Episode 131 | Negativity, Positivity & Optimism: Why your future depends on the choice you make today

Most of us don’t enjoy being around negative people…

… but we don’t recognize we’re one of them ourselves.

We want to embrace a positive perspective…

… and then we argue against its existence.

We want the future to be better than what we are experiencing right now…

… but we resist the very simple things that will make it so.

The culturally accepted habit of negativity is what keeps us stuck right where we are.

In veterinary medicine it perpetuates the worst aspects of our profession.

Whats even worse, we believe “it is what it is” so we don’t even fight to change it.

We accept that days will be emotionally draining.


Friends, a different experience will require a different approach, and it begins with questioning what we believe and how we behave.

In this episode I break down negativity, positivity and optimism.

I share why it is so critically important to interrupt the cycle of negativity for yourself, and I explain why you don’t need to wait on everyone else to adopt your positive perspective before you begin making profoundly positive impacts on your future all on your own. 

If this episode resonates with you, I’d appreciate it if you’d leave us a review on iTunes and share it with a friend!

For more information and resources, visit https://joyfuldvm.com and keep an eye out because Vet Life Academy will be opening soon. To join the waitlist visit joyfuldvm.com/vetlifeacademy .



Website: https://joyfuldvm.com

Music Credit: Music by Lesfm from Pixabay


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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos. 

Hi there. I'm Dr. Cari Wise, veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you are a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career, or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let's get started. Hello,

my friends. Welcome to episode 131 of the joyful DVM podcast. Today we're gonna spend a few minutes talking about negativity, which is something that most of us don't enjoy, but we're going to look at negativity through the lens of positivity and optimism, which are not the same things. And hopefully by the time that we get to the end of this episode,

you'll have a few more pieces of information that can help you determine whether or not you are living day-to-day in a positive attitude or a negative attitude, and why it is so important that you shift all of those things to optimism. So let's start out and talk about the negative attitude. Many of us have no problem listing off a handful of people in our lives who we would deem negative people who seem to complain about everything.

And let's face it, it's not very much fun to be around those people. However, what we miss, even though it's so easy for us to point it out on others, is how negative most of us are ourselves. So if we think about the way that our days go in veterinary medicine, I want you to consider how do you react when somebody's late for an appointment?

What do you do when somebody messes up something inside of the hospital or does a task the wrong way, or you have to do it over because they just don't do it at all? Do you have a cheerful attitude about that? Or are you negative? Do you automatically judge a client for them being late? Do you go into a little bit of a rant about how they should have called or they should have rescheduled or don't they have any respect for your time?

Do you feel yourself feeling internally frustrated when you notice that a colleague or a coworker has messed something up and it needs to be done over? Especially if that means that you need to call a client and have them come back. I know that I spent years and years being frustrated about these same kinds of things, and the thing of it is, it would be wonderful if everything just went the way that we believed it should go,

but that's just not the way that the world works. However, when we then interact with those unpredictable things in a way that creates a negative emotion within us, we end up ruining our whole days. We do it all on our own, and then we stand around and we commiserate, and we complain and we blame together because somehow that feels more powerful.

But then that actually just helps us to create more and more of the same. So the opportunity here is for us to start paying attention to what we individually say and do when we bump up against these things that aren't the way that we hoped that they would be. I'm not saying that we want to try to make everything perfect because we absolutely don't, but we can never solve a problem that we don't understand.

And so it must start with us taking a look at our own reactions. If we notice that something is not the way that we want it to be, what is that knee jerk reaction that we have? Do we grumble under our breaths? Do we feel a lot of frustration and anger or anxiety? Do we get really kind of hacked off and want to feel like feel ourselves blow up?

And maybe some of us actually do, maybe we yell at people, we snap at people, we throw things. Maybe we stomp around in silence doing everything but slamming doors and huffing, maybe we avoid people. All of that is just the actions that come from the emotional feelings of negativity. And there's all kinds of different specific emotions that jump into that.

But when we actually then have our actions and words be examples of that negative energy and negative emotion that we're feeling, then we change the environment for everybody around us. Many of us feel justified in this behavior, especially when we're snippy toward colleagues or snippy even toward clients. We believe that they deserve that kind of behavior. But do they? I think that's something that we really need to take a step back and ask ourselves.

Do people deserve to be treated badly? I personally don't believe that they do because when we treat people badly, it's never about them. It's always about us. Our actions follow our own emotions, and our emotions are something that only we control. So we are trying to feel better by treating other people badly, and that actually just creates a stacking phenomenon where where whereby we end up feeling worse.

What's more is that negativity is noticed by everybody around us and they don't wanna be around us when we are being negative. Face it, friends, negativity is no fun to be around. Now, you may have heard people say, you should just look on the bright side. And I know that I have said that many times myself, and that's what positivity is.

It's looking at the situation at hand and finding a positive perspective, finding a silver lining and what's happening even when we wish that it was happening differently than it was. The truth is what is happening in the current moment is what is happening in the current moment. And so whether or not we wanna engage in what's happening through a negative perspective or choose intentionally to engage in it through a positive perspective,

that is a choice that each of us gets to make. We can always learn something from the current moment and maybe make some adjustments so that perhaps we won't end up in the same kind of circumstance again in the future. But right now, in this present moment, it is what it is. That phrase, which has so often been used, it is what it is,

can sometimes have a negative connotation to it as if we're just giving in, giving up, giving. But that's not what it is meaning at all. What it simply is reminding us is that the present moment is simply the present moment. And the experience we have of it is only going to be dependent upon what we decide to believe about it. So are we going to evaluate that present moment,

interpret and that in present moment through a perspective of negativity, are we going to feel victimized? Are we going to feel bitter or jaded? Are we going to believe that whatever's happening is really out to get us, or are we gonna choose a different perspective, one that doesn't have us feeling like we're under attack? Can we instead set aside the circumstances of it and find a silver lining,

find a bright side. There's always one available. And the thing of it is my friends, finding the bright side, finding the positive perspective in any situation is not a normal way of interacting with the world. Now, I say normal and I did not say natural, and that is very intentional. Normal is learned behavior, normal is what everybody else does.

Normal is what you've been taught. And so we've been taught to interact in our world in a way that automatically looks for the negative. And so that is the way that we tend to interact in the world with each other and with all of our circumstances, we have been taught that we always need to have our guard up, that we need to be looking out for threats.

And way back when, when there really was that, that risk of being eaten by a lion around any corner, that constant look for threats was really, really useful. But today in the modern world, it's not so useful, and it actually is starting to and has been for years, has been compounding to create a whole society of negativity and fear through which we are all living.

It certainly doesn't make anything easier when it comes to veterinary medicine. So in those moments when we automatically are so easily drawn into the negative perspective, what I wanna encourage you is to consider what the bright side is. What is the positive perspective? Now, some of you'all may have heard about the term positive talk, toxic positivity, the term toxic positivity,

and that's where we're just trying to make everything sunshine and roses. That's where we ignore the negative and we just plaster on the positive. It's kind of like putting lipstick on a pig, but my friends, that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm noticing what I'm talking about here is noticing that yeah, whatever's happening right now may not be ideal, but there is a positive that goes along with it.

There is a balance. There are both sides of the coin presence all the time. So are we only gonna focus on the negative side or are we also going to give ourselves the opportunity to focus on the positive positivity has to do with the present moment. This is very important because it's different than optimism, which we're gonna talk about in just a minute.

So moment by moment, your emotional state is dependent on how you are feeling emotionally. That makes sense, right? The combination of all your moment by moment emotions is what ends up making up your net emotional state how you feel most of the time. And so if you're in that habit, as most of us are of looking at everything through a negative perspective and then communicating and interacting with each other through that negative perspective,

even when it is commiseration and support through negativity, it's no wonder that our net emotional state is low, that overall we don't create anything new and exciting and expansive in our lives. We get by by merely existing. What I wanna offer you is that moment by moment you have the option of choosing positivity. Instead, you can sure notice the negativity. That's gonna be the first thing that jumps up always.

And that's not a problem. But how long do you wanna stay there? How long before you remind yourself that there's a positive perspective that you can also give your attention to? As soon as you start to engage in that positive perspective, the way that you feel emotionally is going to increase, you can feel better in the moment just by simply changing your perspective of the situation at hand.

So moment by moment in the present, you can choose positively positivity every single time. And as soon as you start practicing this, you're going to begin to feel better in your days are gonna start to get easier. Now, optimism takes that an entire step further, optimism is not the same thing as positivity. Optimism instead looks at the future. It's really all about the outlook for the future.

How do you look toward the future? What is your belief about the future? Do you believe that things are working out for your good? Do you believe that things are moving in the right direction? Do you believe that things are getting better? Optimism holds that everything is really working together toward a greater mission, that even when we have really hard days,

it's all part of a bigger purpose. That is a positive force. And when we remember to anchor ourselves in optimism, we absolutely create a better experience for ourselves in the future. The future's going to be created by the decisions that we make today. And when we make those decisions from a focus, a future focus of something that is bigger and more expansive and more exciting and more fulfilling,

then we're gonna be much more likely to get there. However, if we look to the future through a pessimistic outlook that we're gonna just keep repeating the same thing over and over again, that we are victims of veterinary medicine, that clients are always going to be cranky, that pay is always gonna be terrible, that hours are always gonna be unsustainable, that staffing is always gonna be short.

If that's the view that we have of our future, then that is exactly what we are gonna create. My friends, we are so much more powerful than that. So positivity in the present moment, remember that's a choice of the present moment that's gonna make you feel better today. Optimism, which is shifting your entire focus towards something bigger and more expansive and sustainable and exciting,

that's gonna change what you experience tomorrow and the day after and the year after and the decade after. Having an optimistic outlook toward the future will serve you so much better than just simply staying in the positive or negative of the present moment, the positive or negative of the present moment. Yes, you can change your experience right now, but are you creating anything different?

That's where optimism comes in. What is your overall outlook of the world? This is a question we all have to ask ourselves because if our outlook of the future and of the world in the future is one that is negative, one that is hopeless, one that is anchored in despair, then it's no wonder that we're having a difficult time experiencing anything different than that right now.

I mean, what's the point? We're pretty much teaching ourselves that there's no point in any type of positivity, but my friends, that's definitely not the way that I look at the world, and that's definitely not what I believe is happening. I think that we are so much more powerful than that, and I think there's never been a greater time in history for us to create exactly what it is that we want to experience,

especially when it comes to veterinary medicine. Things are changing in this profession, and right now is where we are starting to make the changes that are going to create a more sustainable career field for those who are to follow and for ourselves. As we continue right along in doing that, we lead the way in creating something different. We don't need to argue with the way that it was in the past because the past is over.

It is what it is. And we don't even have to get all muddled down on what's happening right now in the present moment. Remember, we always have the opportunity in the present to shift that to a positive perspective, find the silver lining, look for the lesson. But when we do all of this through an optimistic outlook about the future, the individual changes that we make day in and day out have a much greater and compounding impact,

not only on ourselves and our wellbeing, but on that wellbeing of all those around us and those who will come as well. We can continue to follow and to follow the people in a that have come before us kind of in this circle of negativity, continuing to create exactly what we've we've been experiencing all along, or we can break the cycle that's really up to you and me to decide we can break the cycle individually for ourselves.

You do not need everybody in your organization to get on board at looking for a positive perspective. You can actually do this for yourself, and you can be the one to lead the way. There's sometimes a little bit of fear that comes with taking a different approach or taking a different perspective than what is the common perspective in your environment. But my friends,

this is the heart of where toxic work environments learn to thrive. They thrive in negativity. They thrive in the negative outlook of everything that happens, and they're compounded when everybody in that environment agrees with that negative perspective. Most of us simply agree with a negative perspective simply because nobody's offered us an alternative perspective. Nobody's offered us the bright side. Nobody's shown us what's positive and what's happening.

Nobody's reminded us that no matter how bad the day is, we still served clients and treated patients. Nobody's reminded us that no matter how awful some of the clients are that we may interact with, they're still better than the people who never bothered to bring their patient, their pets in for any kind of of medical, medical care at all. And when we let our wellbeing simply be the result of what the common opinion is about the world,

then there's no wonder why we feel so much hopelessness and despair. I wanna encourage you to start thinking for yourself. Decide for yourself what you want to believe about what's happening around you. Choose a positive perspective. Look for the silver lining, find the lesson. It's always there waiting for you. And as you do this, give yourself the opportunity to craft an optimistic outlook.

What is it that you want to create for yourself in the future? Your future is going to be created by the decisions that you make. It's going to be created by the actions that you take. And the decisions and actions that you make today and that you take today are going to be determined by how you feel emotionally today. Remember, action follows emotion.

The emotion is simply created by our thoughts. What are we thinking about? What are we believing? What is our perspective? And if you aren't intentionally choosing that for yourself, odds are you are falling into a habit of negative thinking that the world has offered you and that our profession has reinforced, which has created a spiral effect of negative emotion that has you feeling like you're sinking and that you're stuck,

and that maybe even veterinary medicine was the worst decision ever. But my friends, I just want you to give yourself the opportunity to step off of that rollercoaster to recognize that simply because the world has tried to offer you their negative perspective and the people in this profession have offered it to you as well, and then have reinforced it time and time again, that does not mean that it's the only perspective that exists,

that you are not required to accept the opinion of this profession and this job simply because people around you, even people who you respect, have a negative perspective of what's happening. You can think for yourself in this. You can find the bright side, you can look for the silver lining. You can identify intentionally the positive perspective. And as you couple that positive perspective with your optimistic outlook for the future with your hopes and your dreams and what you want to create,

I promise you that is the fastest track to creating it for yourself. All right, my friends, as you finish out this week, I want you to take every negative perspective that's offered and intentionally find yourself a positive one and then just notice how you feel better the more often that you do this. I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to send me an email or hit me on social media anytime.

And if this episode has resonated, please share it with a friend that's gonna wrap it up for this week. See you next time.