Don't feed the monster // Elembee.com

If you follow me elsewhere, you know that I’m currently at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City, a conference for blogging and creativity. I’m taking a little break this afternoon and wanted to share something here that I personally want to remember in the future.

This morning, one of the things keynote speaker Garance Doré spoke about was dealing with negative comments — specifically, that negativity is a monster that only grows more as you feed it. “Don’t answer, explain, or complain,” she says — just move on.

I’m grateful that my readers have always been positive and respectful, so I’ve never really had to deal with negative comments. But it really got me thinking about my own negativity — from negative self-talk, to even just everyday complaints. In fact, I was just telling some friends yesterday that I don’t actually send half of the things I type out to them — just typing it out is therapeutic, and it allows me to take a step back and realize that I don’t need to share that negativity with anyone, even if it’s just venting.

I related it back in my mind to something Whitney English said at her panel yesterday — that one of the ways to overcome overwhelm is to streamline your decision making. She talked about choosing between the chicken salad or the tuna salad for lunch — it really doesn’t matter which one you pick, just pick one and move on. The moral of the story? Don’t waste your time on tasks or decisions that have no importance or impact on your life.

I think the same goes for negativity. Negative self-talk and complaints don’t serve any purpose whatsoever except to take time away from good work you could be doing. You’ll only feed the monster and continue to waste your time dwelling on negativity. I think it’s just one of those things I need to learn to acknowledge and move on.

Yes, I love what I do — but the truth is that it’s still work, and some days are better than others. Some days people drive me crazy. But in the overall scheme of things? I still love what I do, and I’m still helping people who appreciate it, even if they drive me crazy in the process. That’s what’s important. And those few minutes I spend complaining to friends? Those are minutes I could be spending just getting the job done and moving on to something else — or reminding myself that I’m still helping someone else, even if it’s not what I want to be doing right now. Which is a much better way of looking at things, don’t you think?

P.S. I’m live tweeting from the panels I attend — follow along @elembee_!