Don’t Feed Your Negativity

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Yesterday, I came across a quote that struck me in a particular way and stopped me in my tracks.

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”

Many people attribute this quote to Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and Stoic philosopher who was one of the most respected emperors in Roman history and one of the greatest thinkers of that time.

He wrote and spoke about many thoughtful, insightful, and profound ideas, but this is not one of them. It could be considered a modern adaptation from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, but that’s a stretch.

No matter, because this quote says so much in so few words it really doesn’t matter who said it. These words are thoughtful, insightful, and profound in their own right; and they can hold significant sway over our beliefs, thoughts, and actions.

So often we find ourselves searching for clues or meaning from other people because we believe that must be the true reality – what others see in us. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “perception is reality.”  But who’s reality? Yours or theirs?

Like when someone tells us that we are not qualified for that job, or too old to climb that hill, or not attractive enough to find a perfect mate, oftentimes we take it as fact. We build those words right into our psyche and make it a part of our character.

But that is not helpful because that is just what the other person sees through their bias, their beliefs, and their filters.

Those are not facts; they are merely opinions. We do not have to accept their opinions as a part of our reality. In fact, doing so is what holds us back from applying for that new job, or starting to exercise, or putting ourselves out there to find true love.

But what else do we sometimes hear?

Our own inner voice telling us those same exact things. I am not qualified for that job. I’m too old to climb that hill. I’m not attractive enough to find my perfect mate. And that can be the hardest voice to deal with because it comes from within. And if we are saying it to ourselves, then it must be true.

But who is that voice in our heads telling us these things?

It’s just one part of your mind looking at one perspective, trying to convince you that if you just saw things from their view, you would see that you just don’t stack up against the rest.

But just because you HAVE a thought, does not mean that you ARE that thought. Thoughts come and go all the time and we forget most of them anyway.

So why is it so hard to let these negative, self-deprecating thoughts go. Why do we hold negative thoughts as truths, while we let positive, encouraging thoughts be explained away as either luck, or chance, or just a one-off event?

It’s because we have a love affair with negativity. And the sooner you admit it, the sooner you will begin to see the smart, strong, and positive that already exists inside of you.

It’s always there. It’s always been there. You’ve just become so attached to those negative thoughts, you forgot to take in the entire perspective of who you really are – creative, resourceful, and whole.

We have to see beyond the narrow viewpoint of others, see past our own negative self-talk, take off our limiting lenses of bias and false belief, and instead look upon the creative, resourceful, whole human being that we truly are.

Once we break up our love affair with negativity, we begin to see all the opportunities that relationship has been keeping us from having. Without that nagging negativity, feel confident applying for that job, climbing that hill, or going out and finding our true love.

Feeding your negativity is a love-hate relationship that is dragging you down, holding you back, and preventing you from feeling your best, looking your best, and being your best.

Your Mindful Moment:

Dump negativity, understand what others say is just their opinion, and begin to see your whole self so you can live your best life.

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