What does the following quote mean to you?
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”Benjamin Franklin
To me, it means, while things can and often will go wrong, spending all your time anticipating random troubles will not help you get to where you want to be. “Keep in the sunlight,” by looking at the positive aspects of what you are trying to do.
Too often we expect the worst. We anticipate failure. We make ourselves sick worrying about things that don’t happen. We hope for the best, expect the worst, and sometimes we don’t even bother to hope. We are so convinced that a project will fail that we don’t even bother to plan for success.
Why do we find it so difficult to stay positive? On the other hand, blindly assuming everything will just work out is no better. It is important to address possible problems in order to negotiate the path to the success we want. There is a fine line between pessimism and blind optimism.
The question I’m asking today is, why the pessimism? Do we use it to protect ourselves? Do we hide ourselves beneath the armor of failure first and then celebrate the wins when they come? When we do fail, we can say, “I knew that wasn’t going to work anyway.”
The bigger question is does that expectation of failure become a self-fulfilling prophesy? By expecting to lose, do we make ourselves into losers?
And, the biggest question of all: Do women worry about failure more than men? Studies show that they do. Further, a study performed in 2008 showed that women often hold themselves back based on worries about failure. For example, men would apply for a promotion if they had 60% of the qualifications while women only applied when they met 100% of the required skills and experience.
So ask yourself, if we hide ourselves in the darkness of pessimism, do we prevent ourselves from achieving the successes we might have had by staying in the sunshine of positivity?
I’m curious to know what you think.
Do you keep in the sunlight?