Being optimistic may not guarantee your success in life, but without it, it is guaranteed that you will never be successful.
Think about it, if you constantly think about negative things and what can go wrong, do you think you will put yourself into taking action?
On the other hand, if you focus on what can go right and all the rewards that you’re going to achieve, it will make you feel good.
And when you feel good, you will take more action and make more progress.
Les Brown said it best:
“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.”
You can live a mediocre life by constantly thinking and worrying about what can go wrong, or you can live a great life by focusing on what will go right.
Why Being Optimistic is Important
Everything we do in life is affected by our emotions and feelings.
When you feel motivated, you will take more action and make more progress. But when you feel lousy, lack of motivation, and when you feel lazy, you will never want to do anything.
The key is that our emotions are affected by our thinking.
Meaning to say, if you constantly think about negative things, you are projecting negative pictures in your head. You feel worry, fear, and focus on what can go wrong.
As a result, you are paralyzed by the negativity in your head.
On the other hand, if you are optimistic, you will focus on what can go right. Even if you fail at something, you will always look at the bright side and learn from it.
This is why optimistic people tend to be more successful than people who are pessimistic.
Remember this equation:
Your thinking –> your emotions/feelings –> your actions
Hence, if you want to change something or if you want to achieve better results in life, just change your thinking.
When your thinking changes, your feelings will change. And your feelings changed, so with your actions.
How to Practice Being Optimistic
Now you know that being optimistic is important to your success, but how can you practice being positive at all times? Here are a couple of suggestions…
1. Focus on what can go right
First, try to focus on what can go right. Instead of thinking about all the bad things that can happen, try to think about the reward and success.
Stop thinking, “What if I fail”, instead, think, “What if I succeed”.
Yes, you want to focus on the reward so that you will feel good and put yourself into taking action.
2. Practice positive affirmations
Affirmations are powerful and effective. If you have tried this method before but it doesn’t work, perhaps, you are practicing it in the wrong way.
In one of my previous articles, I shared 5 simple rules on how anyone can make their affirmations work for them. You can read it below:
Affirmation is a kind of positive self-talk that is meant to help you focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.
Hence, make it a habit to repeat your affirmations, whether out loud or in your head.
Besides, affirmation is also a great way to constantly remind yourself of your goals, dreams, and what you want to achieve in life.
3. Find a role model
One easy way to become optimistic is to get yourself a role model so that you can replicate and get ideas when things are tough.
Regardless of whether it is a friend, colleague, celebrity, or any guru, think of someone who inspired you the most.
And when you feel down, negative, or face a difficult situation, just ask yourself, “what would (name of your role model) do?”
Just like the famous Disney movie, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. In the movie, whenever Nemo and his dad are in trouble, they will ask, “What would Dory do?”
4. Daydream the success you want
Daydreaming is good. You need to daydream more. But don’t just daydream about anything, daydream about the success you want.
See yourself living the successful life that you want twenty years from now. Imagine yourself having achieved all your goals and are making your dreams a reality. How good is that?
The more you think about the success you want, the more motivated you will be. And it keeps your energy high and maintains your optimism.
5. Make a gratitude list
When you are negative, you will focus on all the small little things that went wrong. Things like the alarm clock don’t go off, your car doesn’t start, or you stuck in the congestion and was late for a meeting, etc.
And one way to change your focus is to make a gratitude list.
You just need to write down things that you’re grateful for. What do you appreciate in your life right now?
When you do this exercise, you re-focus your thoughts on the things that you are grateful for.
And when this happens, you shift your thinking from negative to positive.
6. Talk and surround yourself with optimistic people
Another easy way to keep your optimism is to talk and always surround yourself with other optimistic people.
Energy is contagious. When you talk with people who are negative, their thoughts will influence you and you too will start to think negatively.
Imagine you talk to someone who constantly tells you the market is tough, how does that make you feel?
On the other hand, when you talk to people who are positive, you will be influenced by their positive thinking too. You will start to think that way and become optimistic.
7. Focus on the future, not the past
If you want to be positive, what you need to do is to live in the present and envision the brighter future that you want.
Stop living in the past. You can’t change your past and there is nothing you can do about it. So, don’t focus on what has happened.
If you keep thinking about your past mistakes or failures, they will stop you and paralyze you from taking new actions.
No matter what has happened, you can’t change it now. You have to move on and aim to build a better and brighter future.
8. Condition your mind with positive messages
Here’s something easy you can do if you want to become someone optimistic – constantly condition your mind with positive messages.
So, how do you do that? Just read.
Read good books that inspire you. Read personal development books that will motivate you to achieve more. Read autobiographies of extraordinary people and constantly program your mind with possibilities.
This is why most successful leaders are readers. The more you read, the more you learn. And the more you learn, the more places you can go.