Positivity is an outlook on life. It does not mean being positive all the time about everything. It certainly never means rejecting negative feelings. Quite the contrary, it embraces them as a collateral for accepting the challenge of life.
Accepting Negative Feelings
You HAVE to accept the risk of negative feelings in order to live, thrive, experience, love and find meaning. Psychologist Susan David talks about emotional courage and why it is good to embrace negative feelings. Here’s what she says:
“I’ve had hundreds of people tell me what they don’t want to feel. They say things like, I don’t want to try because I don’t want to feel disappointed. Or I just want this feeling to go away. I understand, I said to them, but you have dead people’s goals. Only dead people never get unwanted or inconvenienced by their feelings. Only dead people never get stressed, never get broken hearts, never experience the disappointment that comes with failure. Tough emotions are part of our contract with life. You don’t get to have a meaningful career or raise a family or leave the world a better place without stress and discomfort.”
Your Comfort Zone, That False Friend
And this is precisely what it is about… coming out of your comfort zone, accepting the uncertain to seize opportunities, to make your goals happen. Denying yourself the chance to grow or succeed for fear of being sad or disappointed won’t bring you much contentment. Because when you think about it, your comfort zone really isn’t that comfortable is it?
Many of my clients talk to me about opportunities they missed out of fear; fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of judgment… They dream about what they could have gained from it. They all have one thing in common: how they felt after missing out. And let me tell you this: it wasn’t comfort. It was disappointment. In themselves. The very emotion you are trying to avoid, you are getting anyway by going through a negative cycle of shame and self-doubt, fuelled more and more by every decision made out of fear.
What Happens When You Show Emotional Courage
When you accept the possibility that you might fail, but do it anyway, you are building your resilience and confidence, you are getting stronger and better every time. You are winning, even when you fail. Succeeding is a bonus. Because the more you take action, the more your confidence will grow. Not the other way around.
And yes I hear you, you are scared. That’s ok, do it scared.
Please, don’t have ‘dead people’s goals’. Accept the uncertain. Get stressed, get a broken heart, feel the frustration of failure. Because on the flip side, you have joy, love, success. And the more you take a leap, the stronger your resilience, and the more chances you have to experience those extraordinary feelings that make life so wonderful.