Everyone has an inner optimist. I am constantly striving to see the positive in every aspect of my life - but this is not always easy.
My life partner recently suffered from a stroke and now there is always the looming question of whether he will make a full recovery or relapse. I am starting this new venture, my wallet is thinning in the pursuit of my dreams in a new city away from my family.
My message is my life - every life has challenges which make it that much more difficult to stay positive. It is through these challenges that I realize that choosing to be optimistic has helped me become more of the person I want to be. As well, it has made these challenges easier to bear and work my way through.
More often than not, I find myself veering towards the positive. I believe this is because I have trained my inner optimist to take the lead. Here's 5 steps I go back to again and again:
1. Believe That An Optimistic Attitude is a Choice
This is the hardest and the most important step. Teaching myself "positivity is a choice" is the best gift I have ever given myself. In life you cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude and how you react. Now instead of placing blame on the situation or on others and letting pessimistic thoughts take over:
I choose to be more optimistic about the situation
I choose to see the good in it.
It’s always there, the good, it’s just a matter of seeing it.
2. Cut Negativity from Your Life
Pick and choose your battles wisely. Nothing is ever going to be perfect. Between health,career, marriage, children, finances… it’s a lot to manage. Surrounding yourself with negative people and situations will lead to more negativity-bringing you down. Minimizing these negative influences will make room for the important things in life - positivity included. Soon, you are surrounded with positivity and there will be less room for negativity.
3. See the Good
See the good in every person and every situation. If you are actively looking for negativity, you will find it. If you actively seek positivity, you will find it. It takes time, patience and effort to do this. But no matter how bad something may seem, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Practice Self-Affirmation
Use positive self-talk as a way to keep your spirits lifted and your mood bright. Tell yourself "you look good" and "you are doing well" because you do, and are. It is alright to assure yourself "it will be okay". Be honest with yourself and realize that you are your own worst critic. It's okay to make mistakes. Focusing on your strong points and what you love about yourself is one of the first steps in practicing optimism.
5. Share Your Optimism
Go outside your comfort zone and share with others! Compliment others, pick people up when they are down. Share your light, laughter and love. In turn, this will help you internalize the positivity and love. It all starts with a smile.
The pessimist sees the difficulty in every situation whereas the optimist sees the possibility. The pessimist lets difficulties bring them down whereas the optimist rises to the occasion.
Being an optimist is not easy in this world. It’s something you have to work at everyday-every moment. Being an optimist is about choosing to be the change you want to see in the world. It's quite a lot of work but when you consciously focus on it, you life quickly changes for the better.
What do you do to practice optimism?