My favorite memory when I think about negativity is the Debbie Downer skit on SNL a bunch of years ago. I’m sure you’ve all seen it, but just for fun (and to fill our lives with a little more laughter), let’s check it out again.
What makes this skit such a classic is that we ALL know these people. They are not usually ALWAYS this way, and their intentions are probably pure. But their attitude and sentiment can be a major drain on us. I’m a very sensitive person and I pick up the mood from others very easily. It’s so easy for me to get lost in another person’s orbit for awhile. I care so deeply and fully, that their outlook is very contagious to me.
This didn’t occur to me until a few years ago when attending one of the first Making Things Happen intensives.
I realized that the people you surround yourself with is a choice – and that the things you fill your day with, YOU have CONTROL over. I never thought of it that way, and it’s so freeing, don’t you think? You ultimately decide WHAT gets into your psyche and what isn’t allowed to. You are the gatekeeper.
It’s like the famous Jim Rohn quote says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” So this means, that you should take stock of WHO those people are, and if they are adding or subtracting from your ideal day. This is a simplified notion, but it’s a powerful one. I don’t know that we can ALWAYS excise people who are negative (they may be family, etc.), but I do think we still have control of our top 5. I think you have control to offset THOSE people with the opposite – people who FILL you up! So if your top 5 people are draining you, bump them out of the top 5! Think of it like speed dial (insert Seinfeld reference). Let’s program our speed dial with 5 people who provide love, hope, encouragement and fellowship, all the time.
In the social media age, this means something totally different. We have hundreds, even thousands of “friends”. What is your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram feed saying to you on a daily basis? I am constantly trimming my feeds to keep my speed dial of social media, POSITIVE. This may even mean un-following the competition, if they are constantly making you feel less than. It doesn’t MATTER what these people are doing. You are not them and you don’t have to keep up with anything they do. You are you, and God made you like NO OTHER human being to EVER exist. Amen to that!!
There is another side to this idea that may be shocking to think about. Maybe the Debbie Downer is YOU.
Maybe that negativity is originating from YOU and maybe YOU are the one bringing everyone down. Make a decision to STOP. STOP complaining and START counting your blessings instead. Remember that people are PRAYING for things you currently have. Count your blessings and not your problems. If you need a reminder why you should be grateful read my story again as to how I learned the lesson the hard way. I realize BAD things happen to GOOD people ALL THE TIME. And it’s okay to hurt. And it’s okay to be in pain. But what you choose to do with that pain is up to you. Can you find the rainbow in the storm? Can you, amidst your pain, STILL be a blessing to others? How can you put more positivity out into the world? Can you love on people and serve them REGARDLESS of your circumstances?
This is a hard step, and I know it. It’s a constant battle for some, but it’s worth it. Every single one of you deserves to fill your minutes with JOY and not waste it on negativity and sadness. Don’t let your circumstances, people around you, or voices in your head steal your joy.
Make a list of your new 5 people on your positivity speed dial. Reach out to them and bask in their warmth. Thank them for being in your life. Ask them how YOU can bless them today.