In The Resilience Advantage, we discuss the importance of the positivity and negativity bias to building a strong resilient system.
Since survival is life’s prime imperative (think of Maslow’s Hierarchy) the negativity bias, and its protective mechanism that makes sure we are safe, typically rules much of our day. We are always watchful to make certain that we don’t falter to the downside by making a seemingly terrible mistake. While the negativity bias was probably important to make sure Wooly Mammoths don’t trample us, we may very well overdo our negative perspective in today’s world. In most organizations, the negativity bias is now known as “risk management.”
On the flip side, the positivity bias represents a more subconscious hopeful state of being where we can create a more positive and optimistic view of our lives. The challenge with the positivity bias, which is also known as the Pollyanna Principle, is that just wishing and hoping for a good outcome rarely makes it so. Recent research of building positive perspectives, however, shows us that by taking your positive thoughts and putting them into some kind of action step not only improves our attitude but actually creates the new reality.
This internal battle between good and evil can be wrestled with successfully. Finding the balance between the two will help carry you through the rest of your week.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016