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.
5 thoughts on “What 30 Days Of Positivity Taught Me”
I learned a lot about myself this month. One of things was that wanting to fight back when someone offends me in any way comes so naturally, whether at work with customers, on the road if someone cuts me off, etc. To be able to hold my tongue + actions and suppress anger does not come naturally in the slightest. Positivity is a choice, no doubt, and learning to practice it this month has really shown me that the lifestyle I choose has a direct impact on my joy.
“A whisper of negativity from a friend can, in one moment, cause more damage than the positive impact of the previous 100 hugs combined. ” So true. I have been on the receiving end of this and try very hard not be on the giving end. We humans are so delicate and when we give our trust to a friend we become so vulnerable. We need to be gentle with each other!
Exactly. Gentle. Why put that negativity on a so-called friend?!
I actually learned a lot about myself this past month. One of the things that stood out the most to me is how natural it is for offence to stir up anger in me. Whether it be a rude customer, being cut off in traffic or even getting in an argument with a family member. The first response in me is to lash out on whoever is getting on my nerves. Controlling it takes A LOT of will power and has really opened my eyes to a part of my heart that I need to start surrendering. It’s so easy to give in to the flesh which has really impacted me during this fast.
Isn’t it interesting how normal, everyday situations can reveal something like that? Kudos to you for noticing! You’re already winning! 🙂 Thanks for sharing Mariam!