We are constantly living a life of balance to achieve the things we want and to avoid the things we don’t want. Sometimes this is determined by a preference for optimism or pessimism and at other times the situation in front of us dictates our choice. Here we look at the balance of promotion and prevention goals.
A ‘Promotion’ goal focuses on the gain you’ll achieve from fulfilling your outcome and taking advantage of opportunities. Secure that new job. Go for the win. Learn new things.
The ultimate reason to pursue promotion goals is to fill your life with positives like love, admiration, rewards and pleasure.
The driving motivation for promotion goals is the feeling of pleasure – of doing it because you can.
A preference for optimism will favour promotion goals. You’ll naturally pursue the things you want. This includes a desire to take risks and go for it.
Promotion is a great perspective when speed is important – simply focus on what you want to achieve.
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A ‘Prevention’ goal focuses on the loss you would incur if you failed to take action. Keep your job. Keep the ball in play. Avoid looking stupid.
The ultimately reason to pursue prevention goals is to keep your life free of negatives like danger, guilt, punishment and pain.
The driving motivation for prevention goals is a feeling that you ought to. Your world will not be okay if you don’t.
A preference for pessimism will favour prevention goals. You’ll naturally take action to minimise loss and maintain safety – often with a conservative bias.
Prevention is also a great perspective to perform tasks that require accuracy – you don’t want to miss something do you?
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Generally, your situation will determine your selection of either a promotion or prevention goal. Usually it’ll be clear you want one or the other. Notice if you constantly choose one viewpoint, you may be limiting your success.
This is an extract from the Book Rapper issue Victory: How to Fulfil Your Goals. It’s derived from Heidi Grant Halvorson’s book Succeed.