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Calling The PollyAnna In All Of Us

Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess

Okay, I admit, I try to think and be positive. There are days when I figure if I just fake it, it will happen, right? Blah. Somedays I just want to be negative. I just want to wallow in a bit of self pity, drown my sorrows in a bowl of ice cream and wear sweats all day. Is that wrong? I don't think so. If your bad mood persists, then it might be time to seek professional help, but for Pete's sake, there are times when you can just be in a bad mood!

Since my cancer diagnosis I have really tried to embrace life, stop and actually smell the flowers, give in to my poodle's "demands" for attention, and be present regardless of whether I am involved in something fun or in something I just want to be over. (And yes, I am thinking of it today as I write this post because two years ago today I received the, "You have breast cancer" words from the doctor)

Chances are you’ve heard the clichés asking whether your glass is half full or half empty, or those Picture2telling you that every cloud has a silver lining or my all time personal favorite (note: high sarcasm) what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Who wants to go through something so crappy that while you’re not dead you’re somehow stronger? Did going through cancer make me stronger? Who knows. I do know that I made it through all of the crud associate with it and am still here to talk about it. Does it press in the back of my head on an almost daily basis that it could come back? You bet it does. Is my glass half full or half empty? What’s my silver lining? If I had a silver lining it would have been to not have gotten cancer in the first place, right?

Anyway, here are some of the reasons that being an eternal optimist may not always be the best thing for us or our mental health:

  • Turning every sow’s ear into a silk purse is exhausting. You’re allowed to give into not being optimistic. You don’t have to prop up everyone around you and be the PollyAnna of the group. If you’re always on a “good mood” high how will you ever celebrate even better moods? I heard somewhere that if you’re always optimistic and always looking on the bright side, how will you learn and grow and change? If you’re eternally optimistic you may think there is no reason to grow or change.
  • Physiologically speaking our bodies and minds are already hardwired to think positively. Our body helps us deal with the hard knocks of life we are sometimes dealt. When you add an overly optimistic mindset into your already hardwired body, you’re going into overdrive. Let your body and mind help you with your good attitude.
  • Focusing all of your thoughts and intentions on always being positive will distract you from your life. You need to be able to assess life’s situations and pitfalls with an open mind. You need to learn to manage the unhappy times and embrace the battles won.

As women and as business owners, we sometimes feel it's our responsibility to make sure everything goes along swimmingly, that there are no kinks in the works, and that everyone is happy. I think, though, that we just need to be strong enough to admit, "Hey, I'm in a bad mood." Don't you?



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Ivan Widjaya

The key is to give up the need to be in control all the time. It is okay to let go sometimes but don't do that simply because you're sad.

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