Your Daily Focus: June 11-17

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Toxic Positivity Impedes Improvement

This week, let’s talk about accountability. Specifically, let’s talk about prioritizing accountability over comfort. Most people are probably aware of what toxic negativity is. Toxic negativity occurs when someone tries to bring us down; when they try to make us feel bad about ourselves or alter our reality for the worse.

This is undeniably terrible, but the flip side of the coin can be bad too. Sometimes, people can slip into what is called “toxic positivity.” Toxic positivity also seeks to alter our reality, but instead of pushing us to self-doubt, it risks making us self-righteous. It can be tempting to surround ourselves with people who support us unconditionally, but in truth, we all need to be called out from time to time.

Toxic positivity ultimately seeks to minimize problems rather than solve them. That might not sound bad, but sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. Sometimes, we have to face hard truths and hold ourselves and others accountable, even at the expense of personal comfort.

Saturday, June 11

“Reality wins, and I’d rather see the truth than stay in love with a fantasy.”
― Jewel

As hard as it can be to face up to difficult truths, the only way to move forward is to face things head-on. Today, try to look for anything in your life that you may need to own up to. If nothing else, remember to acknowledge that there are still aspects of your life that you can work on. Everyone’s a work in progress.

Sunday, June 12

“Don’t lie to protect my feelings. I’d rather you speak the truth with love and respect. I’ll be fine!”
― Izey Victoria Odiase

Kindness is important and should be present in every relationship. However, sometimes the kind thing is to hold people accountable. Sometimes it’s kind to be given an opportunity to grow, better yourself, deepen connections, and transform.

Monday, June 13

“Bravery is the choice to show up and listen to another person, be it a loved one or perceived foe, even when it is uncomfortable, painful, or the last thing you want to do.”
― Alaric Hutchinson

It can be painful to hear the truth. In the best-case scenario, we can see that information as a form of kindness from a trusted friend. However, sometimes it comes from someone we dislike, or worse, distrust. It can be tempting to write these things off as cruelty — as the words of someone who doesn’t know you at all. However, today, challenge yourself to look for seeds of truth even within the things you don’t want to hear. Give it a good, hard look, and reflect on yourself.

Tuesday, June 14

“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

To err is human, and we all find ourselves on the wrong end of an argument or interaction every once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with being wrong. However, it’s when you fail to take responsibility for yourself or attempt to escape the consequences of your actions that things get more questionable. You don’t have to try to fix it immediately. In fact, it can even be healthy to take time before you respond or react. Just don’t forget — it’s also healthy to face the music, own up, and move on.

Wednesday, June 15

“The right thing to do and the hard thing to do are usually the same.”
― Steve Maraboli

Sometimes the idea of taking more onto your plate can feel overwhelming. It’s been a wild few years for everyone, and the idea of pushing through additional difficulties may not sound appealing. However, that’s also one of the most helpful things we can do to bring ourselves out of those dark places and come closer together. The more we understand ourselves, the more we can understand others as well.

Thursday, June 16

“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated. This is why we sometimes attack who they are, which is far more hurtful than addressing a behavior or a choice.”
― Brené Brown

Even during an emotionally mature and kind conversation, it can be hard to set boundaries. They are, ultimately, about us and not about the people we’re addressing, but that doesn’t always come across. It can feel personal even when it’s not. Work not only on setting your own boundaries but on understanding why others may be setting theirs.

Friday, June 17

“You don’t have to worry about burning bridges, if you’re building your own.”
― Kerry E. Wagner

This is a fascinating quote with multiple interpretations. One such interpretation is that it’s okay to destroy your old way of doing things as long as you’re willing to provide or forge a new path. For instance, if you set a hard boundary, that is burning a bridge in a sense. But if it’s done with respect and care for the other person in mind, solutions can be offered as well. You may burn the “bridge” of being the person that everyone piles their trauma upon, but you may build a new bridge by showing others the weight of their words and guiding them toward people who can help.

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