Can too much positive thinking be bad for you?
Vicki Amorose shares some ideas and poses the question of whether positive thinking can leave you in a position to be blindsided in your voice over career and beyond.
Read Vicki’s article and then add your own voice to the conversation in today’s VOX Daily.
Can Positive Thinking Have a Negative Side?
By Vicki Amorose
About a year ago, I contributed an article called Let’s Hear It for Working Class Voiceover Talent! The primary message encouraged individualism and creativity, and I also gave a shout-out to all the voice talents who hold a second job in order to pay the bills.
I was in that category until a month ago when I quit my part-time job as a copywriter. Now I’m a full-time voice talent after 11 years in the biz.
Who in their right mind would quit a good job in this economy?
I did not take this step without a back-up plan. My job exit was preceded by saving up two months of copywriting salary in my VO business account. I have a consultant job lined up and my resume is updated. In other words, although I will work hard to make enough money from voiceover alone, I’m not locking myself into one possibility. And I have my husband to lean on if need be, since we are raising two teens and we don’t take that responsibility lightly.
I am thinking positively, but with my full critical facilities turned ON.
Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a terrific book called Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America. I know some of you are recoiling right now, thinking – oh I reject such negativity! But please don’t judge a book because you disagree with the title; at least disagree with the book itself!
Because she so eloquently examines the downside to positive thinking as it has affected the business community, I encourage all entrepreneurs to read her book.
The author came to examine the subject because she survived breast cancer and was confronted with a culture that requires “the denial of understandable feelings of anger and fear, all which must be buried under a cosmetic layer of cheer”. She sites the subprime mortgage meltdown as another example of positive thinking run amuck. Everyone might ‘deserve’ a nice big house, but not everyone can afford it, not even the lenders pushing the rainbows.
As Ehrenreich concludes, “A vigilant realism does not foreclose the pursuit of happiness; in fact, it makes it possible.”
My voiceover community is a warm and generous bunch whose encouragement has meant a great deal to me. Yet I’m also grateful for the critics in the forums, the bad boys and girls, the issuers of warnings. If a trail guide tells you that bears have attacked people in the area you are now hiking, you wouldn’t accuse him of ‘negative thinking’.
But I must admit, I’m an optimist at heart. Maybe none of us in voiceover would have chosen this career without some blindness in our optimism.
Optimism moves us forward. And as we make that choice, it is ‘vigilant realism’ that reminds us we are moving forward in an economy that has not yet recovered.
Keep going. Keep your mind and your possibilities open, and keep going.