In this mini-series, we discuss in detail what we believe to be the Seven Deadly Sins that stop Business growth in it’s tracks. You will find these lessons to be applicable in professional and personal application.

Missed the First Deadly Sin? Catch up here.
Missed the Second Deadly Sin? Catch up here.
Missed the Third Deadly Sin? Catch up here.
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Sin No. 4: Pessimism

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ― Winston S. Churchill

It is often said there are two types of people in the world: pessimists and optimists. Pessimists tend to focus on the negative aspect of a situation where optimists favor the positive. If what Winston Churchill said is true, pessimists focus on the obstacle in front of them. Many times they give up before realizing there is still a way to accomplish their goals.

Who is immune to difficulty and trials?

I have known business owners that have encountered almost every challenge you can think of. What is the difference between those who succeed and those who fail? Their attitude. Pessimists see “no point in trying” when there is the risk of failure. An individual that gets up after being knocked down, recognizes the challenge standing before them and “slays” their Goliath will experience some form of success.

In life, it is not a matter of IF you will get knocked down, it is a matter of WHEN.

Success is a ladder, so get climbing

There is no elevator that lifts us to success. Rather, success is earned through a grueling climb. True growth requires challenge. Why is that? Perhaps it is because we truly do not recognize growth until we scale the mountain of challenge and realize our view of the world is different. Perhaps it is because if things were considered “easy” then everyone would do them and the reward from performing the action would be so low it is not recognized.

Grit becomes key. The greatest amount of talent in the world becomes useless if you give up after your first trial.

Remember your why. What is the reason for your goals? Who or what are you fighting for? When we have something or someone we are fighting for, our outlook begins to change. When our desire is great enough, no challenge can diminish our resolve.

Perhaps pessimism is rooted in not following our dreams, or our hearts desires.

“You can’t simply will yourself to like things, either. As Jeff Bezos has observed, ‘One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves.” ― Angela Duckworth

If you find yourself focused on the negative, fall back to your why. If you don’t have one, find one.

I think we all know a pessimist. At times, they can be miserable to be around.

Many will claim to be realists, which is an optimistic justification of pessimism.

Eeyore – from Winnie the Pooh – was the king of being a closet-optimist. I loved Eeyore growing up. I’m not sure he ever got more optimistic than the following quote:

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily.
“So it is.”
“And freezing.”
“Is it?”
“Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”

An pessimistic approach and an optimistic approach can be felt by clients, customers, friends, and family. Remember, without challenge there can be no growth.

I would advise the same thing we did in correcting the habit of self-pity. Missed the post? Catch up here.