Is your glass half full, half empty…or missing?
Are you a positive thinker? Is your glass half full or half empty? There are times that thinking positively can become very difficult for a lot of people. Some people are pessimistic, some are positive and some would be classified as a realist. Which one are you? Does this personality trait affect your driving behaviour or can you keep it in check when you’re behind the wheel?
I’m generally a positive person and often feel that keeps me going even during difficult times. I’ll often use positive “self talk” to keep my sprits high, especially while driving in heavy traffic or bad weather. I keep telling myself that I’ll make it home safely each day and that my driving abilities will keep me safe. I tell myself what I need to do differently to improve my driving over those poor road or traffic conditions.
What does the negative person say to themselves in bad weather or heavy traffic? Do they tell themselves that they’ll crash before they get home? I certainly hope not, but do you think that perhaps, deep down, they may be thinking they will crash? The negative person believes negative things happen to them and focus their energy and emotions on what has gone and will go wrong. It’s almost like they expect things will go wrong for them on a regular basis. Does that sound like you?
Every now and then I would be teaching a student from Young Drivers of Canada who would tell me they’ll fail their road test. This was rather disconcerting since I had just picked them up to take them to their road test. I called their bluff though. I said if they felt they would fail the test that we should turn around and head back home. I said if they already knew they would fail, why bother going. They quickly turned their attitude around, or did they? They started to tell me they would do well. Can someone really change their attitude instantly or do they have to spend time to work at it?
Do you think when the weather becomes difficult to drive in that pessimistic people tell themselves they’ll crash? Do you think optimistic people say they’ll survive driving in poor weather? What happens to both of these people is “self talk”. They keep telling themselves what they want to hear. Negative people tend to “pre-qualify with the negative”. They tell us why they won’t be able to do something before doing it. Now you’ve just brought my attention to it. If you didn’t do that, I may not have noticed it. They explain why they won’t be able to do something.
The problem with that is their mind is thinking of the error and therefore the error happens. If they always think about what to do as opposed to what NOT to do, they have a better chance to do the correct thing. It’s really the power of positive thinking. And as they say, if you want to avoid being negative, avoid being with negative people. If you’re that negative person, you’ll need to change your outlook on life in general. That’s because you can’t really avoid being with yourself.
So here’s my advice; become more positive when you’re behind the wheel. Look at the positive side of situations instead of what was wrong with it. Pick your battles and decide even if you want to put any energy into what has made you feel that way. Maybe you need to pre-qualify with the positive? You tend to get out of something what you put into it.