I was labeled a pessimist the other day and my first reaction was to be defensive. Let’s be honest, pessimism is not viewed favorably; we are considered the Eeyores of the world, which is associated with negativity.
Side note: Someone had to be a pessimist in that group. Pooh had no common sense, Tigger was rash and reactive in his decision making and Piglet was terrified of his own shadow. They probably should have given Eeyore a little more credit.
Being a pessimist, that’s right I’ll admit it, has allowed me to succeed as a business owner. I do not walk around singing show tunes, I have a serious case of RBF (resting bitch face) and past bosses have called me abrasive and pushy. All of this is true, although I do occasionally hum the Greatest Showman soundtrack, and I am not going to apologize for it.
The way I approach a lot of situations in the business world are grounded in my pessimistic tendencies and have built a successful foundation for 8THIRTYFOUR.
- I always analyze the shit out of everything. I overthink every interaction, situation, communication…and it has made me very intuitive when faced with difficult decisions. I notice everything…everything.
- I hope for the best and plan for the worst. Running a business is really, really hard and it is a journey full of constant twists and turns – you have to plan for the unexpected. You also need to roll with the punches, which is not something us pessimists do well.
- My self-awareness is off the charts. I take criticism well and it has made me a better boss and colleague. I internalize, overthink it and at times make myself sick over it…but the process is well-worth the results.
While pessimism has served me well, it needs to be in moderation. It cannot take over your life; use it to motivate you, but remember to take time to focus and reflect on the great things.
Lastly, don’t be ashamed to be a pessimist, own it and acknowledge the good that comes from it.