When Negative Thinking Works
Think positive and everything will work out fine. But is negative thinking really that powerful to exact poor results from work or personal life? And aren’t we being positive when we try to see what’s good at being a negative thinker?
A study in Australia proved that negative thinking does have some benefits and can even lead people to be more productive. People who are deemed negative by their peers are way better communicators, analyzers and are less prone to make mistakes, to gullibility and are over all good at making decisions.
Such “positive” characteristics are due to the fact that these typically condemned people have enhanced information-processing strategies.
This means they utilize the critical part of their brain way more than the usual members of a cheering squad. They may call out that something is doomed to fail because they see some failings in it. And isn’t seeing the tiny cracks and loopholes the first step to come up with a better solution or alternative? Such proves that there are benefits to be had for negative thinking at work or at the personal level. It is just a matter of moderation, channeling them appropriately and acting on it in a productive way.
The Power of “What If”
Thinking negatively compels us to be more aware of our surroundings. We become more keen and cautious of every element that may affect or disrupt our plans and choices. What if it rains on my wedding? What if my car broke down on the holiday trip? People who seem to blurt out jinxes may not necessarily be wanting those bad events to happen. But doing that kind of mental exercise will no doubt encourage us to think and plan for contingencies. Perhaps an indoor reception will be safer. Or making sure your road side assistance is in place.
There is nothing wrong with pointing out the what if’s. Chances are you will miss something important may it be in planning a project for work. Hearing the unpleasant possibilities may be dampening at most but acting on it and planing for them will help you prepare for the nasty surprises. Stress is therefore reduced and confidence is boosted when you know you are ready for anything that may come your way.
So keep an open mind and don’t just shun those annoying negative thinkers at work. Seek their opinions and consult with them time to time. Too much positive thinking can cause you more trouble than them as you tend to see everything in bright colors and miss the gray spots. Negative co-workers may propel you to work better on your craft and be more productive with the solutions that they offer. Saving you from wasting time and even embarrassment. Two heads are better than one, and it will be way better if one head is sincerely critical and honest.
And the next time you see negative thoughts bubbling in your head, do not ignore them. Let yourself approach plans with the negative possibilities to inspire you to re-think choices before actually jumping ahead. Remember, positive thinking only works when you work hard enough.
Annie is a business blogger for Square Deal, the free resource of Care.com coupon codes updated regularly with hand-picked deals.