Recently I participated in a 30-day Negativity Fast. Essentially, for 30 days, those of us participating, intentionally focused on removing negative words from our daily lingo (i.e. self-doubt, highlighting the worst in a nasty situation, pointing out flaws – in ourselves and others, etc.)
Armed with our hashtag (#speaklife), positive inspiration delivered to us daily via our app, and our #speaklife tee shirts, we dove into the challenge head first!
Let me explain something. This concept is not new for me. A number of years ago, after identifying that my miserable life was largely a result of my miserable (read: negative, selfish, entitled and perfectionistic) mindset, I awoke to the fact that focusing on the negative in life was ruining me. To dig deep and produce lasting change, I went on what resulted in a two-year journey. I focused on learning to be thankful and find gratitude in the simple, daily things of life, instead of only seeing the lack all around me. (Thanks to Ann Voskamp #1000gifts)
That changed my life.
And also, developing frown lines from being miserable sucks.
Fast forward past my collection of 1000 gifts, a handful of fundamental mindset shifts, a number of years of living it out IRL and two Negativity Fasts later. Here’s what I discovered.
- Focusing on the negative is easy
Anyone can see the lack, hurt, offence, and any number of extremely negative things both in their world, and the world around us. That’s easy.
Seeing beyond what we see to something that lies ahead is beautiful.
- Finding beauty in the mess is empowering
When all hell seems to be breaking loose around me, identifying the bits of beauty where they can be seen, screams in the face of affliction that I am not a victim of life’s circumstances. I can choose – as difficult as it can be – to focus on the good. And that mindset shift is empowering.
- Being positive is a choice
I don’t need to like, agree with, or feel warm fuzzys about things beyond my control. But I can choose to be positive anyways.
My trust in Someone greater than myself is evident when I choose life in the midst of dark situations.
- Negative friendships kill
…and so much more. A whisper of negativity from a friend can, in one moment, cause more damage than the positive impact of the previous 100 hugs combined. In life’s darkest hours, it’s been the life-giving words of faithful friends that have preserved me, restored peace, and kept me on track.
These are the highlights from this most recent Negativity Fast. I know I’m not alone in this journey, and I know that many others have learned a lot along the way. I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered. Please comment below and lets walk this out together.
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