What is “Toxic Positivity” and Why you need to be careful…

Hello my beautiful butterflies,


(LOL, that really never gets old… But, it’s ALWAYS so cheesy.)🦋 

I’ve got a very cold blog post for you guys today, something that – as I presented this idea to my loved ones – brought on a very harsh debate, but a very profound new understanding, and ultimately a Real positive experience… in spite of the (false) “negative” stigma that surrounded the conversation.


Now, I don’t know where this really started, but I know that it’s a topic that needs to be spoken about. And, despite not really knowing how to properly convey this message, I thought I’d raise a little more awareness to this, and maybe you could do the rest of the “figuring it out” on your own.


In other words, this is just something to think about.

So, for the last several weeks, I’ve undergone a series of extremely deep and trembling lifestyle changes. Since beginning my own pursuit of changing vibe (my energy and emotional state, in general,) I’ve been faced with many aspects of myself that are stuck in negativity… but! Finding the parts of me that are REAAAALLY good at hiding it.


Of course, it’s fucking challenging. Most days, I overcome a heavy set of emotional baggage and spend a good part of my day open, inspired, creative, and – most important of all - positive, and on other days it feels like no progress is made and I hit (what feels like, yet another) dead end.

BUT! After feeling sorry for myself, today, for a good fifteen minutes, I stopped and looked for a way to truly overcome my challenging energies. 


Side note: Weird the way the universe works, it often fucking blows my mind.

Within two good minutes of deciding to work my way through this painful emotion, I came across a thread on Reddit that spoke about a concept called: “toxic positivity.”

Now, here’s a little background on that. (I hope you’ll stick around and stay open to exploring this topic with me.)  

The thread initially spoke about how someone was tired of idolizing the #Hustle Lifestyle, where most people worship this idea of “success” that strives on the “work-work-work”, “hot girls”, “endless dollar signs”, “fast cars”, and “sleepless nights.”

It’s true. There is an image being portrayed about entrepreneurship, creating the life of your dreams, happiness, and even this picture of what “success” looks (or, should look) like.


NOW! Here’s where I really hope to make a difference.


What is “Toxic Positivity?”

Have you ever seen someone who acts or presents their life like they’ve got it all figured out? Have you ever met someone, or even yourself, who portraits absolutely no difficulties in life, and always has something motivating or “positive” to say (but you can tell that, behind-the-scenes, it’s absolute bull crap?) Someone who, in spite of their reaaally great efforts to hide the deeper truth is selling you a dream or a vision of what their (or your) life should look like?


This is where the surface of “Toxic positivity” is met.


Someone smiling in the face of another, but judging or criticizing (them or themselves) behind the scenes. Or, putting on a mask of beauty, effortlessness, and “success” when, in reality, they’re avoiding a much deeper issue within their lives or themselves. Portraying a standard that others must meet, while they – themselves – can’t even achieve such expectations?


I can always sense when people are looking “positive” but truly feeling (or vibrating) negative energy. I don’t know where this ability comes from, but for better or worse, I’m able to notice and recognize when someone’s energy is particularly off.


So, what does any of this matter?  

Sure, it might seem like I’ve coming off as negative. Calling people out for faking their success, their happiness, or their positivity in life.

But, what I’m really trying to get at, is that there’s two types of positivity. One stems from a real, raw, and honest state of happiness (contentment, satisfaction, or truth). And, the other stems from an illusion that we give off, as a means of hiding a much deeper issue.

I’m not calling out the people who are “faking it.” I actually hope to help them determine the difference between really feeling good, and pretending to be happy while inside they’re actually crumbling.

On a side note, I made a little video while I was trying to really understand what this “toxic positivity” was, and how we can actually cultivate real positivity in our lives and genuinely feel worthy and happy.

It will give you a better understanding of how you can de-code this state of “false/toxic positivity” so that, if you’re hiding behind negative emotions, you can actually work through them and feel better, instead of dreading on the cycle of false satisfaction (while you might actually be feeling like shit.)

Now, that I have a better awareness, I just wanna list a few more symptoms (so that we can all find the queues of false positivity, in our lives) and counteract them with great actions/tips for cultivating a real positive energy.



-       A belief that you Always gotta seem/look “positive” even if you’re ignoring your true wants or needs.

-       Denying that it’s okay to be open with/accepting of yourself, even if you’re not where you want to be.

-       Pretending to feel great, happy or positive when you really don’t feel that way.

-       Hiding a form of pain, depression, exhaust, and/or overwhelm through external forms (such as overworking yourself, proving yourself to others, turning to substances, masking your feelings through external beauty or “health, or anything else.”

-       Acting like your more successful, happy, healthy, or whatever it is, than you actually are

-       Living in a place of external validation, proving yourself to anyone, or people-pleasing

-       Comparing yourself to other people and trying to live up to their stories or expectations

-       Forgetting your own wants and needs because you’re chasing something outside of yourself

-       Not tending to your own wellbeing because you’re too busy “pretending” like you are/got it.

-       Compromising any form of balance because you’re living in a place of “should’s” or obligations

-       Creating Self-destructive thoughts or actions in the name of any form of validation. (Aka. Acting out negative or unhealthy patterns so you can appear better or more “whatever” than you are)

-       Avoiding opportunities for your real growth and self-realization because you might come off as “negative” or “unsuccessful” (or, whatever.)



-       Celebrate your small victories

-       Admit when shit is difficult (don’t avoid the challenges, or emotional roller-coasters)

-       It’s okay to have crappy days, mentally, health, and/or business wise.

-       Stop following or comparing yourself to other people’s standards or stories of success

-       Follow your own wants, needs, and hopes

-       Know that you are unique, beautiful and worthy.

-       Remember that your story is supposed to be different, and that even your challenges are meant to teach you something about how you can achieve your wants/needs in life.

-       Cultivating real positivity by Appreciating where you are right now – and how far you’ve already made it

-       Letting go of ANY Expectations – no matter who they come from (including yourself)

-       Making time, energy, or space for doing the things that YOU ACTUALLY WANT.

-       Stop doing ANYTHING unless/until you’re really feeeeeeling Goood about yourself/it.

-       Start acting from a place of inspiration, self-love, creativity, and authenticity (Aka. Forget what anyone says and/or thinks, and just do it cause you feel good about it.)

-       Be open to (and grateful for) your challenges and obstacles. As opposed to what you think, they’re actually here to point you in your right direction – showing you what you do/don’t want in your life.

-       Prioritize your health, well-being, and REAL Happiness by doing what is really true to you.


-       Stop judging yourself or other people ALTOGETHER. Know that everyone is different and that no one matters to anyone as much as we do to our OWN SELF.

-       Listen to your gut, your real intuition, and the part of you that truly feels/lives Well, happy, positive, and satisfied.


So many other ways to cultivate real happiness, that we no longer need to find excuses to feel shitty while lookin’ pretty.


I hope this post adding some value, love, positivity and awareness to your life.

You can watch the YouTube video about this topic, or listen to the podcast (just the audio version of the video) by following the links.


I love you all so much, and hope that you will love yourself the same way.


Take care, BE POSITIVE, but most of all…. Be well.


With love,

Sarah ELLE


Sarah ELLE8 Comments