This post originally appeared on the blog Stepping Away From the Edge on July 28, 2022.
“Sometimes all it takes is a tiny shift of perspective to see something in a totally new light.” — Dan Brown
From time to time I’ve blogged about negativity bias. Y’know . . . that terribly annoying little tendency we all have . . .where we focus on the negative stuff of our lives more than we do the positive stuff. Silly things people say to us. Unfortunate situations that happen in an ordinary day. Things we didn’t get done. Somehow, those naggy little things hang with us so much easier than the good things that happen in our everyday lives.
I’ve been intentionally working to quell my own Voice of Negativity for a couple of years now. But, boy oh boy. It’s hard to do! That negative bias? It’s sticky!
This month’s OLW prompt from Ali Edwards’ OLW team is all about focusing on the little positives of life . . . instead of the negatives. I wrote a bit about it last week, when I shared the “small win” I was celebrating in my art “studio.” Well. I actually took it a lot farther than that! I came up with a list of about 20 small wins that I could celebrate this month. Just . . . little things I did that I ordinarily wouldn’t give myself a bit of credit for doing.
At first, it was really hard to come up with anything for my list. I couldn’t think of one thing! But once I got started (y’know . . . once I shut up my Voice of Negativity — the voice that kept saying you-wasted-the-whole-month-you-lazy-bum) it got easier.
And with my WiFi down, I decided to play around with some paper I had, and create a way to capture my small wins in my word journal.
I don’t usually follow Ali’s prompts. But this month? It made a lot of sense to me! Thinking about my wins . . . instead of my didn’t-dos . . . was just the kind of SHIFT I’m looking for!
As I was going through this process, I realized that EACH of my small wins really represented a shift in my perspective.
- Instead of chastising myself about not maintaining a strict monthly cleaning schedule, for example, I captured this “small win”: I cleaned the bathrooms when I didn’t want to.
- Instead of feeling bad about all the weeds in my garden, I celebrated this instead: Hummingbirds love my flowers.
- Instead of wishing I’d made more progress on a big project, I celebrated this: I’m asking for help on a big project that is too much for me.
I’m sure you’re getting the gist of things.
Focusing on my small wins – and celebrating them – is helping me SHIFT my perspective . . . from a negative bias to a positive one. I think I’m going to try this exercise every month. (Although not with paper craft . . . )
I highly recommend you give it a try, too! Instead of feeling bad about something you didn’t do, SHIFT your perspective. And think of a small win you can celebrate instead.