Optimists have a positive view of the future. Neuroscience and psychology tell us when we expect positive outcomes, we’re more likely to get them. Equally, when we expect adverse outcomes that’s also what we’re likely to get. An optimist believes they have the power to make a situation better. They tend to think that when one door closes, another door opens.
Research shows that optimists tend to do better in most areas of life. They’re reported to suffer less with depression, be more successful, have happier relationships, and have better overall health than pessimists.
Pessimists, on the other hand, tend to think that life is against them. They believe in negative patterns of this ‘always’ happens to me, or, that ‘never’ happens for me. They imagine all sorts of negative outcomes, set low expectations and then use this mindset as the motivation to push them forward.
There’s a famous saying, ‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’ This begs the question, are we born optimistic or pessimistic? If so, can we change our perspective?
Are We Born Optimistic or Pessimistic?
As children, we learn how to interpret and make sense of the world around us. When asked, most children are quite positive about themselves and have high expectations of their abilities, so may have a tendency to be overly optimistic. However, as the child grows and develops, their optimism becomes more in line with reality. Research carried out by Professor Lori Markson at Washington University concluded that young children tend to be quite optimistic, but more so when their influence comes from adults that have a more realistic approach to life. This enables the child to have a more positive approach and more realistic expectation. Some people never learn to be realistic and end up overestimating their own skills. The flip side of this is people who tend to be overly cautious when presented with opportunities, instead preferring to err on the side of caution.
Be The Change You Want To Be
Being an optimist doesn’t mean always having the best cards dealt to you, but it helps you to manage the cards life deals you. When you learn how to be more optimistic ‘going with the flow’ will happen naturally, and you’ll find it easier to simply be present in life.
Neuroscience tells us when we think optimistically; we feel optimistic. When we feel optimistic, we act optimistically. When we act optimistically, we believe we’re optimistic. When we believe we’re optimistic, we are optimistic. When we’re optimistic, we attract positive events, situations and people into our lives. Neuroscience tells us that whatever we vibrate to we attract in life.
Tips For Change
An optimist learns from their mistakes and failings and is willing to try again. When something goes wrong, a pessimist will say, ‘I’m not where I wanted to be’. But an optimist will say, ‘I’m exactly where I need to be right now, and the lesson will be perfect.’
It helps if you can stop any catastrophising and avoid the ‘what ifs and buts’. Believe your plan will work, and everything will fall into place. You just need to allow it to happen, be patient. When you’re optimistic, you open up to your creative influences. Inspiration comes from within, and when inspired, you’re more likely to see opportunities instead of challenges. So, instead of worrying about what you can’t control, allow your creative juices to flow and focus on what you can create and manifest in life. When things go wrong, simply step back and consider your options. It’s much easier to see the wood from the trees when you take a step back. Sometimes we need to clear the way for good things to come.
Instead of telling yourself that you can’t do something or that it’s impossible, stop and ask yourself how can you make it happen.
Is Being Optimistic the Same as Risk-Taking?
An optimist embraces change and enjoys the growth and development change offers them. They see the bigger picture and the successful outcome, while the pessimist gets lost in the detail. While the optimist sees opportunities the pessimist may not see, it’s also important that they consider the ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’ of any situation. Doing so opens up their minds to inner inspiration and creative insight. It also helps them focus on and direct their thinking in line with what’s important, one step at a time. By planning each step towards the goal by revisiting and reflecting on the journey, the optimist avoids taking unnecessary risks.
So, whatever you want in life, if you can imagine it, believe you can do it, feel it, vibrate to it, you will naturally attract it and then you’ll achieve it.