Daily Archives: March 30, 2012

How To Be More Optimistic

Do you tend to expect the worst when a situation occurs? Are you able to see the bright side of all bad situations? Do you look at the glass being half full or half empty? Depending on the answer to these questions you might be a pessimist or an optimist. Having a positive expectation about upcoming events and your future is part of being an optimist. An optimist can typically see some positivity in bad situations. I am an optimist about most things in my life. About 6 months ago, I had accepted a job offer that had caused me a ton of stress and ended up having me involved in an 80 hour work week. I eventually quit, but am still happy I took the job even if it was extremely stressful. The optimist side of me viewed the situation as a great way to learn new skills and the money from that job helped pay off my car loan completely. I also realized that job opportunity has helped me receive other jobs since now
I have an excellent example of doing something that I had limited knowledge in and successfully completing my work.

Landscape of Sedona, Arizona

Anyone can be an optimist. Some people feel optimism is reserved for people who come from wealthy families, who can afford to not receive job positions or who don’t need to try hard to receive really good grades. That is not true at all! Personally, I have come from a family that has not paid for one thing of mine since I turned 18. My childhood has also not been easy in many ways. I feel that optimism can be a choice. I have visited impoverished countries where people are hopeful and happy about their lives, even when they have next to nothing in terms of material items. In my life, I have encountered people who have been constantly struggling but choose to be optimistic. Alternatively, I have met people who come from wealthy families and have tons of options that may make his or her life easier than others but who still remain very pessimistic about their own life.

Remember that being an optimist does not mean that you suddenly turn a blind eye to negativity. Optimists are able to view the world realistically just like anyone else. When faced with challenges, an optimist will not be quickly discouraged but will recognize the challenge and realize that he should put significant effort to help avoid bad outcomes. An optimist still makes decisions about the world and has a solid plan, but unlike a pessimist, faces decisions with a positive outlook and ensures that he or she follow-ups with their decisions.

Being a pessimist can have significant negative impacts on your life. You might find yourself not sticking through with your commitments and neglecting issues that might improve your situation overall. Having a negative view of your life can result in you missing out on great opportunities and feeling more depressed about life. You might also experience more feelings of helplessness by being pessimistic.

Here are some great tips to help you avoid being less negative about your life. Remember that anyone can become more optimistic!  Sometimes it just takes a few modifications to try and become more optimistic.

Pessimism is fine in small doses. Everybody will go through periods where they feel pessimistic about life. That’s normal and healthy. A very optimistic person may go through a period of feeling pessimistic if he or she is going through a really rough period in life.

Life is not against you! Many people live life by constantly proclaiming that their life will always be bad or that nothing ever works out for them. Some people will blame the world, God, friends or even family members for their bad luck. Understand that nothing is specifically working against you, and that you control your own life.

Bad Starts Do Not Equal Bad Endings. Many great opportunities or experiences may start out bad. Do not expect that everything good will always start out well. I remember I took an internship where the first few weeks were very stressful. I felt like I was not competent enough for the position and was concerned that I was not a good match for the job. After a few weeks, the job got much better and ended up being a wonderful opportunity.

Leave the past behind. It is difficult to be optimistic when you are still involved in bad experiences that may have occurred in the past. Digging up painful old memories, regretting missed opportunities and continually putting yourself down for making bad mistakes only makes you feel worse and wastes time. Learn from the past and start working on the present.

You control your life! Remember that you can influence your own life. If you are feeling not satisfied with your life, then you can start building new plans for yourself and make better decisions. Your circumstances do not control you! Your life is not completely out of your control! Remember that you need to start taking control of your own life. You will need to take some risks and start making new plans for your life. Learn from past experiences and really think about what needs to change for you to be happy.

Find the positives. Start looking for positives in every situation. Being able to find some good in a situation will allow you to view a situation more positively. You might also discover something new about yourself. For instance, looking at a very stressful work experience might show you that you can handle many tasks and learn skills really quickly, but you might need a work environment that requires you to work less hours during the week.

Surround yourself with optimistic people. It can be challenging to be positive about life, when you are surrounded by people who are just pessimistic about life. Think about the people you spend quite a bit of time with. If you find that many of these people are pessimistic, generally unhappy with life, like to discuss how dissatisfied they are with things or tends to discourage you from taking some risks, then you may want to consider finding new friends who have a more positive outlook.

Take care of yourself. Remember that you are a person who has needs. Try to remember to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Set aside time every day to exercise. Spend time treating yourself to things you really enjoy. Try not to put your own needs on the backburner. Put aside time to relax or to do a hobby you really enjoy.

Be patient. Change does not happen overnight. It can take time and will be difficult. Be patient with yourself and understand that trying to be optimistic is a journey that takes time and patience.