Defensive Pessimism…Good or Bad??

This is an interesting concept, a title of an article caught my eye, it wasn’t what I thought it was.  The full link to the article is below.

The most interesting part was the following quote :  “What’s intriguing about defensive pessimists,” adds Lawrence Sanna, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who has also studied the phenomenon, “is that they tend to be very successful people, and so their low opinion of the outcome isn’t realistic; they use it to motivate themselves to perform better.” For example, an executive is getting ready to pitch a project, and she thinks beforehand, “The client is going to be really difficult; he’s not going to like my proposal. I have to make sure I explain things very clearly.” “She uses defensive pessimism as a tool to work through all the possibilities so she’s prepared for everything, even failure,” Sanna says. “And if she does fail, she’s ready for it, so it’s not so catastrophic.”

The article goes on and leads to a short quiz…..well I found out I have no defensive pessimism, haha.  It went on to say the following about my ZERO score, “You probably use strategic optimism (at least in some situations)—i.e., you set high expectations and actively distract yourself from the possibility you could fail—to pursue your goals.”.   So I am not a Strategic Doubter I have Strategic Optimism, I would agree with that.

Are you a Defensive Pessimist?


~ by debt2dreams on February 17, 2012.

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