I often receive the comment, “WOW! You are such a positive person! I don’t know how you do it!”
Well, I believe positivity is a decision.
It is your decision to be who you want to be.
Bad moments and situations happen! Honestly, there is nothing you can do about it. What you can do is control your attitude towards that situation.
Have you ever found yourself dwelling on an insult or fixating on your mistakes?
Criticisms often have a greater impact than compliments, and bad news frequently draws more attention than good.
The reason for this is that negative events have a greater impact on our brains than positive ones. Psychologists refer to this as the negative bias (also called the negativity bias), and it can have a powerful effect on your behavior, your decisions, and even your relationships.
The other day I was leading an event at work and at the end, we asked for feedback. The event had about 200 people attending, and we got half of the people to give feedback. The results were outstanding. On a scale from 1-5, all were 4s and 5s. The comments were super positive, and the suggestions were very constructive.
We had one person with a negative response. They said the event was not good, and didn’t bring anything new. They gave us a rating of 1 (poor).
Now, can you guess, during our event planning team meeting to discuss the outcome of the event and analyzing the feedback, which notes we spent almost all of our time discussing?
The 99 positive comments or the ONE negative comment?
YES!! Believe it or not! We spent most of our time discussing the ONE negative comment!
This is human nature to pay more attention to the negative things than the positive. It goes back to our ancestors, where it was necessary to be alert to stay safe. Be alert so you’re ready to run away from the lion that might be hiding in the bushes!
Nowadays, we live in a much safer environment. We live in houses instead of caves, we go to the grocery stores to buy our food instead of going hunting. But the condition to protect ourselves is still there.
So don’t worry if you feel you are not positive enough and you feel overwhelmed with some negative thoughts. It’s in your DNA.
Let me share another example. We have the routine of reading a bedtime story to our 3-year-old daughter. Recently, we bought a collection of Paw Patrol books (a Nickelodeon cartoon). Each pup has several adventures, but there is ONE story my daughter wants us to read. When Chase (one of the pup characters), had a fever and a cough, he couldn’t go on a mission. All the friends are there to help him and to cover him on the mission. In the end, everything is okay, and the moral of the story is the power of having friends. But the fact that Chase gets sick, and there are a couple of illustrations of him with a sad face, those are the pages she is most interested in. All of her questions are about the sick pup, even after we move on from that part of the story!
Even as a toddler, she chooses to focus on the negative bits of the story, despite all of the happy stories and adventures. It’s how our brains are wired, even at such a young age.
The evolutionary perspective suggests that this tendency to dwell on the negative more than the positive is simply one way the brain tries to keep us safe.
So, it is time to make a decision about embracing positivity in life!
There are plenty of studies in psychology that support the fact that positivity is very important to our well-being in all aspects. Decision-making, taking risks, increasing motivation, physical health, relationships, resilience, creativity, to name a few.
The good news is positivity can be taught, but it takes practice.
There are some people who are naturally more positive-minded than others, but there is the possibility to build the skill.
That’s why POSITIVITY IS A DECISION.
That’s why POSITIVITY CAN BE HARD WORK.
Positivity is worth it because you will be in a mindset where you are ready to make a change. You increase the likelihood of feeling hopeful and trustful, building the power to take action to drive change.
And this is the most powerful thing in life.
Are you ready to become a positive person? Check out this blog post to see how you can create a positive attitude!
Everyone has their own reason to become a more positive person. Comment to share why you want to become a positive person!