That idea will never get approved. We tried something like that before and it didn’t work in the past, and it’s not going to work now. Pessimism: The guiding philosophy of some people who just seem to be allergic to the idea that it’s possible for things to go right every once in a while.
This article continues the break down of dealing with the individual fears that prevent people from taking action on ideas with today’s topic Fear of Optimism.
Not all pessimism is bad.
I frequently talk about proactive, prepared pessimism that actually helps people turn an expectation of losing into a win. The example I usually provide is of a salesperson who thinks every prospect is going to say “no” to a sale because the price of the product or service they are selling is to high. Take on its own, this is the classic perception of a pessimistic person — but what if the salesperson used that negative assumption to actually prepare for the price objection by finding ways to work in examples of the value their product provides to customers and was armed with 10 to 20 smart and well thought out responses to any push-back on their price? Sure, they might be pessimistic about their prospects reaction to hearing the price, but they have strategically prepared to meet that objection head-on and they are ready to win — and that’s a pretty positive reaction to a negative scenario.
The average response to the pessimism in this circumstance might be to avoid speaking with any prospects at all, because they’re just going to say No.
Pessimism is lack of knowing Why
When a pessimist shoots down ideas, one of their favorite weapons is to ask the question “Why bother?”. If you know the answer to Why the idea you’re pitching is important and why it makes a difference, you may be able to avoid being taken out by this opening volley.
The other thing to keep in mind is that you really can’t “win” against a truly morose pessimistic person. They will have far more reasons why the world is covered in a great big dark cloud than you’ll be able to counter. I’m not saying not to make the attempt, but don’t be dragged under their umbrella of gloom when you can clearly see the skies are sunny and full of possibilities. better to let them slink away into their underground bunkers believing the worst will happen — this way they won’t be around to rain on your parade when you’re celebrating your big, bright, optimistic win.