Why Are We Pessimistic by Nature?


Why is it that so many of us are pessimistic? Science has proven that we, by nature, are pessimistic. Which means if we don’t know how to use our brain, and we fail to take care of our mental health, we automatically go dark. That’s why NLP training isn’t something we do just because it is nice to have the tool set; NLP training is simply a requirement for our well-being and happiness.

Have you ever noticed that when most of us evaluate our day, we tend to focus on what went wrong rather than what went right? In reality we have many more things going right than wrong in any given day. Even as children we have many achievements in our day at school, yet we focus on the few questions we got wrong rather than the questions we got right, the things we did learn, the great time we had with our friends, the kindness of our teacher, our parents nurturing us and showing us love when we get home, etc. We follow this same trend as adults: we look at a yearly performance review, which describes largely all the things we have accomplished and the trajectory towards our future, yet there may be one remark we didn’t like and we get stuck on it.

Think about this: do you realistically have a tragedy happen every day? Or are most of your days free of the occurrence of tragedy? With this I mean real tragedy, not simply one perceived by us. A tragedy is the loss of a loved one, a divorce, getting ill. We could say that if your lost your job today that it is a tragedy, or if your vacation that you saved for over many years gets cancelled. But is standing in line at the store a tragedy? A criticism received from your boss, or even a loved one? Is sitting in traffic a tragedy? Your co-worker getting a promotion, or being a backstabber?

By nature we are bad weather animals. Especially when we don’t re-program our brain by, for instance, taking NLP training, doing some other active work on the brain, or surrounding ourselves with contexts and people that aid our happiness and well-being.

Our universal pessimism dates back to the Pleistocene era (the ice age). We dealt with life threatening things like extreme cold, ice, famine and floods. These are true tragedies. When these perils and life-threatening situations are part of our daily life, then our brains are required to be pessimistic. When we have one less cold day, we still are likely to be crushed by ice the next day, or a loved one is. If not tomorrow, then soon. When we have one meal today, it doesn’t mean we get another meal tomorrow. In emotional intelligence training it is taught that reality testing is an important piece that helps us function well throughout our day. Having a brain that must prepare for a disastrous day tomorrow is completely realistic for someone in the ice age. It is a means to adapt and survive. Something we are hardwired to do as human beings.

Our brains automatically still process like our ancestors. We sense, act, think, and feel the same way. The problem is, many pessimists among us haven’t acquired the emotional intelligence skill “reality testing,” or one of the other 16 skills of “optimism.” This is exactly why the brain goes dark if there is nothing done to create or maintain mental health. This is why I believe taking NLP training is so important. NLP training is not just a way to learn how to switch away from being pessimistic in a single moment, it also offers the means to leverage neuroplasticity. Meaning the science behind the fact that the brain has the capability to change, if work is done to encourage this. In this case learning¬†how to use our brains to be optimistic, so we become not just optimistic for a short amount of time, but we move away from having ice age brains. To spend our time in true evolution. This is why I believe that taking NLP training is not just great for gaining a new skill set, or learning how to help others, but is a profound way to create happiness and well-being.