Why are we afraid of good news?

Written By Dennis

August 20, 2019

So, there I was standing at the men’s urinal reflecting on the last presentation I had heard at the conference I was due to speak at. The international speaker’s essential theme was that due to climate change, the dry conditions, the Australian dollar and the state of local and international politics – “we are all going to die”.

It was a very gloomy presentation!

I was then joined at the urinal by a client who I had known for some time. After the obligatory male greeting “How ya goin’ old mate?”; “Better now!” etc. etc., I asked how business was. His exact words were “I am a bit ashamed to say it Dennis, but really good. We have had one of our better years. Really, things could not be better”. As I was finishing up and leaving that peaceful place another person who I didn’t know said “Wasn’t it good to hear that bloke say how good things are for him? That was fantastic news.”

One thing though – “I am a bit ashamed to say it…”???

Why are we reluctant to spread good news? What scares us? Why aren’t we more willing to share good news and celebrate it?

Is it because we don’t want to “big note” ourselves? Are we fearful of falling victim to the “the poppy” syndrome? Are we fearful that our circle of friends, neighbours and broader society will condemn us (either privately or publicly)?

Or are we sensitive to other people in our circle going through a hard time and not getting the same results? Do we perhaps not want to ‘dance on our neighbours grave’ so to speak?

Whatever the reason, is it serving us? Is it contributing to or taking away from our happiness and wellbeing? Surely good news is better that bad?

Isn’t it about time for us to change the narrative? If all we hear is bad news, then our world will always be bad!

I was with a client in regional Australia recently who was in a bad way. He said things that made me very concerned for him – basically saying that there is nothing positive in my life so really, why hang around?

I asked about how his new relationship was going – ‘fantastic’ he replied (aren’t they always at that stage?)! How are his children? ‘Going really well!’ Your grandchildren? He couldn’t get his phone out fast enough to show recent photos. We looked at each other – after a moment’s pause and reflection – “I guess things aren’t that bad!” he said. He changed his internal and then external narrative – in the matter of less than three minutes.

So, here is my challenge to you. We all have challenges. Let’s see what happens when we change our internal narrative and help other people change their external one.

People say things to me to explain their success as being “just lucky”. I can always remember my dad telling me in one of his minutes of clarity, “Remember boofhead, the harder you work the luckier you will be” I am sure there is always an element of being in the right place at the right time, but remember the WES message – Work Equals Success.

Positivity both attracts and breeds positivity – believe it. And by you sharing your good news – if it is done with humility, you may inspire other people. On hearing your good news, people may actually say to themselves “Hang on, if that works for them, maybe I should do something similar!” They may not say anything to you, but you may very well change another’s person life and direction. How good would that be!?

So, I implore you to share your lessons and successes. Knowledge can be shared as can wisdom. But it will only have a positive effect if it is delivered humbly and with authenticity.

Change your narrative – share your good news and change your world and that of those around you.

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