Stop Assuming the Worst
Changing Your Mindset Results in Big Advancements
As humans, we have been conditioned to believe things automatically. Some of it is based on past experiences, others are based on what we have been taught. The idea here is that we don’t have the energy to process decisions on the little things, so our brains automatically make decisions for us. For instance the alarm goes off, and you automatically slap your hand out to turn it off, and then swing your legs over the side of the bed. You don’t have to make a decision to do every little action; some just happen.
Likewise, when there is an occurrence with an unknown outcome, we have been conditioned to “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” Unfortunately, this creates a focus on the worst possible outcome, and we end up bringing in negativity when we should be bringing in positivity.
Our Worst Assumptions
Here’s how it works. We are leaving the store, and we see a man with a sign begging for money. Instantly we go to the idea that he’s only going to use the money for drugs or alcohol, and nobody in their right mind would give him money. That’s a likely outcome, conditioned because a good portion of those begging are caught in an addiction cycle. But this individual may have had a series of misfortunes, and just needs a few dollars so he can put gas in his car to get home.
Or perhaps this scenario: you have tried to call your friend a dozen times, and you’re irritated that she isn’t answering or calling you back. Your emotions go from annoyed, to angry, to worried that maybe she’s dead. After a couple of days, you remember she changed her phone number, and you were calling the wrong number.
How about this: everything is going your way. Projects are completed on time and under budget. The kids are behaving. Your bills are lower than expected. You found an item on clearance that you have desired for a long while. You must be missing something. When are the low blows going to hit? You better start bracing yourself for disaster.
While it’s a relief to know your friend isn’t dead, and it’s a good thing to know that sometimes things just go right, our assumptions of the worst have changed the way out mindset is; and now we are reacting in a whole new way.
What Happens When we Assume the Worst
Because we have let the negativity creep in, the way we interact has changed.
When you finally do call your friend, and get in touch with her, you’re still a little irritated. The negativity that seeped into you spreads through your voice, and now she is the victim though it was your mistake.
Bracing for the disaster that certainly must be coming ruins your good mood. It spreads to your spouse and your kids, and where things were going your way, they suddenly are no longer (the classic self fulfilling prophecy). That negativity can spread to the workplace as well and become toxic to your leadership.
Change Your Mindset from Assuming the Worst
In order to break this cycle we have to change from a mindset of assuming the worst, to a mindset of finding the best. It will take time to get there, because you have to catch yourself and “manually” refocus your thoughts until it becomes automatic.
Be Aware of Your Emotions
When that negativity seeps in, capture it. Find out why you’re thinking that way, and discover if it’s truly a time that negativity is necessary.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
John Maxwell once said that he wanted to fill his mind with so much good, that whenever he opened his mouth it just poured out. It’s like your mother used to tell you, “garbage in; garbage out.”
Your friend isn’t answering the phone… so send her an email. The man is begging money, spend 2 minutes and talk to him (most shield their eyes to pretend he doesn’t exist). Things are going great, just like you search the cause of a problem, search the cause of the good.
Now, practice it all the time.
Big Sky Collision Center Trains Leaders
We have a saying here that goes, “We train leaders, we just happen to be good at fixing cars.” When everyone in the organization takes ownership and leads, the result is that everyone is happier and more satisfied with their job duties. That spills over into how they work, and ultimately the customer gets better service, better products, and end up happier (helping shape their mindset that auto body repair isn’t always negative).
Need to schedule a time to get your vehicle fixed? Need a complete auto detailing? Give us a call at 406-259-6328.