In the article, “Conquering Your Internal Critic So You Can Sing Your Own Song” posted on http://www.inspiremetoday.com , Jack N. Singer, Ph.D. Professional Psychologist, renowned Speaker and Consultant, references Dr. Shad Helmstetter’s fascinating statistic;
“By the time the average youngster reaches the age of eighteen, he or she has been told something negative or something critical by parents, teachers and other authority figures an average of 148,000 times!. During the same eighteen year time frame, this individual has only heard a few thousand positive comments. It is no wonder, therefore that with this ratio of 148,000 to 3,000 most of us are programmed to think negatively, to fear taking risks, and to be internally critical of ourselves each and every day.”
My personal experience as a Pastor and counselor confirms the above statistics.
For instance, I was having a chat with my wife recently and I asked her, “If I were to give you 100k now, what would you do with it?”
She paused for just a second and then in less than 3 minutes, I heard a list that would actually consume three times that amount! And the fascinating thing was that it would all be within an hour.
Then I asked her, “can you give me just 5 ideas on how I can make that kind of money in 24 hours?”
I guess you could imagine the rest…she paused for over 5 minutes; I actually never got an answer on that one.
So I told her, “Have you realized that it was easier for your mind to come out with ideas on how to consume 100k, than on how to create it?”
It was quite a learning experience for us. It actually left me thinking about why it’s easier to think destructively than creatively.
Is it just due to critical words by parents, teachers and other authority figures as we were growing up? Are there other factors that contribute to this condition?
In your own opinion, why do you think its easier for the human mind to think in negative terms than in positive terms?
We’d appreciate your comments.