I’m an optimist. If I weren’t, I would have probably checked out a while ago. As extreme as it might sound, I’m sure that if you’ve experienced dark nights yourself, your thoughts lingered, even for a second, on the possibility of quitting. We don’t all come as well equipped with the resilience to withstand despair. We are born with our own innate capacity to lean towards optimism or pessimism. I was lucky enough to be born with a good dose of positivity, and the grit to beat some odds. Therefore, here I am telling you to reclaim your optimism. If you don’t have much of it in you, you can nurture it and boost it, and if someone has sucked it out of you, reclaim it!
I spent a while with a very negative, pessimistic, and self-centered individual who almost sucked all the optimism out of me. He was sad, angry at the world, at his family, at his wife, at the government, and indulged in a measurable amount of self-hatred and self-pity. Of course, he did nothing about it. The world was against him and that was that. Resigned to live his little miserable life.
Spending too much time around wet blankets, can be contagious. When we receive constant negative input, as with torture, you finally break down and end up only seeing the gloom and doom. Just like Stockholm syndrome, you are brainwashed to believe life is how they depict it. You don’t have to be kidnaped to experience the same sort of phenomena. Hanging around negative people can kill it for you.
8 ways to reclaim and boost your optimism:
1. Do away with the negative people in your life, or avoid them as much as you can. If you tried to help them see the lighter side, but to no avail, let them be. Some people enjoy wallowing in their misery as a kind of masochism. But remember, many of those are emotional vampires. They suck the energy out of you, leaving you deflated.
2. On the other hand, stick around people who are optimistic, positive and a joy to be with. Seek out people who have the contagious capacity to brighten a room. Those whom you admire.
3. When you catch yourself indulging in self-defeating thinking, try to see the brighter side. It takes practice, but again, repeating certain patterns of thought, act as a sort of brainwash.
4. When you run into a problem, ask yourself what positive result has come of it. Do it constantly. Since we are faced with negative results more often than we’d like to admit, we get a lot of practice!
5. Avoid playing sad melodies when you are already down. Cheerful music will snap you out of your funk.
6. Practice all those activities which enhance your mood and self-confidence. Indulge in anything you are passionate about. It will improve your outlook on life and yourself.
7. Optimism is hope. Hope that will inspire you to pursue whatever it is you want without the obstacle of fear.
8. Follow those positive people you admire and inspire you. Mine are Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.
We have a choice, as my grandfather used to say, to live life as if you had a self-imposed constant toothache, or live a pain-free existence; taking advantage of what good you’ve got. Choose wisely, there is no time to waste! Reclaim your optimism!