Realistic Positivity

Posted by Kathryn Walker

You know when you get a song stuck in your head?  Can’t say I am a massive fan, but Ronan Keating’s Life is a Rollercoaster seems to be on repeat at the moment.  


Like almost everyone, a lot has changed for me in the last few weeks....

  • I’ve postponed a wedding and honeymoon 

  • I helped my partner pack up his three eateries and bar (to be reopened!)

  • I had a low-level panic about my own job

  • I spent a lot of stressful time reading the news and working hard to restrain myself from buying 500 rolls of toilet paper... 


This week, easing into the ‘new normal’, I’m practicing something called realistic positivity. 

Realism is defined as: accepting a situation and being able to deal with it accordingly. 

Positivity is defined as: seeing the bright side no matter what the situation (thanks Wikipedia).

Combining these together I am looking to be realistic, but also see the bright side of things. Here’s how.


Turning crisis into an opportunity to pivot

At work I am supporting businesses who are making some tough decisions as a result of cancelled contracts and uncertainty, but I’m also seeing the beautiful resilience and ability to pivot that small business owners have. 

Already I’m talking to business owners about new online products they’re building, how they’re going to stay connected to their teams in a virtual world and how engagement programmes are being put into practice that were first discussed months ago. 


Becoming closer through distance

With my team at Sprout I am seeing the challenges of working from home, our clients having to put things on hold and speaking with people whose positions have been disestablished. 

While all this is hard, I’m also finding I’m connecting even more than usual and seeing more of my colleagues’ lives. Who knew that Angela had a cat that was bigger than my dog! 

More importantly, what I’m seeing is a mutual offer of support between people. We’re all in the same boat and that’s creating a real sense of (virtual) community. At Sprout we’re doing everything we can to support our colleagues, contacts and teams - in some cases at a cost to the business, which we simply see as part of our responsibility. 


It took a pandemic, but we’re reducing carbon emissions! 

From a global perspective things look scary at the moment, but for someone who was concerned about our carbon emissions over 10 years ago while researching my honours dissertation, I’m reassured that at least there  has been a significant reduction in emissions during all of this. 


More time with loved ones

Like a lot of Kiwis things have changed at work and home and we’re tightening our belts. We’ve sadly had to postpone the wedding and honeymoon of our dreams for the foreseeable future. But on the brighter side, my partner, a chef and restauranteur, who I used to see for about 10 hours a week is now home 24/7! 

You can imagine the benefit  of this -- last night we had fig pancakes for dinner! More importantly, we have each other as sounding boards during this deeply unsettling time. 


Life is scary right now, there’s no denying that. But as a nation one of our superpowers is uniting to help out and hold each other up. I’d love to hear about how you are practising your own realistic positivity to navigate your way through this. 

And in the words of Ronan… don’t fight it


Reach out to Kathryn on 027 274 4004 or



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