Pessimistic entrepreneurs more successful than optimistic ones
Pessimistic entrepreneurs more successful than optimistic ones

Positive thinking is often said to be the key to business success. Because an entrepreneur's perspective will impact everything from the numbers that represent business results to their own "emotional health."

However, blind optimism can catch entrepreneurs off guard against bad situations. Because in fact, pressure is the first challenge they face when running a business.

There's a new theory that negative thinking is actually beneficial for anticipating challenges. Psychology professor Julie K.Norem made this point in her 2002 book The Positive Power Of Negative Thinking.

This strategy can also be called defensive pessimism. Accordingly, planning for the worst case scenario is more effective than always trying to think optimistically. Specifically, this strategy forces us to vividly visualize the challenges that might arise and then figure out how to fix the problem.

Leveraging the power of “pessimism” helps us better prepare for risks.

It is an indispensable skill for every entrepreneur.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” - Charles R. Swindoll

Here's how pessimism can positively impact entrepreneurs and business results:

1.Improve work productivity

People who are overly optimistic, that is, always thinking that “everything will be okay” often easily ignores negative signals and fails to take the necessary precautions.

In contrast, those who are "defensive pessimism" make good use of their acumen to come up with an action plan to handle arising incidents. When faced with a challenge, they will choose to act instead of retreat. They are always ready to receive new information and options instead of confining themselves in good illusions.

2.Be well prepared for every situation and won’t be easily disappointed

Before entering a particularly important meeting, positive pessimists prepare as much as possible to deal with difficult questions or objections.

Foresight enables them to be resilient to unexpected or increased pressures.

In fact, pessimists often expect the worst. Thus, a person with low expectations and low performance is unlikely to be disappointed, because they did not have high expectations in the first place.

However, if the results turn out better than expected, the pessimists can be very grateful that their expectations were exceeded.

On the contrary, for optimists, if there is a worse-than-expected ending, it will do more damage to their mental health and will be more disappointing than the pessimists who had expected it. .

3.Boost your confidence

Excessive certainty often backfires in stressful situations like negotiations or public speaking. Convincing yourself and others to “be upbeat” when the company/organization really has a problem only amplifies anxiety. At the same time, this way of thinking makes it difficult for you to do your best to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, people who are "defensive pessimists" motivate themselves in the direction of accepting that progress always comes with many difficulties and challenges. They don't blame themselves, but focus on asking themselves what they've learned or how to handle things better in the future.

4.Know how to accept anticipated risks

Many studies show that the more overly optimistic CEOs are, the more… indebted they are, and thus the more likely they are to put their businesses in danger. The “pessimistic entrepreneurs” avoid this risk because they think more realistically.

Of course, this approach is not the same as the tendency to be negatively pessimistic, that is, based on unhealthy thoughts. An important feature of “defensive pessimism” is to anticipate potential risks before they spiral out of control. It means thinking realistically about unfavorable things to motivate yourself to prepare to face challenges, instead of just… sitting and thinking.

If you're an optimist, you can also try adjusting your thoughts to a "defensive pessimist," because you never know what you can learn from looking at everything below. another angle.

Pessimistic entrepreneurs more successful than optimistic ones

A study by researchers in the United Kingdom found that business owners who enter new ventures with great optimism earned about 30% less than entrepreneurs who are more wary of lofty expectations.

The study’s authors say their findings may shed some light into why only half of new businesses in the UK survive their first five years.

The researchers tracked individuals moving from paid employment to starting their own businesses. Their results show that that overly-optimistic entrepreneurs are frequently setting up ventures that actually have little realistic chance of being successful. In the end, it appears the optimists simply overestimate their chances of success and underestimate their probability of failure.

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