Why Do We Always See The Bad Things First?

Why Do We Always See The Bad Things First?

Why Do We Always See The Bad Things First?

 

There are many ways in which your inner critic makes your life miserable.

It pinpoints your mistakes and never sees the good parts. It makes you doubt yourself saying: “Who are you to do this?” It belittles you and spoils the pleasure of a hard-earned success by telling that you were just lucky.

 

This doubtful, nagging voice can mess up your relationships as well.

You see the faults in people and are reticent to trust them. When you constantly criticise them, they see you as arrogant, self-righteous and a pain in the back. (Even if you think your criticism helps them to be better.)

 

Why do we have it?

Surprisingly, its function isn’t just to keep us living in anxiety and stress. (OK, and sometimes to become better, too.)

 

The negative thinking appeared as a tool for survival.

 

Thousands of years ago, when our ancestors spotted in the bushes a tiger for the first time, they had two options. They could have curiously gone closer to examine it, or they could have been suspicious, grabbing their weapons or looking for shelter.

 

The pessimistic mindset stopped them from becoming the tiger’s dinner. And for most of human history, in a threat-filled world, expecting the worst increased our chances to stay alive.

 

Our bodies still carry genetic information from our ancestors; our brains use the same patterns learned a few millennia ago.

 

So it seems that we are biologically conditioned to see the bad things first.

 

Unfortunately, while an effective way to avoid predators, the inclination to see mainly the negative doesn’t always help us to make good decisions.

 

 

An interesting study, using questionnaires and fMRI scanning showed that when people emphasised the problems over the wins, the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ nervous system was activated. The regions of the brain associated with blaming ourselves and experiencing negative moods lit up at the same time.

 

When this happens, the heart rate and blood pressure increase. We’re more likely to make decisions based on automatic, fast shortcuts in our thinking. The problem is they can be faulty, and we’re not exactly flexible in our thinking then.

 

When we focus our attention on positive aspects, the reward circuits in our brain are activated. The areas associated with pleasant moods light up. Our parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system becomes more dominant.

 

When the threat appears to be low, our brain thinks it’s safe to take more time over decisions. We become more flexible; we can explore multiple possibilities and consider new ideas. We take into account how other people feel and think.

 

This is essential if we want to change our behaviours or achieve something.

It also helps us to stay motivated and to keep on going when we face a challenge. Focusing on gains and possibilities increases the likelihood that we reach our goals.

 

Conclusion: we need a negative focus to survive, but a positive one to thrive.

 

That doesn’t mean you should ignore problems entirely. Also, you don’t need to silence, squash or banish that negative voice. After all, it can be a useful counsellor when kept in its place. Just don’t allow it to be in charge.

 

Unless, of course, you’re coming across a tiger.

 

10 Minutes Quiz

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This 10 minutes quiz can tell you if you’re heading towards burnout or not.

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Freeing Creativity

Freeing Creativity

Freeing Creativity

 

What happens when you let go of rigid rules?

When you ditch the “should”, “must” and “can’t”?

 

How liberated will you and those around you will feel?

 

What new level of creativity will you (and them) reach then?

 

How much more surprising and fresh will life be?

 

10 Minutes Quiz

Is stress a normal part of your life? Do you work insanely long hours?

This 10 minutes quiz can tell you if you’re heading towards burnout or not.

Perfectionists R US

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The Observer Effect

The Observer Effect

The Observer Effect

 

 

In quantum physics, ‘the observer effect’ says that observing a situation or phenomenon changes that phenomenon.

 

This applies to physics, IT, social sciences, etc. You probably experienced it in your life as well.

Like that critical colleague who’d always point out flaws and never say anything positive. Strangely enough, in their presence what usually goes fine, would go wrong. You’d start making mistakes doing what you’ve done (so well!) hundreds of times before.  With a glint of satisfaction, they say: I knew this would happen!

 

The opposite works just as well.

 

Like teacher expectations impacting student motivation and performance. Teachers were told some of their students (chosen randomly!) had the potential to be high achievers and to bloom throughout the year. 

 

At the end of the school year, these students had massively improved their academic results.

 

Our expectations have a powerful impact, both in our lives and in someone else’s.

 

It is no woo woo, fake science fact; even space experiments with satellites have confirmed it: reality is what you choose it to be.

 

So what do you choose?

 

10 Minutes Quiz

Is stress a normal part of your life? Do you work insanely long hours?

This 10 minutes quiz can tell you if you’re heading towards burnout or not.

Perfectionists R US

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Reflections And Refractions

Reflections And Refractions

Reflections And Refractions

 

When you learned from an early age that you need to seek approval and validation outside, you will do everything you can to meet other people’s expectations.

 

You will make compromises, say yes when you’d rather say no and never upset or disappoint them.

 

But a life of people pleasing is a life in chains, where you forfeit your right to make your choices.

It’s a life where you lose yourself little by little.

 

After a few decades like this, you’re convinced that who you are and what you think aren’t even worth showing. That you have nothing interesting, original or valuable to contribute to the world.

 

When hexagonal ice crystals slowly drift into the air, the sun reflecting and refracting through them creates the so called sun dogs and sun pillars. Two small extra suns appear on each side of the real one, plus a vertical pillar of light and rainbow-like halos.

 

All these from a few tiny ice crystals.

 

When life is touching you, it creates even more amazing transformations.

 

What if you stopped focusing on what others say and simply allowed yourself to shine in your unique way?

What amazing colours will show?

 

 

10 Minutes Quiz

Is stress a normal part of your life? Do you work insanely long hours?

This 10 minutes quiz can tell you if you’re heading towards burnout or not.

Perfectionists R US

If you’re a perfectionist and would like to join a community of  like minded people, you can join my Facebook group.

Share, learn, have fun and just be yourself, un-apologetically.

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12 Warning Signs of Burnout

12 Warning Signs of Burnout

12 Warning Signs of Burnout

 

Photo by Clinton Naik on Unsplash

 

Going through burnout is tough, intense and lonely. It’s also taking a lot of time to come back at your full performance.

 

Thinking at the time when I was there, I wondered: Were there any telltale signs of the storm to come?

 

Yes, there were.

But I ignored them. I thought that’s how normality looked like.

 

Whether it’s denial (“I’m fine, really”) or the hidden conviction that we’re indestructible (“It’s nothing serious, I’m just a bit tired/upset/etc.”), we decide to brush the warning away.

 

Until we can’t anymore. It’s not just in our faces, it’s crushing us to the ground.

 

Here are 12 hidden signs of burnout I wish I paid more attention to at the time.

 

1. You’re losing your creativity
You feel like your inspiration has dried up and you can’t squeeze any intelligent idea, no matter how hard you try. And of course, when you’re looking at other people’s work, they seem to be doing brilliantly!

 

2. You’re getting very distracted
You make more often little mistakes, from dropping and breaking things, to getting your car scratched or getting the date wrong for an important event. They show that your mind is overloaded and cannot handle things at its usual level.

 

3. Chronique fatigue
Instead of feeling refreshed, you wake up tired despite sleeping 8 hours a night. Then your sleeping pattern change, and you either have troubles falling or staying asleep for one or two nights a week. In the later stages, you cannot sleep even though you’re exhausted.

 

4. Inability to focus
You find it harder to concentrate and have no patience for longer tasks, like reading a book. You may start to forget where you put stuff. Your productivity goes out the window, and although you work long hours, your pile of things to do doesn’t grow any smaller.

 

5. Health problems
You may experience frequent dizziness, headaches, digestive problems, muscular pains and hypertension. Also, because the stress is affecting the immune system, you’re getting colds and flu very often. Your weight can also fluctuate (gain or lose) because you neglect your healthy eating habits.

 

6. Procrastination
Although your to-do list is stressing you out, you cannot find the motivation to deal with your tasks.

 

7. You take everything personally
You begin to be tearful and sensitive to conflict. Everything seems to be about you, each comment looks like an allusion to your mistakes.

 

8. You’ve lost your zest for life
Nothing excites or makes you happy anymore, not even things that used to bring you joy. Your work is boring and your time with your friends and family is bland and unsatisfactory.

 

9. You’re getting increasingly irritable
When pressure and frustration start to build up, you tend to become more irritable. The danger here is lashing out on people around you and hurting them.

 

10. You isolate yourself from people
This one may be hard to spot because when you have a lot of work, you might not feel in the mood for socializing. Instead of going out to lunch, you eat in front of your computer. Taking files at home to work on doesn’t make space for nights out. In later stages, you may disconnect yourself from others, refuse to return calls or emails.

 

11. You’re picking up a bad habit
It can be smoking, drinking or stuffing yourself with junk food. It may be something you quit years ago, but now feel compelled to try again as a source of comfort.

 

12. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
First, you become pessimistic. As time goes by, you lose confidence, feel like nothing you do is good enough, everything seems to be failing or nothing matters.

 

Like the message hidden in the stones of the Rosslyn Chapel , there are always warning signs of burnout, hidden in our body and behaviour.

And once we pay attention to them, we can take action to avoid or reverse burnout.

Because it’s always smarter to prevent than to fight something.

 

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Have you noticed two or more of these signs in your life? Not sure if you’re prone to burnout or not?

Take this 10 minutes quiz and find out. 

 

10 Minutes Quiz

Is stress a normal part of your life? Do you work insanely long hours?

This 10 minutes quiz can tell you if you’re heading towards burnout or not.

Perfectionists R US

If you’re a perfectionist and would like to join a community of  like minded people, you can join my Facebook group.

Share, learn, have fun and just be yourself, un-apologetically.

Are You Exhausted And Frustrated With All The Hustling?

Would you like to have the joy and fun back into your life and business?

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