Is the cup half empty or is it half full?
You know how it is sometimes. We jump to conclusions and not give ourselves time to access what’s really going on. How we think of the world is how we see the world.
The key to developing an optimistic thinking style comes in part from how you think about the world. If you can learn how to catch your thoughts, challenge your beliefs and work with your thought patterns, then you can learn how to affect how you feel, what you can do and how you show up in the world.
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
~ John Milton, Paradise Lost, 1652
First let’s take a look at pessimism. Pessimism is when you perceive events as inherently negative or discouraging. This doesn’t mean you are a pessimistic person. It says you have a pessimistic thinking style.
Optimist approach problems from a position of empowerment. When optimistic people experience failure, they see it as being temporary and attributes it only to the current matter or situation.
- Optimist experience less distress than pessimist when dealing with life difficulties
- Optimist are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety
- Optimist learn lessons from negative experiences.
How optimistic are you about your current situation, circumstance or life in general? I will walk you through an exercise that will help you to learn or cultivate optimism. It’s all about understanding your ABC’s
1. Adversity – This is the event, situation or circumstance that causes stress
2. Belief – This is how you interpret the event, situation or circumstance
3. Consequence – This is your feelings or behaviors resulting from the event, situation or circumstance
4. Disputation – This is using evidence to challenge negative thoughts from A – C
5. Energizing – This is how you will feel once you’ve conditioned yourself into positive thoughts and behaviors in response to A – D.
Get a journal. Document your initial and regular beliefs (B) about a negative event, situation or circumstance (A). A couple of days later, read what you wrote in the journal. Notice your pessimistic thoughts and document them.
Begin to brainstorm (D) how to challenge your negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts.
After repeating the brainstorming exercise over several days, you will begin to notice your thoughts and behaviors becoming more optimistic. Stick with this exercise.
And just like that, you have cultivated optimism. I know this seems easy on paper. It doesn’t mean you’re going to learn how to be an optimist overnight. The key is sticking with it, becoming aware of your thinking style and welcoming the challenge.
Every attempt puts you closer to living a happier life. If you’re still finding yourself having trouble, then consider the use of a spiritual and positive psychology-based life coach.
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Are you a leader or educator who desire to create a more satisfying and fulfilling life, to enhance your wellbeing and maximize your personal and professional potential? You can. Consider working with me as your coach. Go on over here and let’s talk.