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Optimism

The doctor and therapist Owen O’Kane, who described himself growing up in Northern Ireland as ‘Billy Elliot without the dance moves’, suggested that 60%-70% of our thoughts can be negative and that back in Neanderthal times it was helpful to have fearful thoughts which we now know as ‘negativity bias,’ for our safety. It is important to recognise that our brain magnifies the negative information we filter in.

A survey Matthew Syed wrote about in the Sunday Times on 13th December 2020 asked the following question:

“Over the past 20 years, has the proportion of the World that lives
in extreme poverty,

a) Increased by 50%
b) Increased by 25%
c) Stayed the same
d) Decreased by 25%
e) Decreased by 50%”

*See answer below

Scientists have vanquished the naysayers who argued that it takes twenty years to test and approve a new vaccine by producing three in ten months! The next time you feel threatened or overwhelmed by ‘bad’ news remember your brain is amplifying it and you will see it in more perspective. The press loves a good negative metaphor, such as ‘crash out,’ and they use exaggerated terms to describe events. These all impact on our unconscious and effect our mood.

We all have an in-built resilience passed down from generations who have survived and evolved. We are much more resourceful than we think. The problem is our over active scanner is on full power mode constantly trying to detect threats.

Optimistic people are likely to achieve better results because we get more of what we focus on. Come and join us on a free Introduction to NLP evening to find out how. The next one is on January 14th.

*Only one person in a hundred answered the survey correctly, the other 99% were too pessimistic. (The correct answer is decreased by 50%)