As a musical tightrope walker (the high-note specialist of a trumpet section) it is very easy to focus on the negative - that one note which everyone can hear! If it's great, it is taken for granted, along with all the other ones which were fine, but miss it, and it rings around for an eternity - and what is more, everyone remembers that one note - the 0.1% of all notes played on the evening. What happened to to the other 99.99% which were fine? I reckon most people would take 99.99% performance statistics - don't you??
Sadly not, it seems that over time, we have evolved our brain into something which looks both internally and externally for bad news - then focus upon it. Lets be frank here, it is far easier to find fault, criticise, point out the wrong, than it is to praise, feel good and boost people.
Repeated criticism and focus on the bad or wrong builds installed traits, worry, lack of confidence and develops a downwards spiral. which then perpetuates the search for bad news, and so the circle continues.
Rick Hanson has developed a technique he calls HEAL - a four stage process to build the positive over the negative :
Have - or recall a good experience
Enrich - by focusing on that good experience
Absorb - by lingering on the emotions stirred
Link - by keeping the positive memory so that the self critical aspect becomes less important.
Some self HEALing is certainly a way to build confidence and move to greater things - even if you only ever get to 99.99%!
‘We evolved a brain that routinely scans for bad news both internally and externally, and when we find the bad news we tend to focus down upon it.’