It’s been the usual in Watch Me Juggle land. All the juggling! Yet, despite having many fun and exciting things to do, places to go, and people to see, I’ve noted the little “Negative Nancy” voice in my head that likes to inject her fabulous commentary to everything lately. Take a few of the following scenarios for example:
Trying out a new trend? “Yeah, you look really stupid in that,” she says, “Your friends have children, seriously, put a real shirt on.”
(Just in case you didn’t know, Nancy is a dead ringer for Rachel Dratch as Debbie Downer.)
Wake up feeling motivated and plan a workout? “You’re way too old for that, seriously, look at your face in the morning. You might scare children. Stay inside. Eat a doughnut. Eat six doughnuts, who cares?!”
That guy you like not text you back in the acceptable 35 second time frame? Nancy says: “He totally got your text. He just thinks you’re really lame. Oh, and annoying.”
Open your mouth in the meeting, and the person in charge threatens to hit you with a stick…wait, no, that actually happened. But Nancy adds that, like she said before, “you’re obviously really annoying.” Just in case you already didn’t feel like a bozo.
For lack of a better descriptor, Nancy is an ass and no one should ever listen to her. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way- everyone has that voice, though it might take on different forms. Who doesn’t remember seeing a cartoon from their childhood with the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other? It’s the age-old “Should I?/Shouldn’t I?” dilemma. Who and what, for that matter, should I be listening to? Unfortunately, the theory behind these cute cartoons can’t be left behind in your childhood- odds are they will follow you around for quite sometime. I don’t think there’s too much rhyme or reason to when the negativity creeps in, but it somehow does. As someone who manages frequent anxiety, the absolute worst seems to be when nothing, in fact, is wrong. It seems like a terribly sad thing that I sometimes can’t enjoy the little things going well in life. For example, I was in a fantastic, productive mood the other day, coming home after running some errands; there’s Negative Nancy, reminding me of the latest mishap, or presenting some worst-case-scenario. Sometimes it’s as ridiculous as “Oh, you’re happy now, but remember, you have to go to the dentist in a month!” or “Hey, you never know when you might get hit by a bus!” I wish I was making this stuff up. It’s the classic good-versus-evil, glass half-empty of half-full metaphor that we all know and love. What makes me feel better, even in the lowest moments, is that so many people can relate. I’d like to think that even Beyoncé has those days. (She did have that one mishap with her bangs a while back, if you do recall.) Then again, even Michelle Obama wants to be Beyoncé, so this might be a total assumption on my part.
What helps me the most in these moments is being the anti-Nancy, so to speak. Turn your focus to something inherently positive, even it’s a simple, good cup of coffee or the latest dog gif making its rounds on the internet. Reach out to a friend, someone you trust, or go for a walk. I know none of these things are revolutionary or extraordinary methods of problem solving, but they tend to help when reason goes out the window, and they sure do make Nancy pipe down for a while.
Or you can just pretend to be your own version of Beyoncé in the meantime. That sounds like a plan, right?