Double Negative

Some people are just naturally very negative. They hear an idea and immediately jump to a reason why it won’t work. “Why don’t you apply for that job,” you ask. “Oh, I’ll never get it, they want someone with blah blah blah,” they respond. These kinds of people aren’t evaluating risk versus reward, they’re just reflexively reversing whatever idea is presented to them.

This habit, once you let it take hold, is very hard to overcome. If your first instinct is that something will fail, chances are good that you’re far too risk averse and you’re missing a lot of areas where you could positively impact your life with small changes in effort. That can eat away your life, but once it’s there, that poison is hard to cure.

So what if you just turned it to your advantage? If your first instinct is to reject ideas, why not give yourself bad ideas to reject? Push the needle hard in the other direction, and let your instinctual rejection cause it to bounce back into the positive.

“Hey, you should throw out your exercise equipment. Just put it on the curb,” I’d say to you. Maybe without even realizing it, you’d say “No way, that equipment is useful, I’m going to work out right now.”

You’re a pessimist? Fine. Be a pessimist about pessimism. Assume you’ll fail at failure. If tricking your mind is what it takes to get started and begin to work the poison out of your system, I certainly won’t hold it against you. Whatever it takes to make that first spark.

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