Don’t feed the monster

Don't feed the monster //

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_!


  1. I agree 100% with the negative self talk thing. Sometimes we think just about others, but our own internal dialog can be just as bad, if not worse! This was a killer week (killer in a not so great way)…so I am working on being more mindful of what makes me happy and eliminating all the other junk.

    Posted 1.24.14
  2. Love this!! It’s true, too, about the negativity we put out into the world. Great way to think about it!

    Posted 1.25.14
  3. Kory wrote:

    I absolutely love this. I was just telling a consult client on Thursday that I do the same thing on Twitter – right out my complain-y tweet and then NOT post it. However, I have to agree that just letting it go would be much more worthwhile. Here’s to letting go and more positivity!

    Posted 1.26.14
  4. Nesha wrote:

    I’m so glad you wrote about this here! The worst thing ever is reading peoples complaints online- it makes me automatically associate them with negativity. I’ve tried hard not to write negative things on social media etc, but receiving a hurtful comment from someone a year ago almost had me writing something hurtful back. Never a good idea. It can be difficult to steer away from negativity, but it’s always worth it. Great post! 🙂

    Posted 1.26.14
  5. Fran wrote:

    Love this! thank you so much for sharing.

    Posted 1.26.14
  6. I am so sorry that I missed you at ALT. I really wanted to meet you!

    Posted 1.26.14
  7. I, like you, have been very fortunate to have never had to deal directly with a negative comment, but the advice offered by Garance was amazing! She was so cute – really enjoyed her keynote talk!

    Posted 1.26.14
  8. Kim wrote:

    I’m glad to hear this change, especially after our last conversation—and I’m sure my own complaining and negativity didn’t help then either!

    You go girl!

    I wholeheartedly believe that when you’re feeling negative you should grab your pup and give her a nice patting. Cures what ails you!

    Posted 2.9.14

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