Accepting Your Negativity so You Can Be Happier

accepting your negativity isn't easy

 

Most of us want to be our best selves and if you’re reading this then you probably fall into that category. Welcome! I know how useful accepting my negativity has been for my own personal growth and I want to share that with all of you.

It’s currently pouring outside in Chicagoland and it feels like the perfect time to hunker down to write a few articles with a glass of ice cold kombucha. I’m about to start the Tone It Up bikini series so I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to what I want my intentions to be over the next 8 weeks. The series isn’t just about making your body fitter and healthier. It’s about making your mind healthier too so it fits right into what Buddha Belly stands for. Plus, it has a great community of women.

I digress because this post isn’t about TIU and the fact that they’re awesome. It’s about learning to be your most kickass self by accepting your negativity. You can be a kind, intelligent, boss babe and still think negative thoughts sometimes. By accepting your negativity you are embracing everything that makes you human. Trying to squash your negativity down each time it bubbles to the surface will only create frustration and resentment. You want to really learn to love yourself and send good vibes into the world? Learn to accept the good and not so good parts of you. A part of that is accepting your negativity.

Keep reading to see why I think accepting your negativity is so important.



 

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accepting your negativity

 

I’ve read self-help book after self-help book from “The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith” (love this!) to “Daring Greatly” (also fab) by Brene Brown. I’ve read communication books from “Crucial Conversations” by Kerry Patterson to “How to Talk to Anyone” by Leil Lowndes. I’ve journaled, meditated, practiced mindfulness, exercised regularly, tried every wellness trend under the sun and so much more. I have been around the self-improvement block a time or two.

I think somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept thinking I’d eventually reach true enlightenment (or be woke as the kids say) and be in this blissful place where I wouldn’t dream a negative thought or ever find myself in a bad mood. All my self-help, spiritual and communication gurus seemed to have it all figured out and when I never reached this enlightenment, despite all my efforts, I kept pushing harder.

Each time a pessimistic thought popped into my head like “I’m never going to get better”, “how does she stay thin so easily?”, or “I could do that better” I would beat myself up.

Are those thoughts good? Heck to the no, BUT they are human.

No matter how much meditation you do, positive self-talk or yoga you are never going to be a perfectly kind and considerate human being. We are flawed. We mess up. We are hot messes. There’s a reason the quote “to err is to be human” is cliche…it’s so darn true!

I was out on a mindfulness walk the other day and a car didn’t stop at a stop sign and nearly ran me over. I was fearful after almost being roadkill and I threw up the middle finger at them as they sped off probably not even realizing they just ran a stop sign. After 5 minutes when my heart rate started going back to normal the negative self-talk kicked in.

“What the hell? Why did you react so poorly? Put kindness out into the world. You should never flip someone off. That’s not the kind of person you want to be.”

And so on and so on…

It was about 10 minutes after that as I was playing back everything in my head that I realized being a perfectionist was not what all the work I had put into myself was about. Part of loving yourself is accepting your humanness and I had missed the mark on that one.

Somewhere deep down I had a fear that if I ever did anything wrong the cosmic universe was going to smite my ass and that’s just not how it works. When I got sick I started thinking that maybe I did something to deserve it. When you get a chronic or life-threatening illness your mind goes to some nutter butter places. Nothing is going to give you bad juju just because you think an unkind thought. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to be the best you can be, but it does mean that just because you screwed up doesn’t make you a screw up.

 

“There is no way to genuinely, powerfully, truly love yourself while crafting a mask of perfection.” -Vironika Tugaleva

 

accepting your negativity is hard

 

Your thoughts are powerful and so are the vibes you put out into the world, but a middle finger here or a lie there does NOT make you a bad person. It makes you human. If you mess up then apologize to those you need to mend fences with if anyone else was involved and forgive yourself. A mistake does not wipe away all the good you’ve done.

I meditate, read, journal, etc. so that I can grow emotionally and spiritually, but I will never be perfect. Some days I’m just going to be a hot mess, especially when my period comes. Most of you ladies know what I’m talking about. Near my period, it’s just me and some Halo Top ice cream ugly crying at funny animal videos while incoherently sobbing “how…how…how are they so CUUUUUTE. We don’t deserve them.” I legit think my BF thinks I’m nuts sometimes, but…hormones. Shrug.

Those spiritual and self-help gurus that we look up to HAVE these moments, but most of them just don’t publicize it. People are much more likely to heart an insta photo of a smiling girl under a palm tree looking carefree than a chick in bed with a messy bun ugly crying with ice cream dripping down her chin. Sidenote to self: Take ugly crying photo for insta because I can.

I love social media, but it really has done nothing but makes perfectionism worse and made accepting your negativity so much harder. 99% of the posts we see on Instagram are polished and poised to perfection. These are the posters’ happiest moments (or seemingly) used to get your attention and when you only ever see those it’s easy to think that person has the peachiest of lives. You don’t know that the yogi who can contort her body in amazing shapes has negative thoughts about her body or that the bikini model got in a fight with her boyfriend that morning because his beard shavings where all over the bathroom counter. You probably don’t know that I hate the gap in my teeth and even though I’m wearing a retainer to take care of it again I still think it’s all people notice when I’m feeling self-conscious.

If you are working on yourself remember to work on accepting your negativity too. Try and be the best person you can be, but if you find yourself having one of those bitchy moments or snapping at someone it doesn’t mean all your work was for nothing.  It simply means you are human just like everyone else. I’m pretty sure even monks wake up on the wrong side of the bed somedays.

Take a deep breath, smile, and just love exactly who you are at this moment. You’ve worked hard to get here.

 



 

I want to know!

  1. How has perfectionism caused you to stop growing?
  2. What is a moment you aren’t proud of but learned a lesson from?
  3. What is one of the flaws that make you human that you’ve embraced?

 

 

 

 

how accepting your negativity can make you happier

 

 

41 Comments

  1. Ruthy
    May 3, 2018 / 9:59 am

    Such a great post. It can be easy to think everyone else has it good but you, but that’s not always the case!!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 5, 2018 / 1:03 am

      Ruthy,

      Yeah, a perspective shift can be really helpful.

  2. Dana Vento
    May 4, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    Definitely needed this today!!! Thank you for posting and allowing us to start our day right. It shows how we are being formed in our daily living.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 5, 2018 / 1:04 am

      Aw, you’re a sweetheart, Dana. I’m glad it was helpful.

  3. May 4, 2018 / 1:29 pm

    I agree that what we see from IG are only part of our lives and has been polished, it sometimes give people the wrong perception of how we live. That is just the 1% of our daily life. The other 99% we are just wearing our PJ and messy bun at home doing lots of housework and run errand.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 5, 2018 / 1:05 am

      Yes, I love the messy bun life!

  4. May 4, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    I totally agree with you on this post. I am glad you wrote it and I think it’s a good reminder. I am currently working on myself, spending a lot of time with myself to become a better me. I hope others will see this post and remember that we are all human and we should just enjoy the moment we are in now.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 5, 2018 / 1:07 am

      Hi Sue,

      Thank you! I felt a lot more chill once I realized how much I was striving towards perfection instead of just happiness and contentedness.

  5. Esme Sy
    May 4, 2018 / 3:56 pm

    I agree. There’s nothing wrong about accepting the fact that you may have some bad thoughts about something. What really matters is how it translates into actions and words. Though there are some that are quick to exaggerating that part of their lives and start to spin the table for everyone sitting at the table.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 5, 2018 / 1:08 am

      Hi Esme,

      I totally agree. There’s a huge difference between having negative thoughts here and there vs acting them out. There’s even a huge difference between having negative thoughts and being a negative person.

  6. May 4, 2018 / 6:52 pm

    You are so right so many times! This is basically how I treat depression (I don’t have it but I take care of myself with mindfulness) If I have a down day I accept it, Its ok to feel that way sometimes, stuff happens. But then its realising when enough is enough and picking yourself up. Esme worded it quite perfectly.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 5, 2018 / 1:11 am

      Hi Ithfifi,

      I love this! Accepting bad days is really important, especially for those who have depressive episodes. Knowing that this feeling won’t be forever can help a lot when you’re lost in the middle of a depressive time. I’m glad it helps those who don’t have depression handle a bad day too.

  7. May 5, 2018 / 7:36 am

    Yes. Yes. YES! I love how you said “Part of loving yourself is accepting your humanness”. It’s so true, we strive to be always optimistic and suppressing our innate “human” reactions and tendencies – which is silly. At some point, it will just build and come out anyway. I agree – just be real, be human, and stop striving for perfectionism. I truly believe perfectionism stifles individuals – but also affects relationships. I hope we evolve into a world where we all embrace the imperfect and just accept we’re all flawed. Awesome post 🙂

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 12:57 am

      Hi Deb,

      You nailed it! Thanks so much for sharing and I’m glad you liked it. I completely agree with everything you’re saying. It can be so hard to break out of that mindset, but once you do you feel so much more free.

  8. Elizabeth O
    May 5, 2018 / 3:01 pm

    This is a really thought-provoking post indeed. I think everyone has negative thoughts but it’s how we process those thoughts that make us happy or unhappy. I have been really working on this kind of thing lately myself.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 12:58 am

      Hi Elizabeth,

      Thank you. Yes, I found that trying to pretend you don’t have them or that you’re failing because you have them just sets you up for so much failure.

  9. May 5, 2018 / 5:45 pm

    Your article makes me think a lot. In fact I think I’m a good 10 years older than you (maybe more) and I’ve never needed to “accept” my negativity, in the sense that I’ve never been pushed so hard into being positive all the time, smiling all the time, happy all the time and avoid everything negative as the present young generation is being pushed, by media, social media. I think that is a dangerous thing. I embrace my being with its negative and positive sides. There are good days, there are bad days. When things go bad for me, when I’m told I’m ill and I need to be in hospital, far from my children and there is no family who can help and husband needs to go out and work, it is normal to be worried, I have to leave my young children with an unknown person. Negative things happen to people all the time, ALL THE TIME. And it is normal to be sad if you lose someone you love, it is normal to feel down if life is being hard on you. Because if you are not, how are you going to enjoy and appreciate the good moments? Well, in summary. Life is not simple, we are able to react to things that happen to us with different emotions and all emotions are good and necessary. Maybe precisely the fact of calling “negative” to a normal human emotion, lead us to this huge confusion. Let’s be what we are. Let’s handle life as we can. If we force to be happy in a moment we should be sad or worried, those emotions will explode later somehow, or inside us. At least, that’s how I see things.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 8, 2018 / 12:59 am

      That’s such a great way to look at it and I’m really glad you’ve been able to avoid the perfectionism trap.

      I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂

  10. May 6, 2018 / 6:23 pm

    Cool post – and I think in many cases it’s good to give someone feedback when they do something “wrong.” In other words, the driver who almost ran you over needs feedback to know that they’re not behaving well.

    How has perfectionism caused you to stop growing?
    I’ve finally started learning how to sing, after many years of just saying that I would never be a good enough singer to make it worth even trying/practicing.

    What is a moment you aren’t proud of but learned a lesson from?
    Plenty of those. I guess I try to learn for next time. But also I noticed that some things are really easy for me, while some things (like singing haha) aren’t so easy. In other words, sometimes I just need to be patient with my self. “Baby Steps”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl6s6DGapug).

    What is one of the flaws that make you human that you’ve embraced?
    That I’m pretty absent-minded, I might as well laugh.

    Best wishes!

  11. May 7, 2018 / 2:01 pm

    I completely agree with you on this post … Also I recently read something which I found helpful – “acknowledge the emotion you are feeling without drowning in it – approach your feeling with curiosity.” I like that thought. Instead of saying I will never be able to do it – thing – “why do I think, I will never be able to do it.” – I think that is both helpful and productive. Good luck with your challenge.

    ❥ tanvii.com

  12. May 10, 2018 / 10:05 am

    I have a few friends who are really “negative” which is unhealthy in the long run, so these are great advice for them, instead of trying to get them to “stop being negative”, get them to accept it and counter it. My gf does that and she’s way happier now~

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      Hi!

      I’m so glad it’s been so beneficial for others!

  13. May 10, 2018 / 3:19 pm

    This post is just spot on, everyone has a little negative experience every once in a while embracing it makes it a lot easier to deal with. It’s also essential to remember that no one is perfect irrespective of how hard e try we all have shortcomings .

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:42 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  14. May 10, 2018 / 4:18 pm

    Honestly, I haven’t truly accepted my own negativity and a little external stimulant can easily upset my day.
    Instagram makes it worse because I feel more inferior when others are having a great life.

    Although, I like the fact you make a note to yourself that you would want to post an ” ugly crying photo for insta because” you can. but it did not end well when I tried posting such photos before. The curate perfectionism could care less about my being as a whole but shameless, not-my-concern attitude that comes with criticism and demoralisation behind an anonymous identity.

    Now, I heard go through other people’s feed. I feel much better.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Hi Priscilla,

      I’m sorry it didn’t go well for you. I think it’s really about building the right tribe around you who will support you during your crying moments and your happy ones.

      When I had my hip surgery it truly showed me who had my back and who didn’t. Although that was a hard pill to swallow it was beneficial in the end and has led to me having a much tighter support network that I know I can depend on.

  15. Nailil
    May 11, 2018 / 2:35 am

    This is an interesting way to look at things. Accepting things for what they are can really be liberating and make us happy!

    Nailil
    http://thirtyminusone.com

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      Hi Nailil,

      I totally agree!

  16. May 15, 2018 / 3:20 am

    I totally agree with you on this post. Well written too thanks for sharing.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:45 pm

      Aw, thank you so much.

  17. May 15, 2018 / 3:28 am

    Love this! Honestly, I find I am a very negative person towards myself more so than I should be. I let constant thought that I am not perfect interfere with my mood/behavior and ultimately, produces more fear.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      Hi Natalie,

      I totally feel that. It’s important to honor those negative feelings, but also to try and understand the difference between negative thinking and the truth. It definitely takes a lifetime of practice!

  18. May 15, 2018 / 8:57 am

    I love the way you look at things! Its like negative thought popping in my brain are just one more thing to beat myself about. Hell no to that. Love it. Thanks <3

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:50 pm

      Hi Aldina,

      Haha, yes! No need to add to that list.

  19. Phill Slater
    May 15, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    Understanding that a ‘bad day’ is just a ‘bad day’ and doesn’t define you is a real step forward.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:49 pm

      Heck yes! Loving yourself through the good and bad is a hard thing to do 🙂

  20. May 15, 2018 / 5:57 pm

    So true about giving our highlight real on social media! It is so difficult to not compare but that is where we need to catch ourselves!

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 18, 2018 / 1:47 pm

      Yes! I’m so guilty of that right now because I’m used to being in way better shape and I’ll find myself beating up after seeing girls on insta. Then I just remind myself of how badass my body is and how much I’ve been through.

    • awaitressnomore
      Author
      May 19, 2018 / 3:50 pm

      So glad it was helpful!

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