Can A Pessimist Become An Optimist?
I do believe that some people are just born happy and are naturally an optimist.
We see babies who are always happy, and we see babies who are not so happy.
And so yes, I believe you could be born as an optimist.
But there are many factors that come into play:
- Childhood Experiences
- Economic status
- Genetic predisposition
While these are all valid reasons for sure, as to why one person might be more positive and optimistic than another, there is one factor which may have the power to transform those reasons – the power of choice.
Optimism as a Choice
Given a set of negative circumstances, some with a negative mindset might view this as an all or nothing, catastrophic event.
On the other hand, though, those people who have a positive, optimistic mindset might feel the impact of the negative circumstance, evaluate their choices, and then go on to make the best decision based on the situation they are in.
They know they are in control of being able to make that decision, and in how they choose to react to the event.
And, so along those same lines, those with positive mindsets of optimism are more apt to also choose a more constructive and useful attitude.
While we may not be able to change our circumstances, we can change our reaction and attitude toward those very same circumstances.
But what if you are typically a pessimist? Is all hope lost for you? Is it possible to change?
The answer is a big yes!
Being a pessimist or an optimist is really more of a habit.
And with work, you can change your habits!
So, let’s look at some of the ways to do that.
How a Pessimist can become More Optimistic
While changing any part of our personality is never an easy task, it is doable.
You have to want it though.
Chances are, telling a pessimist he/she can change their outlook and change their life will most likely be met with some cynicism.
After all, it’s a pessimist we are talking about!
But if that person makes the decision on their own – say perhaps seeking to find his/her purpose in life or finding more joy – there is certainly more of a chance of success.
Through practice and some brain training techniques, a pessimist can most certainly become more optimistic.
You have these neuropathways in your brain.
When you change the way you think, or the way you look at things, it actually starts to create new neuropathways.
And so, by being aware of how you react to things, and changing how you react, you can create those new neuropathways.
What you focus on expands.
Constantly focusing on what is wrong and what does not work is a surefire way to get more of the same; situations where just about everything can and does go wrong.
And if you focus on the good things, you’re get more of the same there too; situations where things go right!
There are plenty of positive circumstances in life to focus on:
Look around you…
- What does go right in your life?
- Counting your blessings.
- What do you have to be grateful for?
- What does work?
When faced with adversity, is there some semblance of a silver lining within that circumstance?
As a pessimist, you might thing that’s the end, and you failed.
But what if you worked to view an ending as a beginning or as a lesson learned?
Even a pessimist can find the deeper meaning instead of looking through a negative lens, if they work at it.
While an optimist views the proverbial glass as “half-full” and a pessimist views the glass “half-empty,” what if a pessimist did not internalize circumstances as personal to themselves?
In other words, what if something happened simply because it happened and not because the pessimist has “bad luck?”
Moving away from the woe-is-me way of thinking opens the door to a broader view and removes the unfortunate situation as having any meaning to the pessimist themselves.
Another way a pessimist can move away from negative thinking is to tell themselves and others different stories.
Instead of seeing only the story surrounding the circumstance as all black (for example, a pessimist might say they have no luck, everything always happens to them, everybody else gets to get what they want), a pessimist can opt to see it in black and white.
Something happened because something happened.
It is what it is – no story attached.
If you work at changing the focus and perception along with not internalizing, and start telling a new story, soon even a pessimist is able to see the glass as half-full and have a life full of optimistic results.
Is it going to be easy? Nope, probably not!
It’s a process. The key is to work on getting better every day.
As long as you’re working on it and growing, you’re moving in the right direction.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
Are you naturally a pessimist or an optimist?
Have you ever even thought about it?
What kinds of things help you to be more positive and more of an optimist?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
I would love to hear your stories.
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