From: The Wall Street Journal

How Being a Worrywart Helps at Work

The Wall Street Journal:

Most people seek to project an upbeat, confident attitude on the job. But sometimes it is better to be a worrywart.

While ample research has documented the benefits of optimism at work, dozens of studies in the past several years have explored the flip side of the coin—how a moderate amount of pessimism can yield better performance.

A little worry can motivate people to be more persistent in doing difficult tasks, studies show. Some people actually summon up a certain amount of worry or fear before starting especially tough assignments, research shows. Others who are too cheery learn to recruit downbeat colleagues to provide some of the caution or realism they need.

That kind of awareness can fuel career success, according to an international study of 118,519 people published in 2007 in Perspectives on Psychological Science. While people who are very happy tend to form more rewarding relationships, those who are less happy attain higher salaries and more education. People who experience moderate sadness may be better at adapting their thinking and behavior to suit the task at hand, the study says.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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