So, I want to start this blog with a question –

“Is it really possible to be positive all the time?”

Maybe it’s an obvious question but it’s another of those things that people seem to strive for – constant upbeat positivity, not allowing themselves to have bad days or certainly not wanting to be perceived as being anything other than positive.

In my opinion, being positive all the time is not only exhausting but pretty much impossible so for me, the answer to that question would have to be no!

How many times have you heard “I’m such a positive person” or “I’m a really positive person” or “you need to be positive about things?”  It seems that from a very young age we are encouraged to be positive, we are told that being positive is the best mental state to be in, that it will achieve the best results for you. I am not disagreeing with being positive, it would make my job very hard if I was negative most of the time and couldn’t find the positives in various situations, but I think we need to be real, to be authentic and constantly portraying positivity is quite frankly a little annoying to others as well as exhausting!

So, what does being positive look like for you?

If you were to sit for a moment and think about your actions, your language when you are “being positive” how does it play out? Are you someone who tries to hide their feelings or their anxiety? Does positive mean that you have to be upbeat and enthusiastic about all things around you? How do you behave when you are trying to be positive? When I’ve discussed this with clients, they’ve described themselves as perhaps being a little bossy, in your face or over the top (their words not mine) maybe trying to be particularly energetic and smiley……. their desire to be perceived as positive means that they have to try really hard a lot of the time.

When I have then asked them how they feel and behave when they don’t have to try, when they really are feeling positive, their whole demeanour changes. They describe feeling quite calm and in control of what they’re doing. They don’t feel the need to tell people about “how positive they are” because they are just being it! Does this ring a bell for you?

I think we can all safely say that when we have experienced that natural unforced feeling of positivity, we do feel like we can achieve so much. We are almost able to sit back, take stock and make focused decisions, we are not forcing the issue, we don’t need the recognition, we just get on with it. When we are making ourselves appear positive, it can be quite cringeworthy and off putting to those around us and more importantly, it takes a huge amount of energy to do and then we lose site of the tasks in hand.

So what happens when you get up one morning and feel rubbish? When I say rubbish, I mean one of those days when you just think “oh god, how am I going to get through today?” What if you are not able to put your positive head on and you need to just wallow?

Do you think the world will stop turning? Will your world fall apart around you? Probably not. I’m not saying that you need to spend the day being grumpy (although if that’s what you need to do, do it) I’m saying give yourself a break, recognise that this is a day that you might be on “go slow” that it might be a day when you just need to put one foot in front of the other, get the jobs done and then congratulate yourself for surviving the day – THAT IS OKAY! This behaviour does NOT make you a negative person, it makes you a real person. The likelihood is that tomorrow you will get up and feel quite different and if you don’t then probably it will be the day after that……

You don’t have to be positive all the time to be a nice person!