I used to not really get it when people were so negative about things.
Being the positive person than I am, it was always hard for me to relate, always trying to see the positive in everything.
Yet I found myself having really negative thoughts for the past two days. I started dumbing everything I am doing.
It started with doubting myself about my photography assignment. I have been shooting for two full days straight with minimal direction. I’m shooting for a half day today.
The reason for doubting myself is that I haven’t really taken any “real” photos for almost two years. I’m very rusty. My equipment is also all new. But most of all, I haven’t taken the time to prepare properly and understand the requirements of the assignment.
That doubt manifested itself in my first shooting session. Almost all of the 500 photos I took had to be scrapped.
My positivity took a hit.
The second session went better, but not enough to really cheer me up.
The third session, yesterday morning, went very poorly. I went in with the mindset that I wasn’t up for it. That I didn’t have what it takes to do it.
I couldn’t have been more out of my comfort zone.
I was shooting at a children school, trying to get candid shots of the children with bars of Sundara soap. I’m very bad with children. I freeze every time. I have no idea how to be silly and build their trust.
I seriously did my best, but overall, I don’t even know if I managed to get a single usable shot.
And that’s when I lost all my positivity. I was down.
Going Down Deeper
Every thought I had yesterday morning until the evening was negative.
I couldn’t help it.
My brain was just bouncing from one subject to the next, thinking of other areas it perceived as a failure.
I was sitting outside after that third session looking at the incredible scenery of the rural India village I was staying at. I was gazing upon the landscape and just wanted to cry.
But I didn’t, out of pride.
We left shortly after to go to another town two hours away. I really wanted to recharge my batteries and clear my mind. I normally fall asleep right away in transportation.
But not this time.
I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wasn’t fit to do my assignment. I wasn’t fit to write. I wasn’t fit to lead a team to build a game. I wasn’t fit for anything.
I f***ing hated having these thoughts. But turning them around seemed impossible.
I really needed a win.
Getting A Win
That my friends, was key for me.
I’m not sure I actually even got myself the true win I’m aiming for, but just realizing that I needed to focus my attention on that win cleared my mind from the negative.
Or channeled it differently at least.
I started turning to the “why” and the “how”. Why were the photos not up to the standards I needed them to be, and how can I fix that.
My brain switched to revisiting these poisonous thoughts I had, but with an analytical point of view.
I analyzed what went wrong. I brainstormed solutions. I visualized the process.
It is then that I decided to take it as a challenge. No matter how bad my next session would be, it “didn’t matter as much”. It is a learning process. I’m no expert and never pretended to be. But I had forgotten that and was way over my head.
But now I was prepared. Mentally at least. The doubt was gone. I knew I could do better.
And I think I did in my fourth session. I haven’t had time to go through all the photos, but I have a better feeling. I certainly applied the things I had learned in the last two days.
My confidence is not yet fully recovered, but I’m on the right track I think.
This may sound over-dramatic to some of you since this happened very recently and for a short period of time, but negativity is all new to me.
And in some ways, I’m happy I had this experience. I can finally relate and understand when people around me feel that way.
Feeling down sucks.
The more negative thoughts you have, the more you seem to have. It’s a rabbit hole that needs to be dug back up as fast as you can once you realize you’re in it.
It’s easy to say, but very hard to do. I channeled all my energy on getting myself a significant win. This changed my mindset.
Wins are very important for building up your positivity. Every small win contributes to it. It’s an effective way of digging yourself out.
You can do this!
Thanks for reading and sharing ! :)
First published here: https://medium.com/swlh/negativity-is-poison-for-your-brain-chase-it-asap-4b6705cc12ca