April 09, 2012

Steps to Optimism

1. Let go of the assumption that the world is against you, or that you were born with a gray cloud over your head.
It is an assumption that has no basis in reason or science. Sometimes we pick up a flair for pessimism from a parent who made negative assumptions about the world somewhere along the line. Either way, the sooner you can attribute your pessimism to a unique set of circumstances rather than the state of the world itself, the easier it’ll be to change your perspective.
2. Understand that the past does not equal the future. 
Just because you’ve experienced pain or disappointment in the past does not guarantee that what starts badly will end badly. Do not make a bad start turn into a self fulfilling prophecy for a bad ending.
3. See yourself as a cause, not an effect.
You don’t have to be a product or a victim of your circumstances. Stop thinking about what is happening to you and start thinking about what you can make happen. If you’re not happy with the way your life is now, set goals and move on. Use your past negative experiences to build character and make better decisions. 
4. Use positive affirmations.
Write down short statements that remind you of what you’re trying to change about the way you see the world. Some affirmations to start with are:
  • “Anything is possible.”
  • “My circumstances do not create me, I create my circumstances.”
  • “The only thing I can control is my attitude towards life.”
  • “I always have a choice.”
  • “I choose to live my positive side of life.”
5.Remember that life is short.
When you feel pessimism clouding your judgment or you start to feel down about the future, remind yourself that every minute counts, and any time spent brooding guarantees nothing but less time to enjoy whatever life might have to offer. At its core, pessimism is impractical because it causes you to spend time dwelling on things that haven’t happened yet and aren’t guaranteed to happen, and it prevents you from getting things done.
6. Be a balanced optimist.
Be a rational optimist who takes the good with the bad, in hopes of the good ultimately outweighing the bad, and with the understanding that being pessimistic about everything accomplishes nothing. 

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