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4 Ways Pessimism Can Decrease Motivation (And 3 Ways To Prevent It)

Are your thoughts making you less motivated in your life?

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you consider yourself a pessimistic person? Do you often see the glass half empty instead of half full? Maybe they call you cynical or depressing when you express your thoughts? Finally, do you consider yourself a real individual and tend to believe that real life is negative and full of bad things?

There are many pessimists in the world. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, it could be one of them. A pessimist can see nothing but pessimism and sadness, but can also be someone who tends to see risks and challenges more than the good things in life. You may not feel like celebrating positive things, or you may preach that everything is useless!

Wherever you fall on the spectrum of pessimism, It’s worth being aware of the fact that pessimism is more likely to hurt you than to help you. But how can it be bad for you? Is there any way to stop it? Here are four ways pessimism can lower motivation and ways to prevent it in three methods.

Four ways pessimism can lower motivation

Are you feeling pessimistic? It could make you feel less motivated. Here’s why.

1. Being anxious and stressed will decrease motivation

Many pessimists struggle with stress, according to investigate. You likely have poor coping skills when pessimistic, which can lead to exhaustion, fatigue, and a lot of anxiety. This stress occurs because pessimists focus too much on the bad things, which will increase stress levels in the body and make them less satisfied with life.

It is true that, for some, a little stress can be motivating. But the kind of stress that comes from pessimism, and the anxiety that accompanies it, is not the kind that motivates you the most. Instead, it is likely to paralyze you and cause:

  • Worst-case scenario type thinking
  • Excess of nervousness and worry.
  • Too much rumination

And of course, the more paralyzed you are, the more stressed and anxious you become. But the more pessimistic you become, leading to a deadly self-engendering cycle!

2. A depleted confidence level can decrease motivation

Pessimism inherently tends to imply a lack of confidence. This is because the trait requires you to constantly think that the worst can happen, which is a sign that you can:

  • Do not believe in your abilities to overcome problems and issues.
  • Try to protect yourself from being hurt by others by expecting the worst, so that you are never disappointed.
  • You believe that you are unable to change and therefore you believe that you are trapped in a situation forever.
  • Feel that you have no control over your life or your circumstances.
  • Think that you have no power over the events of your life.

These are all signs of a lack of confidence. When you believe in yourself, it is difficult to be pessimistic, as you naturally trust that you can overcome unfavorable circumstances. You don’t get any of that positive thinking if you lack the self-esteem necessary for such a belief, and your motivation suffers for it. You can’t have any momentum if you don’t think nothing will come out of it!

Often times, this kind of pessimism is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you don’t believe in yourself, your chances of success are also reduced because you don’t come in with confidence and aware of your strengths. And then when you don’t succeed, you pessimistically can say something like, “I knew I couldn’t do it.” Naturally, this only further confirms your thoughts and makes you even more pessimistic!

3. The resulting depression could decrease motivation

Many people who are pessimistic tend to overthink, which can decrease mental well-being. Studies suggest that those who contemplate, brood, and overthink at higher rates are often at greater risk of developing depression and depressive symptoms.

Worse still, the cycle of negative thoughts is such that the more you have them, the more depressed you become, which turns you into even more negative thoughts. Pessimism is essentially a downward spiral, and it’s hard to break free from it.

This kind of lack of positive thinking is enough to slow down motivation. You may think that you are unable to succeed, which depresses you, and then that depression makes things feel even more hopeless. You may also experience other problems related to depression and its symptoms as a result, such as:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor moody
  • Constant negative thoughts

4. Pessimism lowers motivation by making problems seem insoluble

Pessimists have a specific explanatory style. An explanatory style refers to the way you interpret the events and situations in your life. Studies show that optimists minimize negative things and focus on positive things, while pessimists maximize negative things and minimize positive things.

Being aware of the negatives is essential to proper problem solving and planning, but there is a point where you focus on the negatives more than helping. A pessimist facing a struggle or challenge may focus so much on the negative that all problems feel more magnified, reducing motivation to solve or overcome challenges to begin with.

On the other hand, an optimist, full of positive thinking, will focus on the good things and use it to motivate you to solve problems and move on. They do not feel the helplessness that a pessimist can feel and are interested in seeking bold new solutions and looking to the future to learn and grow.

This positive thinking is also known as a “growth mindset.” This mindset means that when you are faced with difficult circumstances or even total failure, you will be motivated to move on because you are happy to learn from those events. Pessimists do not have this mentality, so they have no motivation, nor do they have a positive way of dealing with the situation! They are more likely to give up because of the helplessness with which they perceive the world around them.

Three ways to prevent pessimism that lowers motivation

Now that negativity lowers motivation, here are some new habits you can adopt to offset its impacts.

1. Welcome challenges

Pessimists often view challenges as a high risk of failure, making them less likely to feel motivated to meet the challenges they face. If that describes your worldview, then it’s time to change the way you view those challenges.

Instead of being afraid of them, worrying about them, or overthinking them, start accepting the challenges you may face. They are not your enemy, and facing a setback or “failing” does not mean that you have really failed. You can hammer this message home as follows:

  • Think of challenges as opportunities to grow and learn.
  • View missteps as lessons rather than signs of failure.
  • Understand that mistakes through challenges are inevitable in life, but that they are always things you can learn from.
  • Get in the habit of reflecting on how you handled challenges to improve.

Being aware that challenges are empowering can help you find the motivation you need to move on and overcome pessimism.

2. Get rid of negative sources and create positive ones

If you’re surrounded by negativity, you are likely to begin to incorporate that trait more fully. As such, if you find yourself having a hard time letting go of pessimism, you may want to examine your life and your world and find out what it is that encourages that way of thinking. Here are some ways to do it:

  • Consider the media you consume. How much negative news do you see or read? Do you watch, read or listen to content that makes you anxious or upset? Can you add something positive to your media repertoire?
  • Consider your thoughts. Do you have more negative thoughts than positive ones? How can you challenge negative thoughts with positivity? What realities can you base yourself on to counter unreasonable negativity on your part?
  • Consider who you hang out with. Do you spend your time surrounded by negative people who only further your pessimism? How can you surround yourself with more positive people who encourage you?
  • Consider the bad things that happen around you. Can you create positivity through acts of kindness that counteract those terrible things? While you shouldn’t feel responsible for changing those bad things, is there a way you can help reduce them? Would you feel good about yourself helping others?

When you can counter these harmful fonts with positive fonts. Naturally, you will be more motivated because things in your life lift and cheer you up rather than drag you down.

3. Use pessimism in a positive way

This point sounds counterproductive, but consider it! Naysayers are more likely to prepare and foresee potential problems and obstacles in their future, allowing them to protect themselves against tough times. They are often better prepared for difficult circumstances because they are able to recognize risks and negative possibilities.

Investigate shows that these benefits of pessimism can be quite significant, allowing some pessimists to enjoy:

  • Safer safety nets when undertaking risky initiatives
  • Better preparation for challenges and difficult circumstances
  • Greater resilience in difficult times due to physical and mental preparation
  • A more robust worldview that is not altered by hard times
  • Increased risk awareness for smarter decision making

Keep in mind, of course, that this kind of pessimism is beneficial only in moderation and balance. It should be used to inform your choices and make you more aware of adverse outcomes so that you can avoid pink glasses and toxic positivity. However, once your pessimism starts to dampen your motivation, you’ve gone too far, so use this tip with caution!

How can you achieve the perfect balance? The idea is simple: while you can plan for the worst, you should also hope for the best. Just because you’re preparing for the worst-case scenario doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice positive thinking about what you want to happen.

Visualizing the desired result while creating backup plans based on realism is truly the way to go! Positive visualization helps your motivation, and your careful preparation will keep that motivation alive if obstacles arise along the way.

Final thoughts on some ways pessimism can lower motivation and ways to prevent it

Humans need a balanced measure of pessimism and optimism to live in a positive and conscious way. As such, being nothing more than a pessimist will do you more harm than good and cause you to lose motivation. Do your best to counter your extreme pessimism with optimism and help those two traits work together in harmony for the best results!

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