5 WAYS TO BE MORE OPTIMISTIC

6 Jun 2018

 

 

by Ueli Gerber, Gerber & Partner

 

Some quick and easy ways to tackle challenges optimistically

 

1. Change your attitude to lack of success

Approach failure or lack of success with the attitude: OK, it didn’t work out this time, so I’ll give myself another chance and focus on how I can do it better. 

 

2. What to do when others put obstacles in your way

When others are obstructive towards you, make it clear that they don’t control you: “it’s OK for you to behave like that, but I’ll decide how to react”.

 

3. Keep a diary

Ask yourself: «how did it go? » 

 

Exercise:

​Write down three things that went well today and why. In this way you’ll learn to focus on the things which go well for you.

 

4. Be grateful 

Being grateful can make your life much happier and more satisfying. If we feel grateful, this benefits us as a positive stimulus in our life. 

 

Exercise:

​Thank you visit: the task is to write a thank you letter to someone and deliver it personally to them. The letter should be for a specific reason, and about one side long. Tell the person exactly what they did for you and how that has influenced your life. Then visit this person, but don’t tell them why, as it is much more fun if you can surprise them with the letter. 

 

5. Do you wish your life and circumstances were different in some ways?

Your life and circumstances can only change if you change your attitude!

 

How can we adopt an optimistic attitude? 

 

 

Many people believe that optimism or pessimism are part of our character given at birth. However, if this was the case, it wouldn’t be possible to change from being pessimistic to being optimistic. In reality, what lies behind optimism is a learned behaviour that we are not aware of. Specific life experiences, together with the influence of parents and other relevant individuals, result in us tending to judge the world with either a positive or negative attitude. 

 

These negative or positive attitudes are deeply rooted in us and become an automatic part of our thinking. 

 

Do you wish your life was different in some way? You can only change it if you change your attitude first!

 

An optimist’s approach to life 

 

Optimism is a sign of a positive approach to life and the world. 

This is how optimists think and live:     

  • They are in control of themselves and their life

  • They are driven by their values and motivations 

  • They are convinced that their life is 10% a result of what happens to them and 90% a result of how they react to these things.

  • They take responsibility for their own life, recognising that they are in the Director’s seat.

  • Success is just luck? – optimists don’t believe this, as they know that success is the result of their attitude! 

  • Optimists believe in a happy end. They can see that there are weeds in the garden, but simply don’t focus on them. 

  • Optimists quickly work through and get over negatives.

  • They are successful in what they do. They don’t dwell on the things they don’t have, but instead are grateful for what they do have.

 

A pessimist’s approach to life

 

Pessimists think and live as follows:

  • ​They are helpless victims at the mercy of circumstances and other people.

  • They don’t take much responsibility for things – someone else is always to blame – the weather, their boss, their partner, the husband, the wife etc.

  • They are driven by feelings and emotions.

  • They invest a lot of time in the past. They spend 90% of their time thinking about things that have happened to them, and just 10% of the time thinking about how they could have reacted. 

  • They tend to see problem rather than opportunities.

  • Pessimists need a long time to work through negative experiences. 

  • They focus on the things missing in their lives.

 

Example

 

What is generally the first thought you have when you get up in the morning? 

  • It’s going to be a great day!

  • I’ll just run through the day ahead in my head….

  • I’d rather stay in bed than face this hellish day

 

Are you happy with the way your life is generally going at present?

  • Seriously? No, but you get used to it…

  • Yes, really. Everything is perfect!

  • Generally, yes, but there are a few things I would change if I could.

 

How do you usually react to changes in your life or circumstances? 

  • I try to resist change. I’d rather that everything stayed the same.

  • It’s great when things aren’t always exactly the same!

  • It depends on what the change is. I’m usually a bit skeptical, but just try and see what happens as a result. 

 

Which category of person would you say you are?

  • Unfortunately, I’m a pessimist, which can be a big disadvantage at times. 

  • It depends on my mood. Sometimes I’m an optimist, sometimes a realist,  sometimes a pessimist.

  • I’m a total optimist.

How do you think you come over to other people?

  • Open minded and communicative

  • A bit hesitant and shy with strangers, but open and happy with friends.

  • I am how I am, and it doesn’t bother me what other people think about me.

 

What would give you real pleasure?

  • Things which you don’t do or get everyday

  • Everyday things such as good weather or fine food…

  • My favourite team winning a match

 

 

 

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