Why are we naturally negative/pessimistic?

23 replies
I've been thinking about this for a while and wanted to get you guys input on this: Why are we (as people) prone to be negative or pessimistic?

I'll give an example...

A few days ago I was doing some positive thinking/visualization (that's what all the "success" books tell you that you should do lol) and I was visualizing money in my bank account...lots of money....and then it dawned on me:

Why is positive thinking so hard for us to accept?

Why is it that we have to "force" ourselves to think positive in the first place? Why isn't it just a natural reaction? Why are we prone to be pessimistic instead of being optimistic?
#naturally #negative or pessimistic #positive thinking
  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    Originally Posted by BrittyBritt View Post

    and I was visualizing money in my bank account...lots of money....and then it dawned on me:

    Why is positive thinking so hard for us to accept?
    I think a lot, if not all, of it has to do with what we've experienced in our lives. If you're not used to having a lot of money, then it is something that's difficult for you to accept. There are other issues, that everyone has, such as level of confidence in one's ability to do something like make "lots of money."

    It's the same idea as setting unrealistic goals. I mean, something that has little to almost zero chance of happening if you consider the skills, tools, resources, and knowledge the person possesses.

    So the solution is to set more realistic goals. That way, they would be easier for your mind to accept because they "feel" more comfortable to you. When you think about them there's a stronger feeling that they're attainable.

    I would suggest visualizing an amount of money that is easier for your mind to accept such as 1.5 times what you're currently making, or even double what you're making. That is more concrete and believable than "a lot of money." Besides, your mind needs something tangible to focus on.

    Why is it that we have to "force" ourselves to think positive in the first place? Why isn't it just a natural reaction? Why are we prone to be pessimistic instead of being optimistic?
    It was a natural reaction when we were very young. Right?

    We go through the socialization process, and then we're bombarded every day with the conditioning of all kinds of other people; parents, siblings, peers, and other elements in society.

    The thing I believe most of us have to do is unlearn a lot of things; re-train our minds in a lot of ways. It's all habits of thinking, and then most people engage in the process of reinforcing the things we think and believe. We all do it to varying degrees, but most people aren't even aware they do it.

    Tomorrow, in the morning, visualize blue cars for as long as you can. Ten minutes would be great. And then take note of all the blue cars you notice during the day. Similar concept.

    People tend to reinforce their beliefs, positive or negative, because it's a form of personal security and a self defense mechanism. Reinforcement of beliefs occurs in many forms such as associating with people who have similar beliefts, or discriminating - picking and choosing those things that serve to reinforce our beliefs and discarding the rest.

    You can change your habits of thought by understanding more about these processes and then working on your awareness. Become aware of the things you think about and why you think them. Much depends on how willing you are to be truthful with yourself.


    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin04
      The reality is that one can only give away what is inside Self. When one only has Love inside Self, then that is all one can give away. This is what happens when one has Spiritual Freedom at really high levels as per Dr David Hawkins' work. Similarly, if one has negativity and pessimism inside, then that is what one will give away and portray to others.

      Visualization and meditation techniques can certainly raise consciousness and awareness which is a really important thing to do. However the questions are, Will the techniques work, and if so, how long will the effects last? There is a tendency to feel that just because an issue is discussed in consciousness that the issue is then resolved. It is vital to find the exact cause and then deal with it and its compounded consequences to obtain a permanent result.

      When one is dealing with a specific issue, there are two important components of the solution:-

      1. Obtaining the right and focused information to raise awareness and consciousness ... this is the knowledge / information acquisition stage so one has the understanding of the issue. It is very important to keep on asking, what is the cause .. until the real solution is found ... and never accept any opinion that ignores dealing with the exact cause.

      AND

      2. The practical aspects - these are the ACTION steps.

      Some of these action steps can involve visualization, meditation and other techniques. However, when there are issues to do with lack of feeling loved from childhood actually in one's Sub-conscious mind, then non-serving software programs will keep playing in the background, stopping one from effectively dealing with the causative issue permanently.

      The issue about using other "techniques" when there is a fundamental issue of not feeling Loved (this can easily be tested to be the case) that is deeply ingrained in the sub-conscious mind, is that the techniques are using force and are unnatural, hence the relapse phenomenon.

      The end result of this feeling of not being Loved as a child varies enormously in terms of consequences from one individual to another. All the consequences and huge multitude of presentations of this original case of feeling unloved are actually a cry for help to deal with the principal Love issue plus its compounded consequences.

      One's own perceptions are one's reality and these perceptions of Self very often create the very barrier to correcting the fundamental cause. Others will usually see the issue first, whereas one can usually not "see" one's own issues to start.

      If someone's perception (their own "truth") is that there is no personal issue within self to address and the rest of the world is wrong, then the individual is not going to be looking for solutions that involve self. This is when these people will resort to quick "pick me ups" to feel better, eradicate the issue off one's screen of life and get attention.

      When pain or feeling different becomes a real issue, it is then in the conscious when one can either deal with the issue or ignore it. Addictions such as alcohol, smoking and drugs are ways of trying to feel better within Self about Self ... or lose sensibility .... as an escape from the internal pain.

      Technologies are now readily available to identify and then remove permanently, all the non-serving baggage stored in the sub-conscious mind and thus the various effects these causes have, thus revealing one's true Self and pure Love.

      This true revelation of Self (Self-Discovery) in full glory is the very thing that everyone on the spiritual path or their spiritual journey is aiming to achieve. The technologies will allow this Spiritual Freedom to happen fast when combined with the correct information. After one has Spiritual Freedom for Self, one can then find another similar soul mate for the magical Spiritual Compatibility for the blissful IN LOVE relationship.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    I think its very very easy to focus on the negative attributes and occurences in our lives, as we see the happy and positive moments as being baseline. Its all relative. If you set your ideal standard of living high, then when things are good...they are perceived as being normal instead of being perceived as being above normal. When the baseline is that high, then one can only perceived everything else that happens that doesnt meet that baseline as being negative.


    Think about it this way...

    You are on a highway with speed limit 45mph. There is heavy congestion, but you pick a good lane and you are traveling at a steady 25 mph and all the other lanes are crawling at 5mph Most people would feel elated. They are in the fast lane cruising by everybody else.

    Now picture this second scenario. You are on the same road the next day there is still a little congestion. You pick a lane that is cruising at a steady 30mph, yet all the other lanes are cruising at 40mph. Most people in this situation would be agravated, upset, anxious, etc because they are in the slow lane.



    As you look back, you can see that the second scenario is actually better because you are moving faster, yet because people base their lives as relative to those around us, one would actually be more pessimistic and angry in the second scenario.


    If people search for the positive thing in any circumstance instead of searching for the negative, attitude and perception will change for the better. In the first scenario, be happy you are in the fast lane and cruising steadily. In the second scenario be happy you cruising at a good steady 30mph even if everybody else is moving a bit faster, who cares!

    ~ken
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    When we are babies our subconscious mind is wide open, and we receive pessimistic ideas from the people around us, most of whom have negative viewpoints.

    They might not be dour, but most people are afraid of growing broke, or fear being successful. Ever seen a Ferrari commercial? How many "Hot Deal" commercials do you see on TV, or hear on the radio?

    Most people aren't living the life of their dreams. Most people play it safe. They imprint these ideas on your subconscious, you accept, not knowing you can reject these ideas and replace with life-affirming ideas, and proceed to live your life according to these negative ideas until someone teaches you that you can choose new thoughts and feelings.

    Ryan Biddulph
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    • Profile picture of the author webwriter
      I would also say that we are overwhelmed by a variety of everyday concerns and problems. A few of those problems could be quite severe even for the most optimistic of us. So weeks, months and even years pass before we begin to "see the light," if at all.

      The positive stuff, sayings and all, slowly begins to sound hollow, but we continue anyway.

      Will those efforts pay off eventually or not? No one knows. It all depends.
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      • Profile picture of the author VenusCow
        Absolutely right if the "pay off" is money. You will only ever get paid when you do/produce something of value.
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  • Profile picture of the author VenusCow
    In "Happy For No Reason" by Marci Shimoff she explains this phenomenon as evolutionary, comparing positive thinking to teflon, non stick. For survival we had to be more attuned to danger. Those that were too joyous and carefree got eaten by a sabre tooth tiger sort of thing.

    Venus Cow says, "When you do the work you get the reward. In order to believe you can you must do or you'll always believe you can't."
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Pettit
    Excellent point: Why do we have to at all?
    And while the thread has brought up some other excellent points, I believe the key issue is Integrity. When our Vision arises out of the Integrity of Who I Am, our goals will flow naturally from that Vision, and rather than striving against all odds to achieve those goals, we rather "perform" them, being who we are, and our life will be enriched not only by the achievement of the goal, but all along the way, too.
    Sure, we will strive (after all, that is part of Who I Am: I live always to improve and go above my current self). But the striving is much more natural when it's Who I Am that I'm aiming for in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    At the end of the day...


    Pessimism and negativity is a choice...its a personal perspective that we control and that we can change. Sure it is influenced by genetics, by our upbringing, and by our environment, but we can each change our perspective if we want!

    ~ken
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    We are not ALL naturally pessimistic. Sorry to disappoint you, but it is simply an error to think so. Psychologists call this error 'projection'.

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author stealth_warrior
    i agree with Will, we're not ALL naturally pessimistic.



    sorry to dissapoint you.
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  • Profile picture of the author BrettQ
    Most people are terrible at handling stress. Lots of little things in everyday life cause stress, so if you don't have the skills to deal with it, you end up acting like a lunatic more often than you should.

    Think of the people you know. The smart, educated, very well-organized ones. Now, think of the last time some very small event caused one of those people to absolutely lose their mind. Maybe a flat tire on the way to work ruined a whole day for them, or they yelled at a waiter because there was/wasn't mustard on their sandwich.

    I know people who do yoga regularly, meditate, write positive affirmations, and they'll still go completely insane over trivial things like this. And these are the people who are better than average out of the population, most people are *even* worse.

    The happiest people I know are typically gracious, well-poised, and skilled in handling a variety of social situations. I don't know if their happiness makes it easier for them to do those things, or if doing those things makes them happy. But I'm sure those two are related.
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    • Profile picture of the author BrittyBritt
      I must say that this turned into a very insightful topic and I learned quite a few things from reading everyone's post.

      But I probably should've worded it better when I said that "everyone" was pessimistic lol.
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      • Profile picture of the author Colin04
        Brett's first three paragraphs above are very true about people "losing it" with the slightest and simplest stimulus or provocation. Why does this happen?

        The reason is that most people are already, a time bomb waiting to explode! In reality, how much and what provocation will it take for most people to suddenly lose it?

        So in reality, most people are forcibly trying to be in Self-control of the pain they are in from their inner sub-conscious baggage or imprints that are acting as an extremely negative, compounded force trying to pull them down due to the very strong "rubber band" effect of the imprints. Men, women and children have to use acts, pretences, facades and force to stop them exploding more often and be able to hold down a job or attempt to be in a relationship that most likely will not last long term (not in happiness at least) due to the effects of these imprints.

        In the situations to which Brett refers, the individual is trying to be above the threshold level of revealing the pain and stress that he or she is feeling or suffering underneath. When one receives a stimulus that kicks one under threshold, one is going to explode and "lose it" as an emotional release. Typically one's spouse sees this happen the most as she or he is with the other the most.

        All this "stuff" underneath the surface is very stressful to carry around 24/7 and is in fact the summation of these non-serving, sub-conscious imprints (baggage). It is not hard now to see WHY so many people resort to alcohol, smoking and other drugs in an effort to avoid having to face this pain and stress in consciousness.

        Of note, the above is NO ONE'S FAULT and no one is to blame as there has until now been a lack of understanding of what is going on and where, and how to so easily and effectively deal with the real causes and issues.

        So what is happening in reality, is that everyone's imprints are communicating and reacting with everyone else's imprints. To make things worse, this imprint or baggage communication or exchange within everyone and with everyone is very volatile and forever changing !!!

        Interestingly, obtaining one's own Numerology report is a very good and quick way to start one's own Self-help in relation to the understanding aspects.

        Today, we are all fortunate as everyone in this situation can easily have all of these very stressful imprints eliminated permanently with very unique technologies now available. Goodbye negative sub-conscious baggage and related stress forever!

        In reference to Brett's fourth paragraph, there are some people who have various imprints that don't interfere with their ability to be happy and be loving. So it is a case of who has "got to you" with what, in years gone by, that have caused You to take on these varied sub-conscious imprints.

        Some people will have the habit and ability of being able to get to you virtually at will, all the time and one allows this to happen. Once the imprints are gone AND one has the understanding of how to prevent anyone from getting to you again by how you handle similar situations, then re-imprinting will not recur. So one has to have BOTH the knowledge on how to prevent recurrence AND the baggage released as well.

        Most men, women and children do have one or more susceptible areas based on what currently exists in their sub-conscious mind where they are vulnerable to repeated accumulation of more and more imprints with time. The term "Grumpy Old Men" has actually had a solid basis in the past! That is about to change now thankfully!

        The solution is thus to get rid of all the baggage permanently as soon as possible and have the knowledge and understanding to go with this. Welcome Spiritual Freedom which is what authentic, inner strength is all about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Megan Elizabeth
    That is a question I've asked myself many times. Why do we seem to be more pessimistic rather than optimistic? I think there are many reasonable answers that one can come up with:
    Maybe it's your upbringing? Your income? Education? Competition? They all work, but I think it's all about situation.

    You said that you were doing positive thinking, about having "lots of money" in your account, I'm pretty sure you were happy envisioning this? I thought so! And I'm also pretty sure that you weren't happy when reality slapped you and you're no longer happy.

    I think you have to think of something that makes you happy, something that would make life more enjoyable (ie. more money? a family? your own business? lose weight? write a book? be smarter?) and take steps to turn those into a reality. Set a goal for yourself that will bring you a step closer to your goal/dream and start completing your goals, each time you step closer, the happier you'll be. You'll find more to be thankful for, more to be happy with, because you're working for what you want, you can smell it, you can taste it, you can feel it! You'll be surprised at how happy you'll be, and you'll start to lose your pessimistic attitude!

    Seems to me that only those who are very pessimistic, are the same ones who just think about what will make them happy, but never actually take the time or make the effort to make it come true!

    Megan Elizabeth
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  • Profile picture of the author mclauchlan
    Brittybrit,

    The pessimistic attitude is born out of survival transcended from our ancestors, in other words it's a natural defence mechanism.

    This mechanism is also shaped by our life experiences, our values and beliefs which can be addressed with re-programming techniques.

    When you use visualisation think about what you would buy with the money in your account, and the lifestyle you will lead in the future.

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author abundantlife
      Since we are mostly water maybe we can use water as an example to explain. Naturally, water tends to seek it's own level. Sometimes that means running downhill, like a stream or a river. When it reaches it's own level it stops and becomes a lake, an ocean or even a swamp. We think that water never goes up hill, but how did it get up high to again run downhill?

      Of course, it's by evaporation. So continuing the example, the restoring or rising up is done quietly, usually imperceptibly and without any noise or noticeable action. That's the "up" side, that's the opti(mist)ic part.

      Later on it will settle on a mountain top as snow or fall as rain (noticeable and perceptible) or come racing down a mountain stream. Everyone is different so it's incorrect to make too much of generalities. But I suspect that we are more likely to be optimistic when every thing is quietly going our way and tend toward pessimism when we get crossed out or find our situation out of our control. It's just natural.

      On the other hand we can take control of our emotions and attitudes and learn to maintain optimism in spite of whatever is happening in our environment. Actually, we can learn much about that right here in the forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author gudrunsmith
    Originally Posted by BrittyBritt View Post

    I've been thinking about this for a while and wanted to get you guys input on this: Why are we (as people) prone to be negative or pessimistic?

    I'll give an example...

    A few days ago I was doing some positive thinking/visualization (that's what all the "success" books tell you that you should do lol) and I was visualizing money in my bank account...lots of money....and then it dawned on me:

    Why is positive thinking so hard for us to accept?

    Why is it that we have to "force" ourselves to think positive in the first place? Why isn't it just a natural reaction? Why are we prone to be pessimistic instead of being optimistic?
    It is so hard because you have to think about it first. I done it too, and my problem became that I drove down the negative stream and was drained.

    I think there are a lot of gurus out there telling to do this just to sell their stuff which sometime is junk, I personal came to another conclusion

    1) You must know your end-result! No question there!!!
    2) You need to make a plan how to reach it! Blue print and going into details

    3) Than taking action and do it step by step.
    4) facing challenges and finding the solution! There you must ask yourself the right question for the solution, so the right answer can come to you.
    5) moving forward and completing you project.


    One tip, never focus on money and a bank account full it, that is chasing after a fantasy and will cost you more. But start respecting your money you have right now! Stop wasting it and direct it to multiply it and than you will see how your bank account will fill up.

    Remember, it is written in the bible that you must earn the money or any result you want. So when you want more money, find out what your passion is and how you can help others with it. Look how the true Millionaires are doing it, and please not the self-called Guru's who only want to sell people a dream which will crash!

    Because from the true millionaires you learn how you can make money and how to save money.

    Well the true Millionaires making money work for them, and their lifestyle come from the Interest of their money. While others or self claimed millionaires will blow their money faster then they earn it. So don't fall for the new rich ones!

    By the way, do you know that with picture you also can lie about your lifestyle? You can do it also, go to a rental company and rent a high value sports car, go to a rich neighbor put your car in front of the house shout some picture and telling other that is your to sell you hype program or the also called "Get fast Rich Scams"!
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  • Profile picture of the author neeralt
    Originally Posted by BrittyBritt View Post

    I've been thinking about this for a while and wanted to get you guys input on this: Why are we (as people) prone to be negative or pessimistic?

    I'll give an example...

    A few days ago I was doing some positive thinking/visualization (that's what all the "success" books tell you that you should do lol) and I was visualizing money in my bank account...lots of money....and then it dawned on me:

    Why is positive thinking so hard for us to accept?

    Why is it that we have to "force" ourselves to think positive in the first place? Why isn't it just a natural reaction? Why are we prone to be pessimistic instead of being optimistic?
    It is just simple, it comes from our childhood environment, where we develop our way of thinking.
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  • Profile picture of the author gudrunsmith
    The other Tip: Forget about the past or was told you about money, and tell yourself that many people before you were even in a worsen situation then you and they made it happen. They learned it and so can you.

    When you had one though that is always sabotaging you, than you must replace it. You can't make changes b keeping some thoughts the same, you must find a new meaning and replace it with the old one.
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    Gudrun Marquardt
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    • Profile picture of the author Centurian
      Originally Posted by gudrunsmith View Post

      The other Tip: Forget about the past or was told you about money, and tell yourself that many people before you were even in a worsen situation then you and they made it happen. They learned it and so can you.

      When you had one though that is always sabotaging you, than you must replace it. You can't make changes b keeping some thoughts the same, you must find a new meaning and replace it with the old one.
      How true Gudron.

      I remember thinking this years ago in a tough military officer's school.

      One of the "instructors" suddenly started harassing me, after I ignored a fellow student's orders one day. I had to report to him every day to hear him tell me he was going to send me home.

      I soon started to fear and visualize the shame of going home.

      One morning as I looked out my bunk window, I thought about all the poor leaders who made it. They commanded no one's respect. And I said to myself, "If all those idiots made it, I certainly can."

      That thought convicted me to press on, even though my bunk mate shockingly bailed out. It refocused my outlook and determination.

      While I can take no personal credit, but God alone, I graduated first in my class of 108 officers.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoeUK
    Yes I don't think we're naturally negative or pessimistic, if fact I believe quite the opposite is the case, look at how optimistic and innocent children are. It's all learned behavior. 'Education', politics, the mainstream media etc all shape us into being negative and fearful.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgeJafen
    The path of least resistance. In some situations it's easier to be pessimistic and takes some effort to see the positive side of things.
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