But optimism isn't as simple as seeing the glass half full. To gain the advantages of optimism it has to be done well. And there are some surprising nuances. Are you curious? Then keep reading...
10 Insights Into Optimism
1. Optimists talk a certain way to themselves and others. They take responsibility for the energy their thoughts and words create. Example: They add the words 'right now' to thoughts/sentences about challenging situations to contain negative energy. They also move their thoughts up (lighter, more positive) - rather than down (heavier, more negative).
2. There's a fine line between optimism and denial. Optimism keeps you positive, energized and prepared - not afraid to have your eyes open, but being very aware of your focus. Denial keeps you positive but more likely because you are trying to avoid conflict. It also leaves you vulnerable to being blind-sided by what happens next.
3. Pessimism is not the bad guy but must be done well and with the goal of being productive. Think - timing (as in avoid bubble-bursting), your purpose (as in having genuine concerns and interest in seeking other solutions) and attitude (as in not sabotaging because you are cranky, stressed or anxious).
4. Unmanaged anxiety is the biggest challenge to optimism. Anxiety is literally worry about what is going to happen. So learning strategies to deal with anxiety is often the first step toward more optimism.
5. Optimists try more ideas.It's not really the % of success, it's the total amount: 50% of 2 = 1 success, 50% of 10 = 5 successes! (For what to do with the 5 'failures' - see #6)
6. Optimists reframe failure as some kind of win: I survived. I learned something. I met some expectations. And use Poptimism ~ 'It could have been, could be, worse.' ~ as a first step toward bigger optimism.
7. Optimists think British: Minimize bad outcomes with: 'A bit disappointing', 'Could have been better', 'Not fabulous'. More fun if you add the accent!
8. Optimists find upsides to the economic downturn: Creative juices start flowing, new reasons to conserve, buy wisely, & appreciate what money never could buy - friends, family, sunshine.
9. Optimism is highly influential in landing a job.Though being competence is more critical in keeping the job, without optimism you are less likely to get the job in the first place. Also consider: how much more pleasant it is to work with optimists too!
10. Smart Optimists don't impose optimism on others (partners, children, friends, staff) because they know that it is the easiest way to create a pessimist. We can't do it for others, they have to do it for themselves.
Good luck with incorporating more optimism into your life.
Annie Zirkel, MA LPC is a Relationship & Optimism Consultant with a great appreciation for genuine, well-done optimism. If you would like to learn more about the skills of this practice, please contact Annie Zirkel, LPC at firstname.lastname@example.org
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