A Lesson in Being Positive: Less Bitching, More Doing

I seem to have gotten the label of positive, which rather amuses me, because negativity is a frequent companion of mine.

But it brings something important to the forefront: being positive isn’t about never having negative thoughts.

Rather, being positive is all about how you deal with negative thoughts

Negative people give in and complain.

Positive people acknowledge what’s negative, but change what they can and learn to accept the rest.

Social media seems to have made the situation worse. Many have fallen into the idea that no filter between their brain and their social media accounts is necessary. People become complainers because suddenly they have a forum that gives them a place to vent and gain sympathy from others.

And while I’ll never deny the value of venting, sympathy doesn’t solve the underlying problem—and may actually make it worse as people reply and keep it in the front of your mind. You spread what you update. If you complain, you spread negativity.

I have plenty of complaints and wishes, but I don’t give voice to them because they’d take over my thoughts if I did. They’d have more power over my life than they deserve (which is nothing).

Bout of Books is a good example of this as people start talking about how they’re “failing.” We’re a low pressure read-a-thon (and, in fact, don’t really care how much or what people read as long as they’re reading), so the number of “failures” says more about people and the pressure they place on themselves.

But you can talk on Twitter about how much you’re failing… or you can get off Twitter and read.

I once watched people complain on Twitter about how they never had any time to comment on blogs and how badly that made them feel. They chose to bitch about it on Twitter, but they could have used the same time and energy to go through their RSS reader and comment on posts.

Being positive is all about how you deal with your so-called problems… and understanding that you’re often your own biggest problem

You can complain about the cold weather… or you can dress in layers and do everything you can to stay warm. Because you’re never going to change it. Negative people bitch. Positive people deal and move on. (And after listening to Americans bitch about the weather for the past week, I have a new appreciation for Canadians.)

I can bitch and whine about business being slow, or I can develop a plan that will help me get out in front of people and get more business. And if I choose to bitch, what kind of message does that send to my potential clients?

I can bitch or I can do. Bitching solves nothing and wastes energy—not just my own, but anyone else’s who’s exposed to my bitching.

Being positive (or negative) is deeply embedded in the language we use to talk about our world and ourselves

When you’re faced with the decision between bitch or do, get off social media and do. Complaining won’t solve your problems. And frankly, I’m tired of listening to it.

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