I don't consider myself a particularly negative person. Generally, when facing a new situation, or even when facing a situation I've been through before, I tend to think that things will work out well.
Why then, do I always throw these red flags up? Why am I the one in the meeting with the "yeah, but what if" questions.
Is it because as my mother has often suggested, I really do see the glass as half empty? Is it because I can't just relax and go with the flow? Is it because I am neurotic/controlling/awfulizing? Or, am I really, truly just a big ole beee-yotch?
Turns out, maybe not! Last week I was reading a magazine (for pleasure, just because I could!), and stumbled upon this article: Oprah: Defensive Pessimism .
If you didn't actually click into the link, let me sum it up for you. The long and the short of it is that folks like me tend to use pessimism as a defense mechanism. We plan for the "what ifs" even while hoping for a good outcome.
So when I come up with a laundry list of things that could go wrong, I'm mentally preparing for them and preparing to put a Plan B in place in case things do go wrong. It doesn't mean I'm not onboard for the project. Coming up with Plan B gives me a sense of control, even when things go awry.
The article says that about a third of the population uses this strategy, and generally people who use it tend to be successful.
So, I'm going to keep on doing what I've always done - hope for the best and plan for the worst. And I'm not going to listen when they tell me to lighten up!!