5. The Negativity Bias And Self-Doubt
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”-Winston Churchill
Psychology literature describes the “negativity bias.” The negativity bias is the predisposition towards and excess focus on negative circumstances.
In a journal review article titled: “Bad Is Stronger Than Good,” the authors Vohs et. al. Emphasize that bad events, emotions and feedback have a greater impact than good events and are processed more thoroughly.
They also add that the self is more likely to engage in avoidance of negative self-definitions instead of strengthening good ones. People are quicker to form negative stereotypes and bad impressions that are more difficult and resistant to show that they may not be true.
With the stronger inclination to negativity, I believe that it is not surprising when we experience limiting self-beliefs, thoughts and opinions of others, and we may spiral into negative states including self-doubt.
How can we alleviate this bias and tip the balance towards a favorable outcome with lesser self-doubt?
Psychology research tells us that the ratio of negative to positive thoughts is around 1:5 to maintain balance. You will need five positive thoughts to counter one negative thought.
Vohs et al. Also suggest that “Good can overcome bad by force of numbers. To maximize the power of good, these numbers must be increased. This can be done by creating more goods.”
The authors say that a few ways that you can appreciate the good is through gratitude for people who support you, by celebrating your small successes and being thankful for good health.