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Develop a Positive Mindset Pt. 2 – the influence of negativity
Negativity Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy
People with a pessimistic or negative worldview take a victim stance, seeing life as a continuous succession of problems and a process of unfairness and oppression. They can’t move forward, don’t expect a lot and don’t get much. When things go wrong, they shrug their shoulders and passively accept that this is the way life is and there isn’t anything they can do to make it better. Does any of that sound familiar to you? This is the land of “victim-hood”.
Most people who occupy Victim Nation suffer from debilitating self-limiting beliefs — ideas that become so entrenched within your sense of self and identity that they’ve become part of you. Limiting beliefs are the little voices in the back of your head that keep telling you that nothing you do is going to work and that you may as well learn to settle for your life as it is now, because it’s never going to get any better.
Y’see, when you let negative beliefs like these take root, they start to spread and influence everything. Soon, every interaction you have with people carries the subtext of “It’s ok if you don’t like me. I wouldn’t like me either if I were you”. Not exactly the kind of magnetism that attracts people.
Are you a Doug or Wendy Whiner?
Negative thinking and beliefs show in people’s posture – hunched over, compressed, eyes anywhere but on the person they are talking to. Negativity shows in the way people speak – too quickly, voices a little higher than their natural register, sounding as though they were pleading rather than speaking. Goodness knows it shows in people’s attitudes toward members of the opposite sex, equal parts desperation and resentment.
What’s interesting is how our bodies react when around negative or positive people. Did you know that subconsciously, your body creates feel-good chemicals when you hear positive words and phrases or receive a smile, eye contact, or a pat on the back. Serotonin and oxytocin levels in your body rise. By contrast, serotonin levels in your body go down when you interact with someone who is negative, ultimately telling you, “Stay away!”
Based on various psychological studies published in Psychology Today, we can safely conclude that pessimists:
- Automatically assume setbacks are permanent, pervasive, and due to personal failings
- Are eight times more likely to be depressed than optimists
- Perform worse at school and work
- Have rockier interpersonal relationships
- Die sooner than optimists.
According to Sonia Lyubomirsky, a University of California researcher, unhappy people spend hours comparing themselves to other people, both above and below themselves on the happiness scale; happy people didn’t compare themselves with anyone.
Negative thinking also slows down brain coordination, making it difficult to process thoughts and find solutions. Feeling frightened, which often happens when focused on negative outcomes, has been shown to decrease activity in your cerebellum, which slow the brain’s ability to process new information and limits your ability to practice creative problem solving.
I talk a lot about Victim Nation in my Dating Blueprint webinar and how it adversely affects dating bliss – I even give participants an assessment to help them see how often they swing into disempowered victim-hood since most people aren’t even aware that they’re playing the victim game. Being powerless has become our societal norm. It’s only through taking responsibility for your outcomes that you can release yourself from the bonds of powerlessness – and thus create the life you really want to live.
Next Up: The False Allure of Relentless Positivity