"Be positive! Be happy! Turn that frown upside down! Smile!"
Positivity has become a culture, especially with Instagrammable quotes. For every internet scroll of devastating world news, there’s another placid picture of a sunrise with inspiration to just. be. positive.
Whatever happened to mediocre being okay?
Or, "just ok" being okay?
Do we all have to look on the bright side no matter what?
Sure everything is always glowing on that side, and sunny, and bright - but isn’t the grass always greener?
Here’s the thing: Positivity increases enjoyable success. There's definitely success without positivity, but often it comes from a place of unhappiness, negativity, shame. Ugh. You can succeed in a social sense, academic, performance, relationship, and still consider yourself a failure inside.
Positivity helps both sides. You succeed in your job and stay positive when you fail.
However, it can be difficult to cross the waters from “Everything is bad” to “Everything is great.”
Here’s a plea for the middle way: use neutrality to get from negativity to positivity.
Instead of writing a positivity journal like Serena Williams, write a neutrality journal.
“I didn’t make the turn. It’s ok! I am so great! I’ll do it next time! You go girl!"
Try observing with neutral language:
“I didn’t make the turn. I landed really well though.”
And then add non-jugdmental acceptance:
“I didn’t do a triple this time.”
Sure it doesn’t sound so perky or fun and it won’t make a great #Instagram quote, but I once met a man who said, “Positivity quotes are for people who only see the world as black and white. Never grey.”
Go to neutral to build your positive. Or just to stay neutral.