1. Last year I had what I felt was an awesome story idea. It was one of those ideas that kept me awake at night. I gathered research; a librarian friend helped - she was as excited as I was. And then I shared my idea with a former colleague who responded, "Good luck with that. I had the same idea and just couldn't get it to go anywhere."
2. I once received an A in a college course. This was so shocking that I shared the news with another student. Her response: "I heard that everyone got an A in that course."
These negative reactions sent my confidence and sense of accomplishment to the ninth ring of hell. I don't share information about my life in order to receive praise. It's just something shared in the course of conversation.
In physics we learn that positive (+) and negative (-) charges attract each other. In human nature positive tidings can at times attract negative comments. Unlike physics, in human nature negative comments repel the positive experience. Negative comments discredit goals and dreams; they stop motivation.
They are my personal acid rain.
I have a history of allowing the negativity of others to control my destiny. For instance, I dumped my super-duper story idea within a week after former colleague's response not only proving that negative swamps positive, but that it also stymies progress. Do I place blame on her for abandoning my idea? Of course not. I have since come to realize that I can't control what spews from people's mouths but I can control how I let it affect me.
How do I control its effect? I'm viewing the sources in a different light. Rather than allow negative comments/people to stop my momentum, I point out to the naysayer that they are the "muwah-muwah" of life. Later I rationalize where their negativity is coming from and then let it go without over-analyzing the situation. I'm not Dr. Phil. The id of others is for the experts to figure out.
My attempt to control negative effects is a difficult task. There exists no patch for my ancient habit of allowing negative energy to dim my light. It'll take practice, but I'm a firm believer in old dogs learning new tricks.
As artists we come under a barrage of negative comments from those who feel entitled to dish them out. But as artists we possess the talent to overcome obstacles. It's the nature of our beast. The power is endless and something we tap into daily. Although I have in the past allowed the negatives to get the better of me, I'm living proof that they haven't killed me.
Debbie Downer: The acid rain queen of life. Have you developed your repellent for her next monsoon?