Nobody is born an optimist or a pessimist. Our upbringing and our immediate environment does play a big role in making us one. Research does say that Optimist live a healthier and longer life, create more opportunities and most importantly, lead a life which is fulfilling.
Now who does not want to be an optimist? Read on to find out how you can condition your mind to be more optimistic in your outlook, persevere in your efforts and create more opportunity.
Remember that you have everything to gain and absolutely nothing to lose by tuning your own mind to have an optimistic view.
However, by being stuck with a pessimist mindset you are bound to follow the path of some of these which is backed by research findings
- Being pessimist is more often a negative trait
- Pessimistic Sales people do make far lesser sales in a year
- Pessimists do quit early in life
- Pessimistic executives crash and burn far too early in their career
- Pessimistic entrepreneurs barely manage to succeed in their business.
However, once you identify with the pessimist mindset it is not a walk in the park to recondition your mind to think and behave optimistically. It does take far more effort than just standing in front of the mirror and telling yourself good things.
Sorry if I have managed to disappoint a few here. Breaking habits is never easy and also not impossible, but stay with me as to how you can work on the following to help you break the pessimist attitude and break yourself free from mediocracy.
Over the years, I have worked with some of my own clients who were not naturally optimistic. They had tried to work on themselves by reading books, attending courses etc.…before reaching out to me. However, things only held on for a couple of days or weeks and they did get back to their own self which was frustrating. Sounds familiar, right?
What I am going to share with you now is the 4 easy but very effective steps which has worked with my own clients over the years to help them become an optimist or even in some cases help change someone from mildly positive to extremely positive.
Reign In Your Inner Voice
When I interact with my clients the first thing I do notice is what are they saying to themselves. Remember what you say and when you say to yourself plays a big role in defining your reality and it is no different with being an optimist. Often pessimistic people do tend to play things around a little bit and downplay themselves often.
Majority of the people who are pessimists tend to believe that the bad events will last a long time and undermine everything they tend to do. Moreover, they blame themselves for the situations. When this begins to happen it’s more of a downward spiral pulling your thoughts and actions along.
The only way you can nip the inner voice in the bud is by rephrasing the voice or language and some of the examples of the inner voices I come across in common are something which is good enough to try
- This bad situation is only my fault and I tend to bring upon bad luck to myself.
You can rephrase this to
This situation is only a temporary phase and it is a one-off incident.
- A bad situation is not universal but more of it happening specifically to me.
You can rephrase this to
A bad situation does happen to everybody. I will learn from this and move on.
- This situation is only because of me and I am not good at this.
You can rephrase this to
I am responsible for this situation and I am going to make the best out of this from now onwards.
This article by Lisa Firestone is a great reference article to work on your inner voice.
When you do begin to rephrase your own words, thoughts and eventually actions, it is when the magic does begin to happen. Yes, it will take some time for the neural pathways to develop in your own mind but once this does happen, it will be like water flowing through a pathway.
More the water begins to flow, stronger the pathway will become. It is true with nature and so is it within our own mind.
You can refer this 5-minute video “The Critical Inner Voice” to help you Reign In your inner voice.
Catch Yourself In The Act
The best way to teach someone a new habit is to catch them in the act. I use this technique often with my dog Kaiser. When I notice that Kaiser (who is incidentally blind) is doing something out of the ordinary, I always try to catch him in the act and give him a gentle reminder that it is not supposed to be done.
He picks it up beautifully and ends up not doing the same mistake again. It’s been close to 4 years since he decided to Adopt me and he has never done the same mistake again after being corrected while doing the Act.
For those of you with kids, I suppose the same logic does work. The best time to correct your kid is while they are making the mistake. It is fresh in the memory and that much easier to make the necessary correction.
So, if you are looking at working towards being an optimist then it’s about time to be a little more conscious about the pessimistic act you tend to do and catch yourself in the act and do the necessary correction.
Believe me, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Couple of acts/situations in a day is good enough to begin with and in no time, you will be working on bigger things.
Build On Your Emotional Strength
One of the top reasons Pessimists do give up so easily far more than an optimist is simple. They do not have the emotional strength to go that extra mile. The limited emotional energy is used up for all the wrong things and when it comes to be emotionally resilient they are running empty.
You can refer my previous blog article of mine to get some additional insights on Emotional Strengths.
The only way you can build on your own Emotional strength is by first owning up and then taking the required steps to strengthen it. Some of the things you can do from today to build on your Emotional strength is
- Focusing on good positive thoughts
- Feed your mind with Positive ideas, images and stories
- Live a healthy life style
- Make and spend time with positive-minded people
- Make meditation a daily habit
This is a great article on how to build your Emotional Resilience backed by research.
Future Pace Yourself
Everything does happen twice in this world – First everything does happen in the mind and then in reality. So, my question always to my own clients is what or who is stopping you from having absolute control in what does happen in the mind.
Well, if you could control your own thoughts you will not be reading this far in my article for sure. It’s difficult to control our thoughts especially when it’s going downwards. So, I always make my own clients see themselves vividly and powerfully what and how they want their future self to be.
You can refer this article on Power of Visualization .It is very close to future pacing yourself.
Now this is very much possible with a little bit of practice. Once you begin to see yourself more optimistic, emotionally strong and resilient in your thoughts and actions your body just follows your mind and in no time, you will be living it. That’s where the internal shift begins to happen and you can count me on this.
You can also refer this short video by Tony Robbins to work on Future pacing yourself.
Some of the times, having a Pessimistic outlook does help and I will be lying that I never see some situations through this lenses. However, to wear this lenses throughout the day is something we are not made to be.
The steps I have discussed above is something which you can do it on your own without depending on anybody else. So, there is no reason for you to not work on the same from this minute itself. The price you must pay for not working on your own inherent thought process is huge and believe me, it’s not worth taking.
So, step out now and make the most out of the situation you are in right now and as always, I am more than happy to help you and will walk with you if you find the journey an uphill climb.
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- Identity the area of your challenge
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Thank you for reading my post. I regularly write about Leadership, Peak Performance, and Health & Wellness.