How to Make the Most of Life: The Promotion/Prevention Mindsets Explained
Related Product: Personal Development Planning Guide ebook
Yes I'd like to know how to make the most of life. It's the only one I've got after all. So, do I a) go out and make the most of any situation, come what may or b) do my best to avoid making mistakes or get caught out?
Yikes, I can feel my eyes being inextricably drawn to my navel.... No, no, resist the gazing and read on... Let me explain the prevention and promotion mindsets and how they influence your life.
No man is an island
Being connected to those around you is a basic human need. You might work in an office full of people but if you're not connecting to them in a meaningful way, you will over time become lonely and isolated at work. This is not good!
Lonely people do not lack social skills
It may come as a surprise that lonely people do not lack social skills. They may however, have adopted a prevention focused mindset when attempting to connect with others, which in their eyes gives them the best chance not to annoy or bore the other person. This mistake avoidant mindset tends to lead to increased anxiety which in turn leads to;
They may succeed in avoiding controversial topics but they have unwittingly succeeding in appearing self absorbed, having little interest in others and being aloof. No meaningful connection made and the loneliness continues.
How trying to get people to 'not dislike you' backfires
Anxiety blocks natural socially valuable responses such as mirroring, enthusiasm, smiling eye contact, absorption in conversational topics and so on. It makes it difficult to tend closely to another person as the brain is put on alert for danger by anxiety, causing focus of attention to flick around.
In an attempt to appear 'nice', prevention-focused people often smile and nod in response to a partner's conversation. The trouble is, this can also signal lack of interest, such as when someone says Mmm... hmmmm... when they are distracted.
Don't try to 'just survive'
My husband, Roger Elliott experienced had a profound mindset change regarding public speaking. Early in his public speaking career, he was quite nervous before delivering training events. He read the book 'Inspire Any Audience' by Tony Jeary, which radically changed his approach. He was no longer focused on just surviving the experience (prevention focused) and adopted a 'how can I be great at this' approach (promotion focused). Now he could talk the legs off the proverbial donkey and not worry a jot who was listening.
Break the chains that bind
Focussing on not making mistakes helps you make those mistakes. I'd like to ring the cliché bell and say - there are no such thing as mistakes, just learning opportunities! Relax, take a deep breath. What's the worst thing that could happen? Really happen??
Interventions that work
By training your brain to be promotion oriented, you are more likely to make the most of life. Bad things are not permanent, aren't your fault entirely, and don't affect your entire life. Yes maybe things might not go quite how you expected, but you did it regardless and who knows, you'll probably do a whole lot better next time :o)
By Lyndsay Swinton
Citation Information: Swinton, Lyndsay. "How to Make the Most of Life: The Promotion/Prevention Mindsets Explained" Mftrou.com. 27 January 2011. <http://www.mftrou.com/howtomakemostlife.html>.
Achieve Your Ambitions: 7 Step Guide with Example Personal Development Plan
Use this example personal development plan to figure out how to turn your dreams into reality.
7 Midlife Career Change Tips - how Van Gogh did it
Whether you want to return to work, get your dream job, achieve a better work-life balance or simply need the challenge, this 7 step career decision making advice will help you think through your midlife career change.
Managing Ambiguity - dealing successfully with uncertain situations
Our ability to deal effectively with uncertain situations or "managing ambiguity" is a life skill that is gaining recognition, mostly stemming from Daniel Goleman's work on Emotional Intelligence. Let's take a look at what managing ambiguity is all about.