“N” is for Negativity

(This is the “N” installment of the series, “Alphabet for Leaders.”)

Most of the people I know make negative statements based on imagined negative speculations.  That includes me. When we don’t know the facts we make them up. We assume we know another’s motives, secret thoughts and negative intentions even when we don’t.

On the other hand, I know a few positive people with cheery dispositions. They walk around with half-full cups. But I don’t trust them.  It seems to me, they are deluding themselves or they are deluding others. Either way, they can’t be trusted. Of course I’m being sarcastic. However, there is a hint of truth in my sarcasm. I do have a natural skepticism toward people who are always up beat.

A negative friend says, “Things are going really great. I’m just waiting for something bad to happen.”

The positive side of negativity is you’ll eventually be right. Bad things happen. Problems arise. Crisis is inevitable.

I’m a pessimist dealing with negativity.

#1. If you feel negative, please don’t pretend you don’t feel it. You can’t fix what you don’t own.

#2. Get over saying, “I’m not a pessimist, I’m just a realist.”

#3. Not all negativity is bad. Anticipating problems, resistance, choke points, and other difficulties helps leaders devise strategies and solutions.

#4. Confidence reinforces positive attitudes. Feeling like you’re capable or at least able to become capable lowers stress and enhances an affirmative approach. Confidence eliminates, “I can’t.” Positive people say, “I don’t know but I’m sure we can figure it out.”

#5. Get the facts rather than feeding negativity with imagined speculations.

I’m a recovering pessimist. I still squint at the brightness of positivity. It doesn’t come naturally. However, I’m finding that positivity takes me where I want to go while negativity strengthens the status quo.


How can negative people develop positive attitudes?

What other words that begin with “N” can you add to the “Alphabet for Leaders?”