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Why Thinking Negatively Isn't Always a Bad Thing

Reconsider the positive thinking mindset

"Looking on the bright side" is advise that is seldom helpful.

When people think negatively, they can turn their anxiety into action. They take more time to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why Thinking Negatively Isn't Always a Bad Thing

Why Thinking Negatively Isn't Always a Bad Thing

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/323577

entrepreneur.com

5

Key Ideas

Reconsider the positive thinking mindset

"Looking on the bright side" is advise that is seldom helpful.

When people think negatively, they can turn their anxiety into action. They take more time to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.

2 types of people

  • Strategic optimists: They will perform better if they do something positive before they complete their tasks.
  • Defensive pessimists: They are more likely to perform positively if they visualize failure before they complete their tasks.

These two groups succeed best under different circumstances. 

Positive and Negative thinking

Thinking positively can hinder people from realizing their goals.

At the same time, pessimists can become paralyzed by stress and fail to take action while those who are overwhelmingly positive are unlikely to experience stress or anxiety. 

Harness the power of both mindsets

To get the best out of a positive and negative mindset, visualize the best possible outcome while planning for the worst-case scenario. 

Harness your thoughts

Meditation is another way to direct your thought patterns by creating a separation between yourself and your thoughts.

We will encounter many problems along the way, but a good mindset will lead to mental wellness and productivity.

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Defensive Pessimism
Defensive Pessimism
  • While normally pessimism means blaming yourself for the negative outcomes, defensive pessimism takes this at a whole new level, harnessing the negative feeling and using it as a step...
Setting Low Expectations

Having a defensively pessimistic strategy can help one chart out a course of action to ensure that the mishaps that are envisioned do not turn into reality.

Example: Having a low expectation of an interview, along with brooding about what all could go wrong can help one practice harder and plan to avoid those outcomes.

Pessimism As Insurance

While waiting for a piece of important news, being pessimistic has better health benefits than being overly optimistic.

If the news is not in one’s favour, the optimists take a bigger hit on their wellbeing, experiencing great disappointment, while the pessimists do not suffer as much, as they were already ready to take the hit.

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Defensive Pessimism

Defensive pessimism is a strategy used by people who are anxious about an upcoming event. They set unrealistically low expectations before going into a situation and take steps to avoid poor per...

Self-handicapping

Self-handicapping is where an individual will create obstacles for themselves before an ability-evaluating event. If it turned out poorly, the obstacles became an excuse or explanation for the failure. If it turned out positive, the obstacles became conquered hurdles.

Self-handicapping involves expecting the worst and self-sabotage.

Benefits of Defensive Pessimism

When comparing defensive pessimists to anxious people who do not practice defensive pessimism, the defensive pessimists show these benefits:

  • Their self-esteem and satisfaction increase over time.
  • They perform better academically
  • They form more supportive friendship networks,
  • They make more progress in their personal goals.

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Identifying problems

Optimists tend to avoid difficult conversations and this could lead them to miss the opportunity of addressing critical issues. 

Pessimists inherently look for the problems more than ...

Hearing only agreement

Pessimists are good role models for those who are "yes men". 

If you only have around you people that agree with you, you are being set up for failure.

Unprepared for the downside

Optimists often fail to have a Plan B because they believe they can control all the elements within Plan A.

Pessimists can alert a team regarding the risks that would require a Plan B.

Confidence
Confidence

To be a stronger leader, you need to practice self-confidence. If you’re always second-guessing yourself and feeling shy around your coworkers, they won’t follow you.

Conf...

Creativity

Charismatic leaders think outside the box and aren’t afraid to push the limits.

While others may see this kind of push as risky, these leaders are the ones leading the way and driving innovation. When a problem arises, leaders don’t see only the difficulties. Instead, they rise to the challenge and see it as an opportunity. In business, this creativity can lead to powerful change and transformation, which can inspire and motivate others.

Vision

"Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.” - Simon Sinek 

Because leaders value innovation, they are focused on the future and how they can improve it. They have a dream and direction that motivates and inspires others. 

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Reframe or divert

The first step in approaching a negative situation with an optimistic outlook is to accept what you can’t change.

Once you’ve done that, you have 2 options: reframe ( look ...

Savor the good

Noticing and savoring the pleasant moments and thinking, "Wow, this is really great "can strengthen positive emotions.

In general, we tend to dwell on the negative side and not notice the positive things we experience.

Set reminders

Write yourself a message on a sticky note and attach it to your computer screen at work (an inspirational quote, a reminder to smile, etc).

Small reminders like these help keep positivity front and center in your life.

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Addressing problems directly

...without crossing the line:

  • Don’t make assumptions: make sure you have all the facts.
  • Make sure your conversation serves a purpose: proving a point isn’t a produc...
Learned Optimism in Psychology
Learned Optimism in Psychology

This is a concept that suggests that we can always change our attitude and behaviour, be aware of our thoughts and stop our negative self-talk.

Learned Optimism is a positi...

Pessimism Vs Optimism

Pessimism is defined as the anticipation of good or bad things to happen in the future, while optimism is generally considered the opposite. Optimism can be defined as the individual difference variable reflecting the extent of which we hold positive expectancies for the upcoming event.

The ways in which we think affects our health, well-being and success, even though the situations are the same.

Benefits of Optimism
  • A positive impact on many aspects of physical and mental health.
  • Provides motivation to work harder.
  • Greater career success in life.

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Happy people are well rounded people
Happy people are well rounded people
  • They savor the moment. They "stop to smell the roses".
  • They're busy, but not rushed. A healthy work-life balance is key.
  •  They don't sweat the small stuff...
Happy people invest in their relationships
  • They spend money on others. One reason is that it creates social connections.
  • They celebrate other people's success through "active and constructive" responding.
  • They treat everyone with respect and kindness. Kindness, like happiness, is contagious.
  • They're proactive about relationships. They work on maintaining their relationships.
  • They express gratitude. It improves mood and energy and decreases anxiety.
  • They engage in deep, meaningful conversations.
The attitude of happy people
  • They're optimistic. Bad things happen to all of us. Happy people don't complain, whine or let pessimism become a self-fulling prophecy.
  • They view problems as challenges. They focus on solutions to the problem and reflect on what they're grateful for.

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Prepare for rejection

Always have a rejection-processing protocol in place. Debrief with personal and professional support people who can empathize and appreciate your experiences without passing judgment, criticizing o...

Find the blessings in rejection

In many cases, rejections are blessings in disguise. Maybe you don't want those customers that rejected your product.

Refer and direct those customers to your competitors that fit their needs. They certainly would not forget the lengths you went to. Such service is rare.

Feed your growth mindset

You might initially doubt yourself, question your competency and your self-worth but after you have weathered the storm, activate your growth mindset and start asking questions: 

What can I do differently? What have I discovered about myself? What changes can I make? What will I do differently next time? 

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Self-sabotage
Self-sabotage occurs when your logical, conscious mind (the side of you that says you need to eat healthily and save money) is at odds with your subconscious mind (the side of you that stress-eats cho...
Understand self-sabotage

Self-destructive behaviors can become habits and can continually undermine your success and happiness.

Self-sabotage is when we want something, but somehow we never accomplish it, because somewhere deep in our subconscious we’re fighting against that goal:

  • Our disorganization distracts us.
  • We’re constantly overthinking all of our decisions.
Recognize self-sabotaging habits
  • Procrastination. Start setting deadlines and mini-deadlines to work toward your objective.
  • Negative self-talk/negative thinking. Be patient with yourself; be kind to yourself. Work to build yourself up.
  • Perfectionism. It is an impossible standard that keeps you from moving forward.

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