The Pressure to Act Positive

Do we always want to be positive?




There’s something to be said for keeping our hopes up and our hearts lifted and open.


But sometimes, despite our knowingness and trust that things will be perfectly great and as they should be, we just don’t feel like acting that way.


Some areas of our being haven’t caught up with that part of us that is still open.


Is it so wrong to allow ourselves to act the way we feel, instead of the way we feel we should act knowing that things will turn out exactly the way we need them to?


Is indulging in these feelings, gulp… wallowing?


Lately, I’ve been feeling this pressure to behave according to what I know in my heart will be (and already is) true in the future, as opposed to being authentic to what I feel in the moment.


The conundrum comes because both are true and authentic for me: I’m at once positive and allowing myself to feel everything that is coming up.


So how should I act around others?


Should I stick to the positiveness?


While this feels true, it also feels like a bit of a rejection towards my feelings of things not feeling so great at the moment.


Plus, in my experience this has always led to some sort of breakdown where I all of a sudden share what’s going on inside me and people are taken aback because they had no idea.


Perhaps because of the communities which I inhabit, I feel the extra pressure to stay upbeat and always look at the silver lining.


But this sometimes feels fake, and I just simply don’t feel like going there.


In fact, it feels like violence towards myself and I get mad at the people who are asking me to take that positive journey with them, because it feels like they are ignoring a part of myself.


I suppose some people would say…


“Oh.. That’s just your ego.”


While that might be true, guess what?


Whenever I ignore these feelings and don’t share them, I feel this huge lump in my throat which signals my fear of speaking up.


My body feels suffocated, and shrunk, and claustrophobic and it’s hard to breathe.


And I’m done with that because, while it’s not healthy to wallow, it’s also not healthy to keep things bottled up.


And it’s not healthy to always be on either, especially when we don’t feel on. We need downtime, and time to allow ourselves to feel the full range of our beautiful human emotions.


Plus, you’ll end up with some very confused friends.


So I’m experimenting and exploring the gray areas.


How do I achieve balance so that I am


1) expressing myself authentically

2) honoring myself and my feelings by acting in alignment with where I am at in the moment

3) making my whole self visible to others to give them a chance to appreciate my whole self and not just the part of me that always wears a smile on my face

4) respecting the people around me and their needs




1) slipping into the downward spiral of identifying with my uncomfortable feelings

2) creating a situation in which someone is compelled to give me an unsolicited pep talk

3) making my friends feel like running away because they are not used to me not being always on


So far, what I’ve come up with is to allow myself to feel whatever I’m feeling without running away from the vulnerability and the uncomfortable.


But while I’m indulging in my feelings, at the same time I stay connected to the knowingness that these feelings are both legitimate and not true.


I can feel them without believing them because I know most of the time they come and go as a result of shifts in perspective about my self-worth.


And, when I close my eyes, I can still connect to that part of me that is sure of my worthiness.


I can hang out in both places at the same time.


What to do about this whole expression thing?


This is the trickiest part for me.


Like I mentioned, I feel the pressure to act positive.


Especially since it feels like my job depends on it a lot of the time.*


*I try to stay grounded in the trust that you are smart enough to hire someone who is constantly learning and experimenting with their own stuff. I personally wouldn’t want to work with someone who isn’t in touch with what it feels like to be in the process. Plus, this diary is where I share my process in the hopes to spark some inspiration and hope in whoever  reads it.


What I’ve been working on is staying grounded in my truth and speaking from my heart, without wanting to get anything from the other person.


It feels good to speak up and stand up for myself, instead of caving under the pressure to hide or dismiss how I really feel.


When I share, I make it clear to the person that I don’t expect anything except their active listening.


And I definitely add that I’m not seeking advice or new ways to look at things. I just merely seek to share, and I’ve chosen them to share with because I appreciate their presence and support in my life.


And you know what?


Some people get it, and some people don’t.


Some will feel honored and understand, and others will have a hard time not taking things personally.


But we cannot worry about that because it’s not our stuff to deal with.


Plus, we’re respecting and honoring them when we respect and honor ourselves. By giving them a chance to see us fully we are providing them with more information to base their choices on.


This also works because we won’t be creating the expectation that we will always be on. So then people won’t be surprised when we’re not.


There is a fear that, when practicing this sort of communication everyone will run away screaming like their head is on fire.


Some people will. And we must remind ourselves not to take it personally. Not everyone has to be able to handle us, much less like us.


But there are people who will, and those are the ones we want to keep around.


What’s your take on this?


One thought on “The Pressure to Act Positive

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