Do you know someone who is always such a bundle of optimism about the future; nothing seems to cloud their days and their life seems like blue skies forever?
Optimism allows us to see beyond the present and take ownership of the future.
Optimism versus pessimism
Someone indulging in pessimistic thinking blames everyone but themselves; they make excuses when things don’t work, tend to dwell on the worst case scenario, and sometimes deny things are even happening. They can continually find fault, make things worse than they are and see themselves as powerless.
On the other hand, someone indulging in optimistic thinking generally takes ownership of their behaviour and actions. They tend to hold themselves accountable about the actions they take in their life. They take responsibility and choose how they deal with issues by asking who, when, where and how. They see themselves as powerful.
The power of exercising optimism
Exercising optimism is taking a proactive perspective of choice and opportunity.
It blends both thinking and feeling to shift our beliefs and attitudes to a more proactive stance versus being reactive.
Everyone uses both optimistic and pessimistic styles of feeling and thinking. Some tend to use one more often than the other.
People exercising optimism create options and opportunities and believe their choices make a difference. In my experience of working with salespeople, those with high optimism can sell up to three times more than those with lower optimism.
Dr Martin Seligman author and avid promoter within the scientific community for the field of positive psychology www.authentichappiness.org
says optimists live longer, and are more likely to be promoted (except for attorneys)!
So what can we do when we’re challenged by the voice of pessimism?
3 simple questions when you’re challenged by the voice of pessimism
- Ask yourself how long it will last. If you are telling yourself it will go on forever, will it really?
- Ask yourself how widespread it is. Is EVERY aspect of your life affected?
- Ask yourself, have I really tried everything? What could I do next if I could do anything?
You may be surprised how you can elevate yourself to a state of being neutral, so that you can lean into optimism once again.
Look out for more upcoming posts in this EQ Series.
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