Has anyone ever given you three positive comments but the fourth is a constructive or negative one and all you do is focus on the negative? This is negativity bias.

Humans give more psychological weight to bad experiences than good ones. Some researchers believe that negative emotions have an impact close to three times stronger than positive emotions. This week, I learned that in order for positive feedback to land, the ratio is 5:1. That’s five times the amount of positive feedback in comparison to receiving one piece of negative feedback.

We all have choices in how we receive feedback, both positive and negative. However, the role of yourself with yourself plays a huge part in your own negativity bias. Below are some coaching tips and questions when managing your own negativity bias and self-talk.

  1. Write down or verbalise your internal thoughts. Test them. Are they fact or fiction? Is this reality or a story in your head?
  2. How would you respond to someone close to you if they spoke about themselves like you are? Take your own response and listen to it.
  3. Write down the self limiting beliefs that you have about yourself. Challenge yourself to turn these beliefs into empowering or positive ones. Don’t forget to write down the positive ones and scribble out the self limiting ones.
  4. Struggling with point 3? Ask someone else!

Change takes time. It’s likely you’ve been carrying these self limiting beliefs for longer than you care to believe. Changing these thoughts and challenging your negativity bias won’t magically change overnight. But committing to challenging these thoughts daily and not taking them as reality will certainly enable you to lower the 5:1 ratio and in turn, taking on the positive feedback as much as the other!

The Inside Out Coach