Do you think of yourself as an optimist? Or do you focus on what could go wrong?
I have worked with many people who think optimism gives “false hope.” They argue, optimism is not realistic. In the next 3 blogs articles I want to talk about optimism and help you understand it is more than the opposite of pessimism, is far from “false” hope and can be a significant tool in your leadership toolbox.
In my work with hundreds of leaders I have found the most effective and successful leaders have had an optimistic perspective.
During the primitive survival instinct of the stress reaction, we are hardwired to think more negative and hold a limited perspective. In the webinar on managing uncertainty I talked about understanding what you control and what you cannot; the one thing we can always control is out attitude.
Having an optimistic perspective is what provides the balance and the drive to keep going. An optimist will see more than survival as an option during the stress reaction.
Optimism is your secret weapon in times of crisis. And if you do not guard it you can quickly lose power from unrelenting pressure and stress.
Optimism is more than the opposite of pessimism. It is a viewpoint that includes a realistic assessment of what is happening and the confidence in oneself that you will find a way to get through this. Knowing the facts about what is going on, without making it better or worse than it really is, requires you know yourself. Are you aware of what is going on with you and what emotions might be clamoring for your attention?
Are you focused on the problem or the solution?
Pessimists view the worst outcomes first and expect them to happen. They feel that whatever happens will be permanent. This is how disruption backfires. Without preparation to handle the triggers that change, and uncertainty bring, you can get stuck in a hopeless/ helpless mindset.
An optimistic attitude recognizes there are challenges, and while you are aware of the worst possible outcome, you do not expect the worst to happen.
Optimism is an important perspective that keeps leaders consistent.
The tendency to have an optimistic attitude is passed down from one’s families and it can be learned. It is part of the skills within emotional intelligence and resilience.
Optimistic is more than simply thinking positive thoughts; it is made up of 5 different elements that when cultivated makes it easy to be optimistic.
Make a decision to learn more about being optimistic. Join me in a complimentary webinar, June 23, 11AM EST. Click to register.
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