Sometimes it's hard not to be negative in this business, especially when you can get hit with rejections and setbacks on an almost daily basis. Keep going, wisdom says; don't give up. If you give up after 20 rejections, number 21 might have been the yes. You'll never know if you give up.
But I'm not really speaking about specific negativity here. I was thinking about negativity in a general way, and how it can affect the creative life, because of a conversation today. My parents, God love them, are negative people. They are glass half empty people. The sky is falling people. Better the devil you know kind of people. I have, unfortunatly, internalized some of this stuff. I often stick with the devil I know because I'm afraid of taking the leap and getting a worse devil.
My hubby, otoh, is about to take a big leap. It's scary, but I support him. My parents, when I told them, were beside themselves with the possible negative outcomes of this leap. It gave me a headache. It made my stomach hurt. And I started thinking about how negativity affects our lives.
You can cut negative people out of your life (unless they're your parents and you love them) and I have in the past. Just stopped hanging out with someone who was a downer. Stopped meeting her for coffee or lunch, stopped accepting invitations from her. I stay in contact with her, but I feel much better for having taken myself out of her poisonous presence. She was a sweet person, but poisonous. For every positive thing that happened, the potential negativity outweighed it tenfold in her mind. You can only take so much of that before it seeps into your skin like a miasma.
How do we see past the negativity, take the leap, and keep going? It's hard as hell. But I realized, listening to my parents talk, just how much I have that voice in my head that tries to stop me. But you know what? You gotta put that bitch in a cage and keep going. It's the only way.
I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself
Self-Pity by D.H. Lawrence. Maybe a good poem to tack up on the wall next to the computer, eh?
So how do you deal with negativity, especially the internalized variety? What do you tell the negative nellies when they start to get you down?
See, I’m a wuss. I deal with negativity the old fashioned way–I whine to my Playfriends, who then proceed to tell me how great I am.
(Except for Kira, who often forgets her line…)
Whining to friends is one thing (especially when they respond with the needed reassurance). 🙂 Constantly being a downer is quite another. You are not a downer, and my head doesn’t hurt when I spend time in your company. 🙂
LOL about Kira forgetting her line. How dare she. 😉
Hope it is a fun jump… I can see that Mike would do something– no one else would… He can be fun and scary all at the same time.
😉 Good luck.
Hey, Cyn! We do think it’s a good move, but it’s not anything too exciting. He’s still working for the man, but he’s taking a new job with less long-term certainty than the one he’s in now. But, the pay reflects the risk. My parents are play-it-safe kind of people and they don’t approve. Oh well.
I’m sorry your parents couldn’t be more supportive. I’m sure they’re just reacting out of fear that y’all will get hurt. Still, it would be nice if they had more confidence in the two of you. Hang in there and good luck with the new venture.
I struggle with the negative nellies, and have a very hard time distancing myself from friends and acquaintances that are poisonous.
Hey, Carol! Yeah, they are reacting out of fear. What he’s doing is not something they would do, so they don’t understand why he would do it. They haven’t mentioned it since this conversation, though. I guess they figure they said their bit and they’re done.
Distancing from negative people can be hard. It took me a long time to realize that I just HAD to do it for my own sanity. It’s much easier when you aren’t related. When it’s family, you just have to deal with it I think.