What is Negativity Bias?
Negativity…not a pretty feeling.
Especially when it’s making you feel stuck.
Have you ever wondered why you place so much more emphasis on negativity rather than positivity?
Say you have a YouTube channel.
10 people tell you that they LOVE your video.
But 1 person says that it sucks.
For some strange reason, you get caught up on that 1 negative comment & undermine the 10 positive comments.
It’s due to the negativity bias.
If you are someone who tends to get stuck on the negatives, I’m going to explain this psychological phenomenon today.
The added level of clarity will give you a major power.
‘And what is that?’
‘Are you saying I don’t have to be negative? That there is still a way to change my ways?’
That’s exactly what I am telling you.
So time to dive into the potential new world.
What is the Negativity Bias?
In a nutshell: the negativity bias is when you’re brain is more sensitive to negative news.
It’s like your brain has a velcro for negativity & the positivity bounces right off of it.
The reason that we have the negativity bias is due to survival reasons.
Our ancient ancestors needed the negativity bias to help them stay alert.
This bias caused them to put more weight on negative events rather than positive ones.
Because of the human’s innate desire to survive & live to see another day.
Our primal ancestors lived in different circumstances than we do today.
Their life was on the line on the daily.
Whether it was from rival tribe members or a sabretooth tiger.
They didn’t have the luxury to just sit down & meditate from time to time.
The negative leaning brain was ingrained in their biology.
The hardware that we have today were passed down from generations beforehand.
Which is the reason we still have the negativity bias in modern times.
Why the Negativity Bias is Less Useful Nowadays
From the perspective of our ancient ancestors, the negativity bias was lowkey a blessing.
Imagine if their brain wasn’t naturally negative leaning.
Then a lot of us may not have the luxury of being alive today.
However, humans have evolved.
One example of evolution was when humans learned the art of farming.
So rather than having to hunt down food, we were able to cultivate crops.
This was a major advantage for mankind.
Science & engineering were enhanced.
This led to houses being built.
Technology took our lives into a brand new era of luxury.
Our external world was changing generation by generation.
But guess what?
The internal hardware still remained the same.
The negativity bias is less useful nowadays because a lot of the issues that our ancestors had to worry about are not things that we need to worry about today.
Food, shelter, threat, etc.
A lot of the issues are taken care of!
Time to chill.
Yet, we have difficulty doing so.
The 2 Types of Threats
‘So Armani. If our generation is better than ever, how come so many of us still feel so much fear?’
It’s because fear isn’t naturally a bad thing.
If you didn’t feel any kind of fear, then you’d jump into a volcano.
But due to SOME fear, you are still safe.
The problem is when you begin confusing fears.
‘You mean there are different types of fear?’
Level 1 Fear: Safety risk
This fear has the potential to seriously harm you.
Level 2 Fear: Illusion
This is when your brain turns a harmless scenario into a safety risk.
Most of the reasons that we lack courage nowadays is due to confusing Level 2 fears as Level 1 fears.
Public speaking is the number 1 fear on the planet.
Higher than death.
It’s only a speech that typically lasts for 8-10 minutes in front of an audience.
The worse that can happen is that you forget a point & the audience has a good chuckle.
Don’t recall many stories where people were killed on stage.
However, due to the ancient wiring of the brain, we confuse fear 2 as fear 1.
This creates a lot of roadblocks in our modern life.
We are preventing ourselves from becoming the best versions of ourselves.
‘Can the issue be fixed?’
That depends on you.
How To Overcome the Negativity Bias
You need to begin with the understanding of what courage means.
The famous quote goes like:
- Courage is not the absence of fear.
- Courage is continuing despite fear.
I’ll take it another level further.
- Confidence is not about having done the task.
- Confidence is knowing that you have the capability to do the task.
Your negative side is a part of you.
We do not want to kill it, but rather, take away some of its power to give to the positive elements.
Rather than the negative events sticking like velcro, we want the positive moments sticking like velcro.
‘How do I do that?’
You do that thru gratitude.
‘Gratitude?? Ah come on bro!’
Seriously, this is the cheat code to overcoming the negativity bias.
The brain stem has an element called the reticular activating system (RAC).
The RAC is defined as:
A network of nerve pathways in the brainstem connecting the spinal cord, cerebrum, and cerebellum, and mediating the overall level of consciousness.
‘English please Armani.’
In a nutshell, your nervous system is observing a fuck ton of data on a daily basis.
The RAC serves as a filtration system.
Ex: If 1000 bits of data are being flooded to the nervous system, the RAC filters it to 100, so you can form a perception.
‘Why does all this matter?’
Well, right now, your RAC is wired to mainly filter out the negative events.
That’s why you place more emphasis on the 1 mean opinion rather than the 100 nice opinions.
Luckily, gratitude allows you to REWIRE your RAC.
It allows you to recondition your filtration system.
Gratitude is pretty simple but often made confusing.
It comes down to: acknowledging ANY wins (big or small).
- Acknowledgment comes down to making yourself aware of.
It’s best to make yourself aware by saying the win out loud or writing it on a piece of paper.
This allows you to effectively rewire the RAC with words.
The reason I say ANY wins is because gratitude is about appreciating the smaller things as well.
If you can’t appreciate the smaller things, you’ll feel a certain level of doubt for the bigger things.
Leverage gratitude every day, and your negativity bias will soon begin to melt away.
Which Route Will you Take?
Any great change in life comes down to a decision.
When you make a decision, life begins to change.
For better or for worse.
The beauty of the decision is that you will eventually see how much you really wanted it.
Did you stick with it for more than 6 months?
Or did you quit after 6 days?
Something about the 6-month mark shows how committed you were.
When trying to overcome the negativity bias, understand that you are trying to rewire CENTURIES of biological programming.
Therefore, you must stay committed.
And you need to give it your all for the gratitude.
Acknowledge all your wins.
You’ll begin to alter your perception.
And a brand new world will begin to open up to you.
– ArmaniTalks 🎙️🔥