how to deal with negativity

it happens, doesn’t it? 

things are swimming along, you are doing the work, you are doing ok. then bam! a negative comment shows up in your inbox or newsfeed or even in a face to face interaction.

a common one for me is the no capitals thing. here is a recent email i received:

“Just FYI, if you want to build a little biz, you might want to start using proper capitalization. While trendy, it doesn't sit well with the real business crowd. Best of luck to you.” 

here is a message that was actually about me but sent to me by mistake (ooops!)

“This lady annoys me with the no capitals etc... I do it sometimes to you and in texts... but in business ? Far out ...why am I bothering…?”

(by the way, these comments do not bother me in the least. but if i wasn’t so certain that i could just be me, no caps and all, these comments could leave me reeling: “oh no i’m not in with the real biz crowd. oh no i am annoying and people don’t like me!”)

this could easily be any comment – i know we’ve all experienced them.

a complaint about your pricing, a criticism of your customer service, an offside comment about a product, a snide remark from your mother in law about how you sit around on facebook all day … they all feel like some reflection on who you are and the way you do biz and how you live your life.

and when they happen they generally bring up all sorts of yucky fears we have around not being liked, not being approved of, being rejected, being judged.

the first thing to remember is that those comments are generally NOT about you at all – they are more about the person saying them, and their own stuff. 

but even knowing that it can still make you feel pretty shitty. right?

the key is to not let that stuff become permanent graffiti all over your walls.

just picture that for a second. let’s say you’ve just worked your ass off building a gorgeous picket fence around your beautiful garden. you sit out and absolutely love the view in front of you – you feel pride in your home and in the work you did to create that.

then some jackass comes along with a spray paint and tags the whole thing. it is so irritating! now every time you look out you see that damned black horrible graffiti – your eyes don’t even pick up on the pretty garden or the cute fence.

negative crap can be the same… if you let it. if you keep letting it take up space in your mind and in your heart you give it more power than it really has.

so don’t let the negative shit become some icky permanent marker on the thing you are building.

replace it with the positive instead.

write on your walls with love.

and i do mean this literally – grab a piece of paper and write down some awesome loving positive stuff instead. there is something in the actual process of writing, and something in having it in front of you to fill your view every day.

you could grab a chalk pen and write all over your office window or mirror. you could get a big poster board and write on it and stick it on your wall. you could use an app on your phone and have reminders pop up every hour.

what can you write?

  • awesome feedback from awesome customers
  • email or social media comments that made your day
  • your word of the year
  • i am statements 
  • affirmations
  • ah ha moments you have had recently
  • any nudges you have been getting to head in a certain direction or do a certain thing
  • your purpose, your why
  • permission that you give to yourself
  • something that ignites your spark
  • something that keeps you grounded
  • stuff that lifts you higher

this is what my wall looks like: 

you can see i still have some space for what the universe sends my way.

negative shit is going to happen. it’s just life. but you can make the choice to not let that take up permanent space in your business or in your heart.

instead, write on your walls with love.

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ps - i would love to see what your wall looks like. tag me in a photo on instagram, facebook, or twitter!

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