Updated: Jun 27, 2021
An optimist, when faced with a problem, tends to find the upside to the situation and starts figuring out ways to solve that problem, or ways to turn it around. A pessimist, however, immediately throws up their hands, and yells, “That’s it; it’s all over. I can’t handle this anymore and gives up. Or they will just distance themselves from the problem, pretending it doesn’t matter. This is denial, and it never works.
According to the world's expert on optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman, everyone is apparently born optimistic. And yet he says that, 95% of grownups are pessimists and not optimists.
Our up-bringing, environment, programming and experiences play a huge part in whether we are living a glass half full or a glass half empty mentality... It's not our fault that we can be pessimistic and I believe depending on the situation we are all capable of switching from the Optimist to the Pessimist and vice versa, even if we generally function primarily from one of the polarities.
We don't actually have to keep swinging from the two polar opposites, there is a middle ground here a place of balance. 'The Realist' whereby the person recognises reality as it is. Now this could be seen as the advantageous position by many.
My awareness about this position is that some 'Realists' can be so accepting of a situation that they can decide the current outcome is all that's available, which truthfully is "A Pessimist" claiming to be "A Realist".
The optimum and most positive position would actually be to become 'An Optimistic Realist'. This is a person that see's it all, the good, the bad and the ugly, adopts a positive attitude and shifts to look to how they could change their current reality for greater future possibilities and experiences. 'Access Consciousness' use a question which encourages a person to ask: "What else is possible and how does it get better than this?" They encourage this for when something good or something bad happens. In this space, there is an allowance for 'what is' and yet the space of enquiry invites something greater than 'what is' to appear...
What is, is what is, it truly has no bearing on what is possible in the future. For sure, not everything works out exactly perfectly all of the time, challenges are going to happen. But it's often our attitude, response and energy towards what happened and the learnings we take from that event that determines the bigger universal picture of what comes next. Byron Katie says "The only time we suffer, is when we focus upon a thought that argues with reality". She says rather than saying "I shouldn't have lost my job" say, "I lost my job, what now"? So I wonder if you were to be in the question of 'What's next? What now? What else is possible for me here? What aligned action can I take? What might show up differently? This is definitely leaning on the side of optimism whilst not fighting against what's actually already occurred and instead learning from it.
Ironically, a lot of times things do tend to turn out according to how we feel about the situation. If a person feels like something will go well or feels optimistic about it, it usually seems to go well for them. The same is true of the reverse. When someone feels like something will go badly, generally it tends to do just that. This is where the saying that 'Our point of view creates our reality' is really shown to be true...
This is true for many reasons... When our point of view, our beliefs, thoughts & feelings are in alignment with what we are telling ourselves on repeat it tends to become a truth for us and can then manifest into a reality... This is a casing point for being optimistic about life!
On occasion an optimist can be guilty of living in 'blissful ignorance' of when things aren't going well. There's a space where when they are only willing to see the good that they can slip into denial of seeing 'What is' and then miss out on the required action that is needed to course correct to a greater outcome.
The Optimistic Realist is making a conscious choice, not just reacting to life. They accept the present moment, they see a positive future and take action to make their vision a reality. They think positively. They focus on what they really want, they feel into the energy of having that as a reality and they start with the end result in mind working backwards to find the steps to take.
Think about the following statements:
Optimistic Realists attract Success naturally
Optimistic Realists tell themselves a story they desire to have and work towards it
Optimistic Realists look for better ways to succeed when things don't work out
Optimistic Realists are happier, healthier and more energetic than pessimists
Optimistic Realists are easier to be around, encouraging & inspiring people around them
Optimistic Realists suffer from less negative self-talk
Besides the above, Optimistic Realists lead a higher quality of life.
These are all probably true just by the fact that an optimists’ positive thinking makes challenging situations “not that bad” and transformable for future experiences.
Now I'm not saying that all we have to do is just sit back, thinking positive thoughts, and hoping everything will turn out all right. We would all have witnessed many situations where that hasn't be fruitful. It’s really about how you see the world, positively rather than negatively. It's about how you face each situation, each problem or challenge on each occasion with a positive attitude; and you always look forward to the “benefits” you will derive from its manifestation.
You actually have a choice here and now, this is where you are at 'A conscious choice point'. “Change your thoughts and change your world,” said Norman Vincent Peale. What it comes down to is that your attitude is a conscious choice. If you choose pessimism, you’re choosing to see the down side of every situation, judge people unfairly, and live unhappily for the rest of your life having things show up negatively the way you feel they will.
On the other hand, if you choose Optimistic Realism, you’re empowering yourself to see the positive side of each challenge, seeing the bigger picture and encouraging others to see another perspective where possible. This enables you to take action to further improve your own life, and live happily and in harmony with friends and family who care about you. Attracting all good to yourself. Choosing to be more optimistic and positive does not mean you won’t encounter difficult times, trauma, loss and many challenges. What it does mean is that you will have more power on your side to help you through those tough times. You’ll bounce back faster and make better choices, rather than letting life just wash over you. You can learn to be more pro-active, instead of reactive.
If you’re not naturally optimistic and positive, don’t worry. You can learn how to use your thoughts to change your attitude and emotions. It's not always easy if you've been in an old pattern for some time. Some days will be very challenging, but you can do it! Stopping one pattern of behaviour and beginning another takes consistency and determination to step into the new. Improving your optimism rates is one of the most important actions you can take to improve your life. It doesn't come automatically, though. It takes effort. It takes deliberate, conscious awareness of your thoughts and feelings. And then acting on that awareness.
Each time you think a negative thought, stop right there and look to become aware of what you just automatically assumed. I love to ask a question here that Byron Katie has popularised, "It is true? Can I know that ______(whatever you are telling yourself)___ is actually true? I also often ask "Is it written in the stars that __(Whatever you are telling yourself)___ has to be true for ___(Insert your name)___ now and always?
The aim of asking questions here is to challenge the thing you keep assuming, you are intending to ask a question to gain greater clarity around a situation to determine if you are being pessimistic here?
Try to turn it around to find the positive aspect of the situation. Do this each time and build on it. It will become a habit to be more positive, truthful and upbeat about your life and future possibilities.
Here’s one starting point:
Practice your ‘positive thinking’ and your ‘positive feelings that go with it’. Give yourself permission to think new thoughts and feel new feelings, you can just tap into the energy of those things anytime you would like to... Let's try it now... Give yourself permission to tap into the energy of telling yourself something positively true and see if it makes you feel lighter? For example close your eyes and say: I can choose to tap into positive new experiences that make me feel good... Really feel what it feels like to know that its possible for you to tap into positive new experiences of joy, of love, of kindness, of pleasure of already having achieved what you desire in life... Imagine the feelings of knowing that those things have already occurred, already actualised for you... What does it feel like to have those things in your life? Does it lighten you up? Make you smile, bring about a warmth, a glow, a joyful feeling? Does it make you feel good? This is also a good test for deciding whether what you think you want is actually what you want... So many people get frustrated and pessimistic because something hasn't occurred, and there is of course a possibility that you might not actually want that to happen, or be ready for that to happen - often times there is a hidden unconscious payoff that you are benefiting from that needs to be addressed first.
Being optimistic that you will attract wealth, for that new car, relationship or new home will for sure bring about a higher possibility that you will succeed. After all your point of view creates your reality. But we cannot forget we live in an action orientated reality and as much as the energy of something brings things to fruition its the productive and pro-active steps that you take that helps to push things to that end, and then of course when you are ready and fully aligned you will get there.
So I would say to you: Be Optimistic! Accept What Is, Learn From It, Question It & Expect The Best Out Of life Going Forward, Nothing Is Fixed! Question Things With A Curious Positive Attitude, Be Positive, Be Pro-Active and Take Action When Prompted To Do So By Your Soul.
PS: If you'd like some help getting in the mindset of being more positive order your Mini Harmony Card on the button below!! :-)