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?