This past weekend I was strolling through a large shopping mall with a friend and wandered into a store that catered to teen girls and young adults. Amongst the typical ripped jeans, tiny cotton T-shirts, loose baggie sweaters, were wall signs that could also be purchased. Amongst the “Go Jays” and “Go Habs” signs was a sign, for a mere $25, that said, “I HATE EVERYTHING”. When I read this I nearly physically recoiled and my mind felt like it was slapped. My immediate thought was: imagine if I was a 15-year-old girl and had that in my room: waking up to that every single day and closing my eyes at the end of the day with that negative message hanging over my head. Imagine the subconscious impact of that damaging message. I was going to take a picture of this sign and use it in this blogpost but then I thought twice. I don’t want to give any more power to the words or this sign then they already have.
Some people may argue that this sign is supposed to be funny and I should “relax”. I don’t think it’s funny and instead of relaxing, it bothered me so much that I felt I needed to take an active role in countering its negative effects. I especially abhor the fact that this store that specifically caters to our youth would have such a negative sign on their walls. Let’s conservatively say they have 50 shoppers a day venturing into their store and they have 10 stores throughout Canada with most likely the same products displayed. Just imagine how many people would see the sign and be subconsciously affected by it everyday.
We need to empower our youth of today with positive, affirming words that will in turn positively affect their mindset, support their confidence and create an upward spiral of optimism that they can affect their world and open their possibilities. I would argue that not just our youth but anyone can easily get sucked into the negative messages media outlets constantly bombard us with. We are flooded with messages on average every seven seconds of every day. We must take an active role to constantly withstand and guard ourselves from being dragged down into harmful, damaging and destructive thoughts and beliefs. This takes energy, perseverance and awareness of our environment. And once this kernel of awareness is in the forefront of our mind, we can catch ourselves when those destructive and downbeat feelings creep in, stomp them down and kick them to the curb to be replaced by positive thoughts. I challenge you to pay attention to how many negative thoughts creep into your mind everyday…and the make the active choice to replace them with constructive thoughts. I guarantee this will positively affect your state of mind.
As a consultant and a coach, I constantly hear my clients express their limiting beliefs in themselves and their business. To counter this, I encourage them to use positive, self-affirming words to increase their confidence which will in turn increase positive interactions they have in the day, and that will make those tasks that seem daunting much easier to tackle and achieve.
On the heels of the terrible recent terrorist activities in Paris, don’t we have enough hate in the world? For a mere $25 buy yourself a sign that says, “I AM AWESOME” OR “LOVE LOVE LOVE”. I’ve written to the head office of that retailer expressing my displeasure at their poor choice of products in their store and I will be boycotting that store in the future. The choice is mine, the choice is yours. I choose to spend my time and money in places that make me feel good about myself.