.
Negativity can be a nice place to visit, but you don’t want to live there.
We’ve always been told things like “Look on the bright side” and “Think Positive”. Well, I don’t think my brain is wired that way. Negativity works for me. Let me explain. It’s simple.
When I’m pissed, shit gets done!
When the house is messy. When the kids are playing Jenga with the kitchen trash, just so they don’t have to be the one to take it out. When there is an empty toilet paper roll. I get mad. That usually means me turning into a raving lunatic and scaring the kids into asking me what they can do to help. Or more like, what they can do to get me to calm down.
When I can’t button my jeans or my bra is too tight. I don’t tell myself how beautiful I am, and that it’s ok to be overweight as long I love who I am. Sorry all you optimists. That’s bullshit. I’m telling myself “It’s time to get off your fat ass and stop eating crap” or even more real “Do you want to see your kids grow up? Then stop crying and do something about it!” Is it harsh? Sure! But it puts me in action.
Think about it like this. On March 24, 2018 hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied in the “March for our Lives” across the county pressing for stronger gun control after the Parkland, Florida school shooting that killed seventeen.
I’m willing to bet it wasn’t a deep-seeded love for their fellow man that led them there so much as their intense anger after hearing or, God-forbid having been involved in one of these devastating gun-related events.
That’s because Anger Gets Shit Done. We don’t act when life is all rainbows and unicorns. Why would we?
There is a book called Rethinking Positive Thinking written by Dr. Gabriele Oettingen that looks at why sometimes thinking positively doesn’t always turn dreamers into doers. Backed by over twenty years of research, it proves why sometimes those who wear rose colored glasses all the time can’t see the barriers that stand in their way of reaching their dreams, so when faced with challenges they are unprepared to deal with them, and they ultimately fail.
Like everything in life, balance is key. Not all positive, not all negative. They need to play off each other to achieve results. Keep dreaming, but allow yourself to see the barriers you’ll likely face to get there, so you can prepare plans to break through them.
It goes against conventional thinking, but it makes perfect sense if you really think about it.
So go ahead and let yourself get mad at your failed diet, messy house, crappy job. Whatever it is that is making your blood boil, and let it fuel the fire to take some positive action.
If you’re interested in reading Dr. Oettingen’s book you can grab it here through my affiliate link, meaning I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thanks for supporting my coffee habit!