Why Your Positive Attitude is Working Against You


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You've heard it time and time again: have a positive mental attitude. No-one, and I mean no-one wants to hear your tales of woe. Right? Maybe.

I bet you've had a full gallon of the Kool-aid, and you practice positive self-talk, keep your problems to yourself, dress for success, and forge ahead like your stuff is nobody's business.

But I'm here to tell you that your perma-smile is working against you, and you don't even realize it. As the self-titled Queen of PMA, I've noticed some people take their Happiness Project a little too far ... so much so that it's working against them. 

Here's why:

*You just can't be happy all the time. Everyone has a bad day, or at least a bad 15 minutes, pretty much on a regular basis. We are all fighting battles, some of them super-secret, but we all have them. People don't want you to walk around in tears all the time {also weird}, they just want to see you're dealing with the same challenges in life they are. You can say, "I'm having a tough time with my teenager, or one of my clients is a real challenge." A real rapport builder is one that connects you to other people. 

*You seem unapproachable.  People like people who are like them, and when we don't see cracks in the armor, we think you're not like us. Show us your range of emotions, it's okay ... we will actually like you more.

*Your humanity is in question. You seem super-human, especially if you're professionally accomplished, send emails at all hours of the day and night and post pictures on Facebook that would make Donald Trump or Martha Stewart envious. All of those things are great -- and those who rise up to meet their potential give the rest of us something to strive for as well. But every so often, tell the world you have the sniffles, lost a client or pulled a hammy.

*You might be hiding something. Finally, those who seem to have everything all together make the rest of us wonder what's really going on. Happy and aloof raises our suspicions, and wonder why you won't show us your under-belly. I gave a presentation to a room full of professional moms about ten years ago, after I had been up all night with a vomiting, screaming child (as a single mom). I was cranky, tired, and in no mood. So I shared my plight with the moms, right before I told them they could go on to achieve their dreams. It was my best speech to date, and really connected me with the audience. Had I just said, "The show must go on," and not admitted my humanity, they would have wondered what the heck was up with me. 

People can feel you, and what's going on with you, even if you don't say it. So if you are genuinely feeling awesome and like the world is your oyster, right on! And, when you're down for the count and could use some new business, more sleep, or a hug, that's great too.

Be authentically you and the world will love you more!

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