What I Do With Negative Thoughts
I had a great time at Blogfest in LA. I met up with wonderful friends, both new and old, and connected with a lot of brands in order to start forming relationships going forward.
One of those brands, when asked about working with health and fitness bloggers, emphatically said yes, and my friend Jess and I talked to him about some potential opportunities. A couple days after returning home, I sent out follow up emails to all the brands I had talked to and awaited their replies.
The first reply I received was from that same brand representative, who told me in the simplest terms that they would not like to move forward and that my posts were not a fit with their health and wellness positioning.
I figured it probably had something to do with my Instagram account, which I use primarily as a way to show that balance (particularly with food) is important in a healthy lifestyle. This means that in addition to healthy foods, I also post pictures of dessert, pizza, burgers, and other foods that may not fall under the “healthy lifestyle” heading.
I spent a good number of my years on one end of the food spectrum or the other — either restricting my food and only allowing myself “healthy” meals or not exercising and eating fast food and pints of Cold Stone on the couch.
Related: My Struggle For A Healthy Lifestyle
It’s taken me being in recovery to be able to let myself enjoy all kinds of food. I’m able to listen to my body in a way I never could before and amazingly, after one too many “treats,” it starts yelling at me that I need more smoothies and vegetables in my life. Bodies are amazing. They balance out.
But anyway, back to rejection.
I’ve already written a previous post about how rejection can make you a better person, but that was written with the gift of retrospection, where you’re able to see all the lessons you’ve learned and the sting isn’t quite as acute.
This one stung.
It wasn’t rude or dismissive, but my gut reaction is still to question everything about myself when I get negative feedback.
- Am I a bad blogger?
- Does my site not promote health and wellness?
- What exactly is he referring to when he says we don’t align?
- DOES HE HATE MY BLOG?
- DOES EVERYONE HATE MY BLOG??
- IS EVERYTHING A SHAM??? (well that escalated quickly)
It bothered me for longer than I was comfortable with, so I decided to email him back and thank him for his quick reply. I also asked him if he wouldn’t mind being more specific in his feedback so that I could understand another person’s perspective when interacting with my blog.
He wrote me back again and stated that my food posts were what didn’t quite align. All of the actual recipes I post on this blog are quick and healthy, so it must be the Instagram and other photos thrown into various posts. This reply came a couple days later, so I went through a bit of the initial sting again, but realized that in order to get over the paranoia and pity that I was partaking in (alliteration on point), I would have to do what I knew to do with negative thoughts: let them go.
I’m pretty confident in assuming that no matter how much self-esteem you have, there will always be negative thoughts that come up. Questions about your self-worth and your abilities. Doubts.
The difference between people who are able to get back up after a mistake or a tough time and those who aren’t is their ability to acknowledge the thoughts and then let them go. This can be done by a variety of ways, but two that I use most often are:
- Tell myself the complete opposite of what I’m saying
- Laugh at myself
This whole laughing thing didn’t come easily, and really results from deeply understanding my self-worth. By being able to own my story, share it, and know I’m doing the best I can each day to help others in their journey, thoughts where I question my training ability or my dedication to a healthy lifestyle can be laughed off and not taken personally.
If you’re not quite at the laughing stage, you start to build yourself up by doing the first option. Simply tell yourself the complete opposite of what those negative thoughts are telling you. In my case:
- Am I a bad blogger? — I’m an awesome blogger! (whatever that means)
- Does my site not promote health and wellness? — this site promotes MY vision of health and wellness
- DOES HE HATE MY BLOG? — (the email also said I had very good content, but I chose to focus on the negative)
- DOES EVERYONE HATE MY BLOG?? — people are reading my blog and commenting that they enjoy it!
- IS EVERYTHING A SHAM??? — ok Erin, calm down.
It’s the dwelling on negative thoughts that causes us to get caught in a spiral of self-deprecation. Some days it’s easier to let them pass, and other days I have to be more deliberate in my intentions. I have to go through each thought and flip it around.
Thanks for letting me think out loud today and don’t worry, I have some other brands in the pipeline who feel the exact opposite. ALL THE FOODS AND ALL THE HEALTHY RECIPES (and some desserts). 🙂
- How do you handle negative thoughts?