Learn how to be optimistic. Basically, you aren’t required to be born a positive person – optimism can be learned. Don’t give up just because you’re not good at it! Because there’s a way to…
Learn how to be optimistic.
But how, you ask?
If I’m being candid with you, (and my husband, Rob, can attest to this,) compared to some others, I am not naturally a positive person.
Did I really say that?
Yes, I did. I’m a learned optimist.
It’s a choice.
I believe anyone can learn how to be optimistic, and with deliberation, choose to act that way.
If so, then all of us can take action in a strategically positive way.
In all areas of our lives:
- in how we think about ourselves,
- as we talk to ourselves (our inner dialogue),
- how we make choices in our life,
- when we interact with people,
- in our business world, church world, and family,
- as we pursue our side-hustle, our hobbies,
- and/or entrepreneurial life,
- while setting and embracing our goals – large or small
- and everything else life holds!
Here’s the path – with 4 aspects – on how to learn to be optimistic:
1 – Begin with love.
Start by feeling love for yourself. (Yes, it’s a journey.)
Firstly, I believe I was born on purpose and for a purpose. As were you! No person is an accident. Everyone has value.
For all those mothers who long to get pregnant, and parents who are trying and trying to conceive a child, this concept of a child being born on purpose is real. (As is the heart-wrench and ache when a child dies before you can hold her or him in your arms.)
Plus, as a Christian, I believe God loves me. He loves you. There’s a plan for us. As a great example of true, perfect love, Jesus, the Son of God, gave up His life in a horrible death for no reason other than He loved me. And you. And everyone. All people. Regardless. (If you’re looking for a romance story, the Bible is the ultimate one.)
Maybe your life thus far hasn’t shown you much love. If that’s the case, I just want to tell you:
It’s not the end of the story!
You can feel loved. There’s time.
Just as you have time to love others. It’s a journey.
What comes next…
2 – Be thankful. Optimism grows from gratitude.
Gratitude is so much more important than the world around you wants you to believe. Being thankful is a special sauce, a magic formula, the ultimate elixir on the way to being positive.
How do you track your thankfulness?
Being aware of what you’re thankful for is one thing. Because of this, it’s powerful when you see all the items concretely logged with writing or images.
Whether you use an app, a journal, a planner or a plain old notebook, keeping an ongoing list of all the items you’re thankful for on a daily basis is important!
Did you hear that?
I can’t think of another way to state it. Make it a habit at the beginning, middle or end of a day to list what you’re thankful for. Begin recording your thankfulness.
I challenge you to start with a list of 100 items. A while ago Rob and I did an exercise like this together and it was so much easier than it seems… From this, we realized that the greatest to the least little item provides many, many reasons each day to give thanks.
” Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”~ from an article at Harvard Health
Therefore, you can learn how to be optimistic if you use gratitude as a tool!
So, being loved and being thankful. Right.
And after that – what’s next?
3 – Being encouraged and encouraging others helps you to learn how to optimistic.
Thirdly, what is encouragement?
“Encouragement: words or actions that give someone confidence or hope and words or actions that help something to happen.”~ from MacMillan Dictionary
To learn how to be optimistic means you understand the importance of encouragement. Encouragement is an action. It’s having hope for the future. People who are positive-focused know how to help themselves and others make something happen – something good for the future.
Optimists are confident that if they keep trying and continue to persevere, regardless, there will be an improvement.
And once an optimist is feeling hopeful, then…
4 – Optimists take action.
Lastly, some of the skills on the path to learn how to be optimistic are the ability to make a plan, work the plan and take action on the goals that’ll get you to the finish line of the plan. Does this sound familiar?
What if things don’t work out? Failure is part of the plan – it’s gonna happen, and optimists who take action have contingencies at hand to fail forward.
So, if something doesn’t work out, the optimist finds another way.
Above all, it’s about taking action – not getting stuck in inertia or analysis paralysis. Equally, if a positive person does get stuck, they look for help from another encouraging person! Do you have someone like that in your life?
Are you someone who takes action? Is there a chance you’re also a learned optimist?
Being Positive on Purpose
All in all, life isn’t always what you expect. There are curveballs…
It’s important to realize there are days, weeks and even years where being optimistic is hard. At times it feels almost impossible. I get it. I really do – due to circumstances we all encounter, I’ve experienced it and it’s difficult to be optimistic when in crisis. (Especially if others around you expect optimism from you and you’re feeling like you’re running on empty.)
What can you do when it’s hard to be optimistic?
Actively seek support. To clarify, surround yourself with people, activities, and resources which will support you in practicing:
- loving yourself and others,
- being thankful – in all circumstances,
- accepting encouragement and giving encouragement,
- and taking action.
To be transparent – that’s why this site was born. I needed something to keep my focus on remaining and then growing in being positive. So, that’s what PostiveThanksLiving.com is for… it’s for me and you!
On the positive side, there’s no end in learning to be optimistic.
You just get better at it. Certainly, it takes ongoing practice, but the benefits of practicing optimism impact everyone around you for the better.
Indeed, it’s not going to hurt anyone if you learn how to be optimistic… in fact, it’ll help make the world around you a little better!
Be prompted to be positive via email- to remind you that you're loved, to be thankful, of encouraging and to be encouraged and of setting and achieving goals. That's Positive ThanksLiving!
I want to get out of my depressing hole, I want to be more optimistic, to find myself again and to be able to believe in myself again, because anything and everything is starting to break me down, and making me feel like I dont have any purpose on this earth
It sounds like this is a time when it’s hard for you to feel optimistic, Anke. We all feel like that at times. Really! But this will shift.
Firstly, I’d like to give you some hope: you’re guaranteed that things will change. (Change is the only guarantee we have in life. <3 )
And you can direct the change in a positive way - that'll shift your feeling that you DO have a purpose! I believe you have a purpose on this earth! Every human being has a reason to be on this earth at this time, there are no accidents. Just think of those who you love, and who love you...
As one positive thing to do today, reach out to someone in your circle of friends or acquaintances to talk with - someone who will smile, who has a history of being "for" you, and who can be an optimistic voice in your day. Take that first step.
And if you can't think of someone in real life (right now) - then read something from someone who you admire. Their words can be a source of encouragement also. For example, I love to read what C.S. Lewis wrote. Or Madeline L'Engle. Right now, my husband and I are reading about George Washington Carver. (Fascinating man!) Who is your favorite author? (I'll be working on an article with other suggestions... 🙂 )
Who do you admire? Perhaps spend some time reading about their life... I'd imagine they had times of distress also.
Thank you for sharing what you're feeling, Anke. I'm walking beside you - you're not alone on this trek toward being optimistic and feeling filled with a purpose for your life! Let's do this together!
Here's something George Washington Carver said that inspires me: " “Start where you are, with what you have. Make something of it and never be satisfied.”