We Are Fighting A Losing Battle

Negativity and the new normal

The past seven months have been hard on all of us. From concern over World War 3 to a global pandemic and mass protests, it seems as though anything that can happen will happen.

And we still have four months to go.

As Ben Folds so aptly put it,

Pray we get through, but hey don’t hold your breath
’Cause there’s plenty left to wreck

While this thought is relatable and amusing, I believe it also embodies a very real way in which we are failing as country in handling what has been happening on a daily basis.

We are fighting a losing battle against negativity.

Since the 2016 election in particular, negativity has been growing in intensity. And it is assuredly true that part of the reason is because we have elected officials who thrive on that negativity and division as a way to increase their own power and influence. Negativity is, in fact, a proven way to market your brand.

Take the Apple vs. Android debate for example.

Very little of the discussion between the two centers on what one or the other does better. Rather, the focus is on what the other does worse. That negativity against leads to an uncertainty about your decision not to choose Apple or Android.

We do the same thing with ideas.

Rather than discussing what we want to do or what we support, we spend copious amounts of time advertising what we are against that the other is in favor of that shows our own moral superiority.

Under normal circumstances, it would really end there. People would decide on a perspective or decide to support an ideology on the grounds that it is against the same things they are against.

But we are not acting under normal circumstances anymore. We have actually taken our negativity advertising and have weaponized it in a way that hurts others.

We have decided that being in favor of things is a sign of haughtiness. We have actually taken the notion that when someone says we should take actions as a way to serve others, that what they are really saying is that they believe they are morally superior. Then we go a step further and argue that we are the morally superior ones because we choose not to take those actions. Which leads to a string of insults back and forth and eventually turns into videos of middle-aged women acting like toddlers at the grocery store because they are asked to put a mask on if they want to come in.

The negativity is winning.

And every single one of us stumbling into it.






Every day the news makes us angry.

Every day we get yelled at for simply doing our jobs. Or we are the ones doing the yelling.

We are all beaten down. We are all carrying the weight of the words and actions of ourselves and others on our shoulders and it is getting to be too much for us to bear.

The stress of whether or not our children will be going back to school for in class instruction or be doing their work at home again and how we are going to manage that when we have to go back to work because the unemployment is running out. If we are even going to be able to find a job in the first place. Is getting to be too much to bear.

The memes and positive psychology that were maybe helping us deal with the normal every day stresses are not enough anymore. Eating right and working out are not the escape they once were. Self care is proving to be more of a burden than it should be cuz it has become increasingly challenging to find times and places to practice it with the whole family at home.

We are fighting a losing battle against negativity.

I wish I had a straightforward answer or a daily breathing technique or some kind of magical way to help you win the battle. But I do not think something like that exists. Especially not here in our new normal. We were not prepared for this.

But here is what I can offer: over the next 10 or so posts, we are going to go on a journey of transformation. We are going to work together to move to a place where we are at the very least able to harness our negativity and use it for good. We are going to collect that negativity and use it as fertilizer for growth into being the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.

Where I failed before, I am going to succeed. We are going to utilize the Facebook group from the original Ten Day Self Improvement Challenge as a means of coming together to discuss what we are doing to push back against our culture of negativity within each pathway. We will also, as we go along, establish a curriculum of sorts that you can go back to or can point others to that can assist yourself or them in these practices. And I will be starting this right away so we can hit the ground running.


If you would like to know more about overcoming negativity in your own life, feel free to join the group, email me at jeremyzerbycoaching@yahoo.com, or find me on facebook and send me a message. I would love to help. And, as always, if this idea of working together to overcome negativity has resonated with you in any way, share this post on your social media platform of choice.



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Jeremy Zerby

Jeremy Zerby


Hermeneutics, religion, pop psychology, self-help, and culture. They are all connected, and I am here to explain how.