Do you see yourself as a person to whom a lot of good things happen and who has a good chance of a happy life? If not, then you don’t have to change your life, but your attitude to life. In this article you will learn how to become more optimistic and gain a more positive view of your life.
What does it even mean to be optimistic?
Optimists have a positive outlook on life. They believe that the future will be good in some way. In doing so, they are by no means blind to problems or in denial about them.
Rather, it’s about a self-conscious attitude with which optimists say “We’ll make it!” Because problems will always come up. But problems are not the problem in themselves – as long as you manage to overcome them. This attitude can be described either quite banally as hope or with the more psychological term self-efficacy conviction.
If you are convinced that you can master any situation, then you know no problems, only challenges. Setbacks do not make you despondent or put you in a bad mood. They are like the inevitable potholes in a country road. Sometimes you hit one and then say “Oops!” and drive on.
Why is optimism difficult for us?
A positive outlook on life makes us happy. But unfortunately, we tend to be grumpy by nature. This has evolutionary reasons …
Because our prehistoric ancestors were polarized to danger. In every rustle they suspected a dangerous snake and every stranger could steal your food. Those who were too gullible or careless often had to pay for it with their lives. And so especially the pessimistic genes have continued, because sourpusses simply had a higher chance of survival.
The result is us: A society in which we still see a danger in everything and everyone and suffer from our own pessimism. But today we rarely encounter a snake and, thanks to the police and laws, we no longer have to be afraid of our neighbors.
However, our brain still looks for dangers and finds them even where there are none. We distrust other people for the banal reason that they have a different skin color or a foreign-sounding last name. We also distrust ourselves and do not believe that we can do everything and that we will fail sooner or later.
However, this attitude is very much to our disadvantage, especially in today’s world. Because it causes us to miss the opportunity to make new friends or expand our professional network. Likewise, we may miss out on our dream partner or our dream job because we don’t trust the roast.
4 Thought Patterns of an Optimistic Person
Our thoughts influence our feelings and our actions. If you have good thoughts, you feel good. If you have good thoughts, you are active and able to act. Here are four good thoughts that you can always remind yourself of to become more optimistic.
#1 “Mistakes are part of life”
The pessimist says: But what if we fail? The optimist says to that: So what? The problem isn’t failure, it’s not doing anything. Because you can learn from mistakes. But what can you learn if you persist in doing nothing? So if something goes wrong, remember that mistakes are part of it and are even good!
Besides, not everything is a mistake. Sometimes things don’t work out right away, but you don’t have to consider that a mistake, just an attempt. And you can repeat an attempt as often as you like!
#2 “What’s the good in the bad?”
No matter how bad the situation is, look for the silver lining. Sometimes it may take you some time to find it, but it’s always there. This form of self-reflection works easiest in retrospect.
Think of a situation in your past that was really bad. Looking back, what good can you find in this situation? What good thing came out of it that you wouldn’t want to miss today?
#3 “Everyone is the architect of his own fortune”.
The big key to happiness, as well as to optimism, is the conviction that you are in control of your own destiny. If you believe that you can change your situation by yourself (or with the help of other people), then you are optimistic.
This belief is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe you cannot change anything, then you will not be able to change anything. And if you believe that you are the architect of your own happiness, then that is also the case.
#4 “I am not alone”
When a situation is too difficult and you are in danger of sinking into pessimism, get help! Even if you are firmly convinced that you can do anything, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it without help.
Optimism also includes the conviction that we are not alone and that we can always find people to support us.
7 strategies for more optimism
As mentioned above, optimism is not in our nature. Optimism is a state of mind that we must first consciously practice before it becomes second nature to us. Here we have developed 7 strategies for you.
Strategy 1: Keep a gratitude journal
Write down every morning what you are grateful for. This can be the coffee in the morning, the sun’s rays, the rustling of the leaves or the breakfast that someone has kindly prepared for you.
This way you focus your mind on the positive already in the morning. If you write down every morning for a few days in a row what you are grateful for, you will soon automatically see more positive things in life.
Suddenly you will notice the flowers on the side of the road or the pretty top of your colleague. The good things will catch your eye much faster if you sharpen your eye for them in the morning!
Strategy 2: Write down positive affirmations
Optimism is, at its core, a matter of faith. Do you believe that the world is a good place? Do you believe that people, deep down inside, have good hearts? Do you believe that you can turn every shitty situation to the good?
If you would rather answer no to these questions, then you may want to work on your beliefs, your innermost convictions. Here are a few suggestions:
Strategy 3: Do something good for others
Pessimism always includes a good portion of mistrust towards other people. But that makes people unhappy and isolated. Besides, we humans are pack animals. We are always dependent on the help of our fellow human beings to master the difficulties of life.
The easiest way to regain your own trust in people: do something good for others! You can be happy about the joy of your counterpart and also profit in the long run from your good deed. Doing good has been proven to make people healthier and happier.
In addition, the people who receive your gift will certainly remember your good deed and will be happy to help you if you ever need it.
Strategy 4: Do something good for yourself
Has your pessimism perhaps developed because of low self-esteem? If you believe that you yourself are not worth as much as others and are not as smart or successful as others, this can quickly lead to resignation and pessimism.
Remind yourself that you deserve a good life and that happiness is not just something for other people! So do something good for yourself. Because you have it in your hand to make yourself happy!
Strategy 5: Practice self-reflection & look back at past crises.
When in the past have you grabbed a situation by the collar and turned it around? How did you do that? You can transfer this ability to act to other situations.
When you remember crises you have mastered, you also gain a sense of self-confidence. You see that you were able to change your own fate for the better, out of your own strength.
Strategy 6: Ask other people for help
You don’t have to master every situation alone! It is absolutely legitimate to ask for help. We are pack animals and sometimes need the emotional support of our fellow human beings. And sometimes a task is just too big or too complex and collaboration is the only sensible way to master it.
Trying to do things alone quickly leads to pessimism. After all, it’s not realistic to do everything alone. An optimistic attitude to life also includes the belief “I can always get help.“
Strategy 7: Surround yourself with optimistic people
The people around us rub off on us. If you have a lot of sourpusses in your life, it will make you more pessimistic. Therefore, identify the optimistic people in your life and try to spend more time with them.
Likewise, you can also be the optimistic influence and give your pessimistic counterpart a different perspective. But if you find that you are not getting anywhere, don’t get frustrated!
Conclusion: Positive thinking makes you happy and successful
But why should you put so much energy into an optimistic attitude towards life? Maybe you think that your pessimism has saved you from many mistakes, failures and embarrassing situations in the past?
But what else has your pessimism kept away from you? Maybe you haven’t found your dream partner yet because you didn’t dare to talk to a stranger in the train? Or you could have found a cooler, better job a long time ago, if you didn’t think that you could only get worse after your current job.
So when you go out into the world today, look out for the good things, trust yourself and other people, and enjoy the feelings of happiness that you bring into your life.
Be sure to check out the Chainless Mentoring if you want to know the key steps to find your personal purpose and finally break your chains.