Megan recently told one of her friends, “I am unhappy with my body and I want to lose ten pounds of fat.” After her friend punched her, she protested because she did not feel her statement was self-demeaning. She stated a fact and expressed her proposed solution. She did not say, “I am a fat pig and completely useless.”
My daughter is thin, so most people would wonder why she would want to lose ten pounds of fat. Do I think she could lose ten pounds of fat? Yes… she keeps stealing all my chocolate and has some small “love handles”. Someone seeing her in any clothes other than a bikini might think she has a warped body image, however she enjoys competing in beauty pageants and she does some modeling where her chocolate weight will be noticed and judged.
Acknowledging your weaknesses and working to improve them is not negative, however when people think of self-improvement, they often focus their attention on their weaknesses. This can quickly lead you down the rabbit hole of beating yourself up about past failures or make you feel like you have too many weaknesses to overcome.
While negative self-improvement can send you in a downward spiral, unrealistic positivity is just as damaging.
Unrealistic positivity is when you ignore your weaknesses even if they are severely hindering your progress. Megan also belongs to a few “positivity” groups on Facebook. When she asks for ideas to help her overcome a weakness she is often met with ostrich advice or advice that does not offer a solution.
She recently posted in a group, “I am very creative and start lots of projects, however I have trouble completing them. How do I overcome this bad habit?” The advice ranged from, “It is not a bad habit; just accept it as part of you.” to “Team up with or hire someone who is good at follow through.”
Megan just finally graduated from a 1-year massage program after four years. Her lack of follow up IS a bad habit. She feels the weight of those unfinished projects and it affects her positivity. She is working very hard this year to complete several projects and massage school was the first project on her list. I am proud of her for pulling her head out of the sand and saying, “You can not expect others to do tasks they are not required to do.” Yes, the massage school was partially to blame for the extra time, however her lack of follow through probably added two of those four years.
The advice to team up with or hire someone who is good at follow through is not necessarily bad, however as she starts her massage business once she gets her license, she will be starting without clients and it may take a year or two to have a consistent enough cash flow to realistically hire an assistant. She needs to find ways to keep herself motivated in the start-up phase and that is why she was asking for help.
Megan also asked one of the groups for tips on getting rid of negativity and instead of replies such as, “I turn on my favorite jam when I feel negative.” or “I hit the gym and do 20 minutes as fast as I can on the stair master.” she received replies such as, “It is all mindset, just change your thoughts.” Of course, none of the mindset replies offered any suggestions as to how someone would actually change their mindset.
It is important to stay positive, focus on your strengths and work through or around (not ignore) your weaknesses.
Positivity alone is not enough to drive success. You can create an excellent vision for your personal life or business and stand in front of your mirror and recite your vision each day. What do you have a year later? A perfectly memorized vision and an awareness of where every freckle on your face is located.
You can recite, “I will lose 10 pounds of fat.” every day until you are blue in the face, however if you never work out or stop eating all your mom’s chocolate chances are in a year you will be reciting, “I will lose 15 pounds of fat.”
Add action steps and be proactive with your positivity and you will start to see your vision come to life.
Until next time…
Have a great day
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