Focus on the Positive

Happy Friday, have a wonderful weekend!

It seems like there is a general tendency to focus more on what things are going wrong and complaining rather than looking at what is going well and looking for the silver linings. Typically, negative memories are recalled more vividly and more often than positive ones. When you think back to your childhood, what are the memories that come to mind? Are they good or bad? How often do you notice when people do well versus when they mess up? If you do notice do you compliment or do you criticize more?

I find this to be an interesting topic, I try to be a positive person, but that seems to take more work than being negative. Is this hardwired into our brains, is this something that we learn? Some think that it is a survival mechanism, when you are in danger you need to have stronger emotions, faster reactions and pay more attention to prevent similar situations later. However with happy moments, there is no urgency or threat, so it’s not as important to recall these events for survival.

How do you react when someone praises you or critiques you? For a long time, I couldn’t accept a compliment, I had dealt with so much negativity that I didn’t believe when someone would say something positive to me. Honestly, that is still hard for me, I know many people who react in a similar way. It is important to realize and acknowledge our own abilities, as well as the abilities in others. Constantly looking for what is wrong with everyone, possibly just to make yourself feel better about what you see as your own inequities, does no one any good.

Many people with disabilities face more criticism than their nondisabled peers, from all sides, some people claiming to mean well or not realizing the impact they have. Everyone has abilities, everyone can do something, and just because you have a disability does not mean you are incapable. You may just need to look at things from a different angle. You can’t do things like “everyone else”, but that’s not a bad thing. If everyone always did things the same way, we wouldn’t be driving cars, using electricity, or have our dependable mobile phones.

-Karrlita F.

What can you do to help your family? How can you contribute to your community? What do you bring to the table? Think about these things, focus on the “Cans” and then be confident in those attributes.