The Power of Negative Thinking

Needless optimism Sofa Car


Trying to jam a sofa into the back of a tiny hatchback can only be regarded as optimistic. Too optimistic. When good sense and a moderate level of spatial awareness and geometry go out the window, all you’re working with is a “can do!” attitude and blind optimism.

It ain’t gonna work.

This applies to all things, but here let’s talk about weight loss, getting strong, and setting healthy goals. We are constantly hearing about “The Secret” and Tony Robbins wants us to walk across fiery coals in an attempt to visualize success and conquer our fears. The problem it that it doesn’t work for everybody.

Positive Imagery and “Manifesting” and Visualizing that trip to the Bahamas or dropping 20 pounds is only going to work if you’re already blindly optimistic and think it’s going to work.
For the rest of us (arguably more sane realists) it may actually be counter-productive. And here’s the researcher that agrees:
Gabrielle Oettinggen – she’s a heavy hitter at NYU and here’s one of her many studies that confirm these results:
Oettingen, G., Mayer, D., Sevincer, A. T., Stephens, E. J., Pak, H. J., & Hagenah, M. (2009). Mental contrasting and goal commitment: The mediating role of energization. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(5), 608-622.

BOTTOM LINE: ┬áSome people aren’t wired to be cheer leaders, and that’s just fine. Trying to shoe horn those people into blind optimism will not work and will slow them down and leave them disappointed.

So let’s hear it for the realists! And let’s get these people a moving van.

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