The opposite of a leader isn’t a follower. The opposite of a leader is a pessimist.
Marcus Buckingham in The One Thing You Need to Know
Pessimism is disastrous. It ruins hope and possibilities. If someone is pessimistic, he doesn’t hope for a better future neither do something to achieve it. The obstacles along the way seem enormous, and he doubts his ability to overcome them. At the end, he will just stay where he is, without making any progress. People can waste years, even their whole lives, because of pessimism.
Pessimism is something I face every now and then, and I’m sure some of you too. So let’s fight it. Let’s overcome it so that we qualify as leaders in life.
Here are 8 ways to overcome pessimism and be an optimist:
1. Find a cause you believe in
A cause from the depth of your heart has a burning flame that can overcome any pessimism. A superficial cause won’t last long, but a cause you believe in will give you the strength to overcome any obstacles. So find yours. Find a cause that matters to you, a cause you believe in.
2. Focus on the possibilities, not the impossibilities
People become pessimistic when they focus their mind on the impossibilities. All they see is the enormity of the challenges ahead. That way, their mind is overwhelmed by the difficulties and they can no longer see themselves as the winners.
So focus your mind instead on the possibilities. See how you are able to overcome the difficulties. See how you can go through all these and be victorious.
3. Read inspiring stories
To help you focus on the possibilities, you should read inspiring stories of the people who have made it before you. It will inspire you since you know that other people can do it despite the challenges they face. Just like you, they also face enormous difficulties, but they persist and achieve their dream. So you can too.
4. Be part of a team
It’s difficult to face everything alone. In fact, most people can never make it that way. You always need someone to lift you up when you fall. By having a team, their flame can ignite yours when you need it, and in turn, your flame can ignite theirs when they need it.
5. Connect to your cause
Sometimes we are too busy dealing with difficulties that we no longer remember why we do it in the first place. So you should have time to connect to your cause. Have some time to think about your cause and why it’s important. Let your cause inspire you and light up your fire once again. Let it reminds you of all the difference you will make if you go through all these.
6. Connect to your spiritual power source
Our strength is limited, so you need other sources of power. While your cause and friends can give you some power, a great source of power is spiritual source. By praying or meditating, you connect to a supernatural force that can give you the strength you need. For many people, this is the strongest power source.
7. Get rid of negative words
Nothing takes your optimism away faster than negative words. So get rid of them at all costs. Always see the positive side of things, and speak about hope and possibilities. I don’t know about you, but I believe that there is always positive side in everything we face. This doesn’t mean that you are denying the reality; you just look at it from a different angle.
8. Open your mind for unexpected ways
One reason people becomes pessimist is they see all the possible ways in their mind closed. Since they can no longer see any open door, they become pessimistic. But things don’t have to go the way you want it for you to succeed. The solution can come in unpredicted ways that never occur to you before.
So open your mind for such unexpectedness. Let new things happen and solve the problems. If you have this mindset, you will always have a reserve of optimism at hand.
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