Negative Nancy tries “The Secret” (Spoiler Alert: Doesn’t Work)

I have a confession to make……

I, BreezyK, am a closet Negative Nancy.

Not to be confused with Debbie Downer, the legendary SNL character who constantly brings others down with her bleak, depressing, (and incredibly specific) view of the world-  I tend to outwardly project positivity, while internalizing most of my negative-nancyisms.

My friends and family would probably describe me as a generally happy-go-lucky and positive (albeit self-deprecating) individual. But beneath this shiny facade lies a dirty little secret that has been marinating (I like to think in a barrel of wine) for the past 26 years: Negativity. And lots of it.

Sure, I’m positive and encouraging towards others- but when it comes my own personal life, I’m a “glass is half empty” kind of girl. I’m pessimistic, misanthropic, and more than a touch paranoid.  I catastrophize, agonize, and stress about everything- big and small.  I guess I’m just a worrier….(That’s why my friends call me whiskers).

I recognize that, objectively, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Although I’m not winning at life in the way that, I don’t know Drake is ( no ladies have tattooed my name on their foreheads.. yet) things could be a lot worse. I’ve got a  good job; I’m well-educated; my family and friends don’t suck completely; and my face doesn’t make small children run away screaming (at least not many).

The problem is, I worry that at any second it could all be taken away from me.  Someone, somewhere will realize they made some grave mistake, and I could end up unemployed, apartmentless, and- even worse- fat (due to emotional eating brought on by depression),  forced to perpetually wander the 500 sq foot block of Toronto sidewalk I’ve decorated to look like my apartment, turning cheap tricks in the night  just to support my MAC habit.

Of course my negativity, like anything, ebbs and flows- but it has been experiencing a major surge this week in correlation with my post-holiday blues and January doldrums. I relayed this to my friend over BBM yesterday, and she responded by giving me a lecture on positivity:

“You should really just have faith that the decisions you’ve made in life thus far have generally been good and have brought you happiness” She said.

I let the little R linger for a good minute before responding:    “WTF??” Do I look like Gayle King to you?? No? Well then, settle down Oprah..”.

Unphased, she continued: “I don’t know why you just wouldn’t assume you are going to be happy  when your track record shows otherwise… I mean, I just assume that I am going to be happy forever and it’s working for me

Wait a minute… I’ve heard of this before… isn’t it called The Secret or some shit?  If you believe  you are going to be happy, then you will be happy.

In the words of Hansel: It’s so simple…..

Putting aside the fact that this is the same friend who advised me not tosave my best self until Saturday“, I figured this whole Secret thing was worth a shot. But I had heard (back in 2006, when this reference was actually still relevant) that the Secret takes practice. Aiming for “happiness” on my first go-round felt like entering a marathon with no training – Run Fatboy Run styles.

I like to think dude on the Vespa is whispering: "BELIEVE you can do it, son.. just BELIEVE"

So I thought I’d start small. I looked down at the bowl of instant oatmeal in front of me: “I believe I will eat you, now“, I said to it.  And then, powered by a combination of positive thought and the laws of attraction (no, not the locomotion of my hand to my mouth.. skeptic) the spoon magically moved past my waiting lips and into my mouth. It’s working! I thought to myself delightedly.

I decided to try something slightly bigger. When my phone rang, I said to it: “I believe you will be someone I love, and not Bell Canada calling about my $900 overdue cell phone bill”.  (What? texting charges are a b*tch).

Secret Fail.

I tried again that afternoon when I stepped on the treadmill for the first time in two weeks. “I believe I will run 5 kilometres on you today”, I said to it. 15 minutes and several atrophied muscles later, this affirmation resulted in nothing but me lying on an ab mat in a pool of sweat, tears, and self-loathing.

Happiness, it seems, will have to wait until I’ve had a bit more practice. In the meantime, I’m seriously contemplating changing the name of  this blog to “misguided attempts at self-improvement”. (Or maybe “Carb face”, since I’m now the #1 hit on google when you search that. Thanks, guys. ) I also might just forget the whole thing and kidnap this kid and make her do a daily affirmation for me:

How can that shit not make you happy??

Question of the Day: Are you a Negative Nancy?

P.S. if you’re looking for more background, Brooke and McKenzie wrote a great guest post on Negative Nancy friends on Tinkerbelle’s blog a while back- check it out! Ladies, I promise I’ll try not to be one of these!

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16 thoughts on “Negative Nancy tries “The Secret” (Spoiler Alert: Doesn’t Work)

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    1. So are you saying you are going to take a page out of Jessica’s (and youngamericanwisdom’s) books and do a bathroom counter affirmation dance in front of the mirror this morning?? If so, I’m touched by the profound impact my post has made on you.. and please youtube that sh*t. 😉

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  1. Yup… I am a negative Nancy, but only to myself. I can encourage everyone else and be positive about things that do not pertain to me. Trying to rectify this mindset year! 21 days to break a habit right?

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  2. The Secret is so fucking dumb.

    Rather than call yourself a “Negative Nancy”, you should just embrace the “hater” label. It has a nice ring to it.

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  3. Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard my husband thought I’d gone crazy. “That’s why they call me whiskers.” Heeheehee. Love me some classic SNL. It sounds like your friend and you may be the Canadian version of my best friend and me. I’m forever telling her things are going to be ok. She asks how I could possibly know that. 🙂 So far I’ve been right. Neither of us are homeless or starving yet. Bet you can guess how she would respond to that….

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  4. Hello! I’m going to say something ‘shocking’ – The Secret doesn’t actually work because it’s got absolutely nothing to do with what mental images you hold in your mind/visualization, meditation, or hopping on one foot while chanting ‘there’s no place like home’. I, too, went down the path of total despair after following ‘The Secret’ for 3 years before I woke up.

    I don’t know whether the makers of the movie, or those interviewed in it, deliberately lied, or whether they were merely trying to get people to put in the effort and do a little digging of their own.

    The only thing I’ve found that actually works, is a thing called Night Audio Programs, which you make yourself, and play on ‘repeat’ all night long while you sleep. So far, it’s the ONLY thing I’ve found that makes real, palpable change while ‘the doorkeeper’ is asleep (conscious mind). One only need Google ‘Night Audio Programs’ to find it’s creator, a person going by the online name of ‘Merlin’.

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