Pronoia is REAL!

Aug 07, 2020


Pronoid people are likable, capable and confident. Multipliers, expectations, and persistence empower their leadership and positive attitude.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the term paranoia: the belief that “the world” is out to get you. Admittedly, I’d never heard of its opposite: pronoia. Pronoia is the belief that “the world” is manipulating circumstances around you for your benefit. Though you may not subscribe to either perspective, expecting things to turn out well plays an important role in your leadership and success. I know, it’s daring to request a positive attitude, especially when we are observing and even directly suffering from unfortunate circumstances. None the less, I challenge you to consider expecting the best!

The American Psychological Association would further define pronoia as the belief that the “actions and the products of one’s efforts are thought to be well received and praised by others.” Yes, we know that those who tend to be successful do believe they are likable and capable– which generates increased confidence.

If you asked for advice from someone who always expects the best, they might ask you about your:

  1. Multipliers: Who are the people in your sphere of influence who tend to be your raving fans? They are the ones constantly rooting for you, regardless of your recent accomplishments. I challenge you to own what they love about you, your work, your style; adopt and magnify those viewpoints.
  2. Expectations: What are you expecting to happen today? Next week? Is it positive or negative? Someone expecting the best from every situation and from every person simply sees more opportunity and fortune around them. They see life through a lens that prevents them from seeing doom and disaster lurking around every corner.
  3. Persistence: What happened first, your positive attitude or your positive experiences? Many times, a small success leads to another and another, accumulating into several large successes. Doubters are not generally perceived as can-do people. Good opportunities are often given to those who merely appear more successful!

I dare you to choose your perspective. Consider how to engage with your multipliers, expect the best, and develop persistence. What would you like to believe about yourself, others, and your current situation? How is this related to your self-confidence? Pronoia is not a physical ailment, but actually an advantageous condition of the mind.* I challenge you to consider expecting the best and seeing the world full of opportunity.

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” ~Stephen R. Covey

* NOTES: 1.) Please reach out if you want to improve your self-confidence or positive attitude.  2.) Read related Leader’s Field Guides: Childlike Work, What if…?.  3.) Extreme pronoia, according to the APA, is a delusion, may require psychological treatment, and is no way affirmed by this writing.

by Michelle Sugerman • Leading Synergies, LLC • © All Rights Reserved

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