The Birth of an Optimist

smiling turtle

Optimists are more successful than pessimists. Helpless pessimists can’t lead. They know things won’t change and loving saying, “It doesn’t matter.”

Real leaders change things. The first change is you.

5 reason for pessimism:

  1. Feeling controlled by circumstances and others. Life happens to pessimists.
  2. Believing achievement is like falling off a log. Pessimists want magic pills and quick fixes that provide easy solutions.
  3. Hanging with pessimists. Darkness exponentially expands in proportion to the darkness around you.
  4. Waiting for perfect solutions. Pessimists validate the negative present by demanding perfect solutions. “It won’t work.”
  5. Spiraling around the same negative conversations. Pessimists whine about the same people, circumstances, and problems.

Bonus: Bureaucratic organizations breed pessimism. Think of the person who got slapped down when they tried to make things better. Learned helplessness invites pessimism.

The birth of optimism:

Change focus. Stop focusing on the glorious past and the hoped for future. Focus on today’s work. Visions of success defeat those who aren’t taking action today. “I’ll never get there,” is true, if you don’t do the work today.

Shift thinking. Pessimists wait for others to do something for them. But, the life you want won’t fall from the sky like pixie dust.

The bigger the dream the harder it’s fulfillment. You don’t really believe your dream-life is easy to achieve, do you? Anticipate obstacles, difficulties, and challenges.

Change the narrative. I’m not talking about telling yourself you’re an optimist when you know you’re a dark cloud. That’s just silly. But, words are rudders.

  1. Ask yourself, “What am I doing to build a preferred future?”
  2. Ask yourself, “Can I fix this?”
  3. Have an “I could” conversation instead of “it won’t matter.”
  4. Talk about what others are doing to overcome challenges instead of pointing out their faults and flaws.

How can leaders develop optimism?