Downspiral of Negativity: 4 Ways Pessimism Kills Productivity

One of the most favorite books is Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen. His whole concept in the book deals with losing a negative mindset and replacing it with positivity. But one thing is certain, we are killing our productivity with negative thinking.

Image courtesy flickr / ryan melaugh
Image courtesy flickr / ryan melaugh

As a pastor, I deal with negative people. Now, I’m not saying I deal with negative people daily. However, there’s an individual who has come into my office with nothing good to say. 

I ask, “How are you?” It never fails; I ask and the response is usually negative.

These type of conversations are so negative that it becomes uncomfortable to have any type of conversation with them. There are some people who have such a negative outlook on life that they get their entire meaning of existence of things going wrong.

They believe everyone is wrong and that everyone hates them, or pushes them away. They find their self-worth on feeling they are persecuted by everyone. While they may feel vindicated in their thinking, they are squandering their life away. They are hindering what God has destined them to be.

Part of this list came from Michael Hyatt’s blog post of a similar topic. Here are four ways pessimism is killing your productivity.

1. It kills your creativity. I consider myself a creative person. I am always putting out content on my blog. I am continually creating new ideas for the church. But, one thing, if I become lax in my thinking and don’t think highly of my work, it will suffer.

When I meet with negative people, I find that it brings down my own thought process. Pessimism zaps all energy from the room. If you go to a cocktail party, you’ll find the negative people stick together and usually become the burden of the room. The party begins to die, because they find everything wrong with the world.

2. It creates the “have-to” attitude. Have you noticed that you end up saying, “I have to go to work…” What does that phrase do for you? It makes you think negatively about going to work. What if I were to tell you, change your phrasing to ‘get-to’.

This simple change releases in our soul an attitude from something that must be endured to something that is a privilege. It becomes a can-do attitude. Using the example of work, ‘I get to go to work’ takes it from a burden to something that is exciting, because you are making money.

You will find this simple attitude adjustment will make you more alert and keep your mind functioning high and on alert.

3. It hurts relationships. Personally, I don’t like hanging around negative people because of what it does to my own thinking. Dan Miller from 48 Days to the Work you Love Podcast says that negativity has the potential to hurt your marriage, and your work relationships.

Michael Hyatt also said this, “If you’re always thinking and communicating the worst, you’ll turn people off and drive them away.” People will ultimately pull away from a negative person and find excuses to not be around them. It’s a great way to push away the people who mean the most to you.

4. It keeps you from thinking clear. When we’re negative, our minds actually begin to shrink. It’s been documented that prolonged negative thinking may lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Pessimistic people are almost always depressed, anxious and may suffer from PTSD.

These thought patterns create a chemical release in the brain that causes damage and drains the brains resources to protect itself from Alzheimer’s.

Joyce Meyer said, “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.”  We are in a battle for the mind, but what we do in our thought life is what matters. I do my best to keep myself free from negative people. We have to if we want to be productive. Negativity does no one any favors, in-fact it hinders clear thinking and all relationships.

Are you a negative person or are you a positive person? Share your thoughts below, on Twitter or Facebook.

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