It’s one of the great ironies of my work over the years. A persistent reason people give for not thinking positively is they don’t want to be deluded by false hope. It’s ironic because they don’t see how often they’ve been deluded by their own negative thinking.
Often, when confronted by this fact, they will say they’re not being negative. They’re just being “realistic.”
This reveals a mass human tendency to see being negative about ourselves/our prospects as being realistic. It’s a simple psychological defense mechanism to seeks avert disappointment and often responsibility for outcomes we don’t want. If we “don’t get our hopes up,” we tell ourselves, “we won’t get hurt.”
What if we understood deeply that positive outcomes, even by pure chance, are as likely as negative outcomes? When we apply the power of our minds and our efforts, the scale quickly turns in favor of a positive outcome. We literally have direct control over making positive outcomes more likely in our lives.
Now, let’s reconsider the calculation. Is avoiding occasional setback and disappointment really worth missing a dozen victories we might have won, if only we hadn’t been too “realistic” to try? I will leave you to answer that question for yourself.