“Why is it that we only seem to believe the negative things people say about us, no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary? A neighbor, a face, an ex-boyfriend can cancel out everything we thought was once true. Odd, but when it comes to life and love, why do we believe our worst reviews?”
~Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Negative reviews… I’ve thought a lot about this quote from Sex and the City over the past few weeks, as I pushed myself through another depressive slump.
Throw me a ton of compliments and I feel uncomfortable and will question each one, yet when I hear a negative review or insult, I tend to go with and accept that opinion as the gospel, rather than snub it off.
Maybe it’s because I was raised with that mentality; let’s face it, my childhood filled me with tons of self-doubt and criticism from my mother. Whatever the reason, this behavior really bothers me, especially since I like to think of myself as a positive person, at least most of the time.
Then I noticed a trend.
I have friends who do the same thing, and even doubt themselves because of some negative talk they heard. For some friends, it spins them into a whirlwind of self-doubt, hatred and depression. Negativity is a powerful force.
In public, I immediately denounce any negative reviews I hear about myself – but then, when I’m home alone, those words start haunting me, eating away and beating down my self-esteem. I’m sure being cursed with depression and anxiety doesn’t help matters, nor the fact of how my mother raised me, but that energy just takes me down with a one-two punch.
Over the years, through much trial and error, I’ve learned that those negatives energies, feelings and reviews can be turned around into positives with just a simple mind shift. Of course, I’m making it sound oh-so easy here, when in fact I know it is not easy – especially when it is so much easier to slide down into a spiral of negativity.
Negativity is a cancer that eats away at our happiness.
Believing in or giving any energy to even one single negative opinion or thought can start the roots of a festering growth inside our psyche.
Sometimes we are our own worst critics and enemies, labeling ourselves silently in our minds as not good enough, too skinny or fat, not smart or talented enough – the list goes on.
I run into this a lot being a creative person. I’m going through it right now with my art, as I am working on building a site to feature my art for sale.
My art looks amateurish. My art isn’t that great. Why would someone want to pay me for this simple piece? This was nothing to put together, how can I call this art?
Once I’ve had enough of the self-flagellation, I step back and realize if art was easy, everyone would be doing it. What I see and what others see are completely different things.
I feel amateur because these things come easy to me. I feel it’s not great work because ultimately, I fear success, which in turn makes me fear selling my work. It’s simple to me only because I have the talent to do the things only I can do.
Basically fear is behind all this negative talk.
I feel the fear and let it dominate my thoughts and take me down.
Fear is what makes us believe our worst critics over our most raved reviews.
Fear holds us back from being our most awesome and amazing selves.
But you know what is kryptonite to fear? Love.
So next time you start to hear that old worn out tape of negative labels start to play in your head, stop and remember that you are a being of love who is worthy of feeling good about yourself, your work, your talents, and your person as a whole.
Immediately denounce whatever it is that is trying to get through the cracks to destroy your peace of mind, balance and self-worth.
From here on, when I receive a compliment and I am hesitant to accept and believe it, I have to think to myself, what am I afraid of in believing this glowing piece of love? And conversely, when I hear a negative review, I have to be like Wonder Woman with her magic bracelets and deflect that incoming damage to my delicate psyche.
Only love can grow here.