Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘negativity

Resist the Echo Chamber (AKA Negativity)

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Folks, I’ve heard a lot recently about negative reinforcement, which from here on out I’ll call “the echo chamber.” And it needs to be discussed, because too many of us never think about it.

Whether your echo chamber is from a person or from the news (as the news tends to repeat negativity over and over and over again, as that’s what many viewers seem to want), or even from your own past experiences, you need to throw it off.


Let’s put it this way: If you are inundated by negativity, it’s hard to create. It’s also hard to believe that anything will be any better than it is today.

(Which probably is why it’s so hard to create, if you think about it. Anything worth creating takes time, and if you are worrying yourself into a frenzy all the time due to the negativity you see around you, you can’t believe that time will be well-spent. Which is a lie, but I digress.)

One of the hardest things in this world to do is to throw off that echo chamber. It is liberating to do, once you realize you need to do it, but just getting to the point you can even have that thought is hard.

Some of you may be going, “Barb, what on Earth are you talking about this time?”

Simply this: If you live your life defined by negativity, you can’t help but be weighed down.

But if you see your life as full of possibilities, as best you can, you have a better shot at throwing off that echo chamber and doing whatever it was you were meant to do.

(In my case, it’s creating. I love to create, whether it’s music, words, cooking…it gives me fulfillment and peace, when I can do that. But since you’re here at my blog, you may have realized this already…)

You must throw the echo chamber away, and with great force, and lose those weights that confine you. Because they do not — I repeat, do not — define you.

How do you resist the negativity in your life? Tell me about it in the comments!

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Skip the Self-Sabotage; Instead, Use Your Talents Today

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Folks, I’ve been pondering something, and here goes:

Why do we sabotage ourselves so much? Why do we use so much negative self-talk?

Worse, why do we listen to others who have nothing to say except negativity?

Look. As a creative person, I need to be able to create. It’s like air, to me; if I can’t create, it’s like I’m slowly getting smothered. (That’s one reason I’m so happy to report I wrote 1500 words tonight — yay! But I digress.) If I can successfully create something new, something all mine, something unique and different and real…well, I feel like I’ve cast a blow against the darkness of conformity, misunderstanding, and, of course, negativity.

Including self-sabotaging negative self-talk, mind.

See, it’s all too easy to get down on yourself. Life is difficult, frustrating, there’s never enough time in the day, it’s hard to get in the right frame of mind sometimes to write, and it’s even harder still to make yourself believe that it’s relevant sometimes.

I mean, in my case, I’m barely known. (Not that it matters for the purposes of discussion, after all, but sometimes that still matters to me. I’m human, and I have my egotistical moments. I freely admit that. But again, I digress.) It can be hard to tell myself, “Hey, Barb, what you do matters. Even if no one else but you will ever know it, it matters, OK?”

Why does it matter? Because I haven’t given up yet. I haven’t given up on my talents, or abilities…I haven’t stopped trying to use them, and I hope I never will.

Yes, life is damned difficult, sometimes. I’ve not had an easy road, and I’m betting very few of you out there have, either. But what we do with what we’ve learned, and how we use it to create with, matters very much.

So, for today — just for today, mind you! — when your mind tries to tell you that your writing, music, art, or other creative impulses don’t matter, tell your mind to go mind its own business.

Then go create.

Just use your talents, please, as best you can.

That is the winning strategy, whether anyone else knows it or not.


Written by Barb Caffrey

July 6, 2016 at 3:55 am