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  • Writer's pictureTobiloba Osogbiye

Overcoming Internalized Negativity


I used to be a ray of maximum sunshine, spreading positivity wherever I went. In fact, I was the one who could find silver linings in the darkest clouds, and my optimism was infectious. Some people would still call me a bundle of joy but compared to who I once was, I can’t say the same for the most part.


As life continues to bless me with positive experiences, I can’t help but reminisce on the negative aftermath of my loved ones' struggles and setbacks, which I have absorbed like a sponge. Their pain often feels like a burden, weighing me down, and seeping into my own emotions.


It is no wonder why, recently, a close friend mustered up the courage to confront me about my changing demeanour. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was becoming increasingly negative, and I didn't even realize it. I am now afraid of becoming someone I don’t recognize, losing the very essence of who I used to be. As I reflect on how I have arrived at this point, I hesitate to blame it solely on familial ties but also on the world of work. After all, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with identifying problems before they escalate and tackling them head-on, a mindset that has served me well in my professional life. But I have to admit, it doesn't always work in my personal life.


I recently promised myself to fight for my positivity, but it hasn't been easy. I try my hardest to stay positive and not let the sadness of others overshadow my own life because often, while they move on, I find myself stuck, unable to shake off the heaviness I've absorbed.


This is 29 - a pivotal age where I am slowly unlearning and relearning things that can help me lead a better quality of life. It's a journey of self-discovery, resilience, and inner strength.

I've learned that setting boundaries is crucial and I can be compassionate without sacrificing my own well-being. I've also learned the importance of self-care, taking time for myself and engaging in activities that bring me joy and rejuvenate my spirit - this is still a work in progress. I've learned to shift my focus towards gratitude, counting my blessings and reframing my mindset.


Surrounding myself with positivity has now become a lifeline and I intend to seek out supportive friends and mentors who will lift me up and limit my exposure to negativity - which I mostly consume through social media. I might practice mindfulness, as I have been told that being fully present and in the moment is a good way to develop emotional strength. But perhaps the most crucial lesson I need to learn is that it's okay to ask for help whenever I feel overwhelmed.


It all seems like a long-term commitment but I am determined to keep my positivity alive, no matter how tough it gets.


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