Negativity Bias is Holding You Back

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What is that particular acid burn of messing up?

And why do we feel it so much more strongly than when we do well?

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Let’s flip back to February. I was going on a 10-day off-roading trip and then running a booth at a conference less than a week later and producing an event. I took on too much; I neglected a client. Letting them down still burns.

If I think of this year, this mistake is the pimple on the nose. Even though I wrote six pieces for the New York Times this year, managed my freelancing and coaching business while traveling four months out of the year, and finishing the first draft of my novel.

This is because we humans have what’s called a Negativity Bias.

“The negativity bias is a cognitive bias that results in adverse events having a more significant impact on our psychological state than positive events. Negativity bias occurs even when adverse events and positive events are of the same magnitude, meaning we feel negative events more intensely.

The Decision Lab

These meat calculators! *shakes fist at forehead”*

If you’re doing anything of note, you’re going to make mistakes. But we modern humans want these little things called happiness, contentment, and pride. Luckily, there are ways to actively savor your accomplishments and shift your view to one that’s more aligned with reality.

That’s part of what I did in “Reflect & Recharge: A 2023 Writing Review.” In this 60-minute session, we dove deep into reflective writing exercises and strategies for recharging your writing practice, including:

  • Reflective Writing Exercises: Dive into specially crafted prompts that encourage you to look back on and feel your achievements.
  • Strategies for Recharging: Learn techniques to maintain momentum and enthusiasm as you transition into the new year.

Remember, a look back is only useful if you then look forward and use the information you found to build a foundation for the next step.

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