Human brains are hardwired for negativity, reports psychologist Rick Hanson, senior fellow at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
There's a good evolutionary reason for our Negativity Bias: Negativity keeps the brain alert for dangers in our environment. A hundred thousand years ago, this was critical to survival. Being focused on threats and dangers kept our internal radar systems in search mode for lions, tigers and bears.
However, we live in a very different world today. External environmental threats in the form of lions, tigers and bears are, for the most part, nonexistent. Unfortunately, the evolution of our brains has not keep pace with the safety upgrades our civilized society affords us. As a result, our brains have held onto this vestigial trait.
That's a problem, because negativity is a nearly insurmountable barrier to success.
It is virtually impossible to become successful, as an entrepreneur, if you maintain a negative mindset. In fact, positivity is so important to success it is one of the common "rich habits" of self-made millionaires. I spent five years studying the good and bad habits of 177 self-made millionaires and wrote four books, sharing that research. I found that 79 percent of rich people, before they became rich, believed they would make it, compared to only 18 percent for the poor. Over half, or 54 percent, of the rich credited optimism as critical to their success in life, and nearly three-quarters, or 71 percent, forged the habit of finding things to be grateful for in life.