Going Negative

One of the themes we discuss in my soon to be released book, The Resilience Advantage may surprise you.

It’s good to think bad.

It can be a dangerous world out there and part of our biological tendency is to be vigilant against any and all dangers that ranged from walking on the Serengeti during primitive times to driving defensively on today’s interstates.

We want to get away from the rubric of “stop thinking so negatively” when it is only prudent to do so.

This past week, one of my clients told me about a contract rejection and how disappointed he and his team were to get that notification. They had ruminated all week on why their efforts had failed. He was also caught up in the frustration, but then realized that in order to build resilience in his team he put them through an exercise we had discussed where they focused on “what happened, what they learned, and what could they do differently” Having a structure to their discussion allowed them to take time to think about the bad without overdoing it.

Thinking negative can be a good strategy for protection and reflection. You just don’t want to live there.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016


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