The goal setting guide for pessimists, negative thinkers and losers
Why even bother, it’ll never work out, I can’t do that. These are the self-talk voices that ring around the minds of the pessimist or negative thinker. This glass is half-empty mentality puts the breaks on their abilities to realise their fullest potential and life’s best rewards through achievement.
Well the above is what people normally attribute to such thinkers, but we have a different view. Sure, the pessimist and negative thinker might remain in their funk and be hard to motivate but do they not deserve the same chance as everyone else?
At the core, negative thinking can be a great attribute and important contribution towards risk management, quality control, improved communication and process certainty. For, often beneath the initial thoughts lies a justified reason of care and need for protection that a pure optimist might over look and hurt themselves, others or a business.
Step 1 - Establishing the current state of mind
Understanding contentment levels are important. Pessimistic views and negative thinking may be borne out of the resistance to change, for simple change sake. If the person is already content, well is that not worth celebrating already?
Step 2 - Start by starting
People that set small realistic goals may be the tortoise to win the race. Their careful approach is often left far behind at the start, but over time their persistence and process minded approach leads to amazing achievements.
Think not of climbing mount Everest, but rather simply stepping forward one step at a time towards the same goal.
Step 3 - Overview between fact and fiction
Understanding the natural range of human emotions is important. Time and patience are required when dealing with a start point that has had regular entrenched pessimistic views. Challenging one’s own reasoning based on fact-based evidence will help adjust the realistic view of the world around you and your approach to the goals set or being considered.
Step 4 - Developing new bias tolerances
Use your risk bias thoughts to plan and work around alternative resources, skills, responses and actions needed to avoid them in the first place or reduce their impact should they occur. Once you work this through a few times, your confidence will be boosted and thus the tolerance level of risk and amount of pessimism lowers over time.
Step 5 - Reaffirmation for foundational change
If you find step 4 has not worked well, then seek logical reasoning and positive alternative examples of others who have experienced similar success or positive responses to set backs and previous failures.
Step 6 - Experimenting and growth
After a few experiments with small step processes start to expand your knowledge of different goal setting systems. Move from SMARTER goals to understanding fully OKR, 10x and WOOP to help your default prior natural state be supported with tried and tested systems. Over time you might become an optimist and have a wide range of BHAG goals.