Being optimistic has a marked effect on the success of people across the board. Especially for jobs that require a high degree of persistence and resilience. Owning a business would more than qualify, but so would any role that requires ensuring the growth and success of an enterprise, or that can be described as high-pressure.

To create a greater degree of optimism within yourself and towards life you should explain what happens to you more positively. You can do this by explaining events in terms of three aspects – Personal, Permanent, Pervasive (Universal).

1. Personal

To what extent do you personalize and ascribe bad events to yourself? Do do you tend to internalize or externalize the reasons for anything that happened to you? Simply put do you say “It’s all me, it’s my fault”, or do you say “Something else caused this, it’s not my fault”. The heroic view is that we need to be accountable and take personal responsibility. Entrepreneurs and self-employed people by nature seem to take personal responsibility. However, internalizing and taking personal responsibility do not create optimism. To develop optimism we need to shift some of the “blame” elsewhere (externalize events). Take less personal responsibility and “blame” and adopt more of a “that’s life” philosophy. Do not carry the weight of the world on your shoulders but allow the world to carry its own weight.

OPTIMISM REQUIRES: Take less personal responsibility and “blame” and adopt more of a “that’s life” philosophy.

2. Permanent

When something bad happens do you assume that the cause is permanent or temporary? Do you tell yourself that this will stay like that forever or do you regard it as temporary/ a passing phase? When we look at challenges and believe they will never go away, that we will always have this as a problem, it can sap your spirit and enthusiasm. Don’t do that to yourself but remember the phrase “this too will pass”.

OPTIMISM REQUIRES: Describe any bad event as temporary, as a passing phase.

3. Pervasive (Universal)

When something bad happens do you assume that the cause is universal and all-encompassing or that it is something specific or limited in its extent? Do you tell yourself that everything or everybody “is like this” or do you rather say “in this specific instance that was the case”? Taking any challenge and developing a belief that your whole community, the whole country, everybody will always be “like this” and never change is not realistic. The world and people do change. Nothing stays the same forever, not even the continents (given enough time).

OPTIMISM REQUIRES: Make bad events specific and don’t make it a catastrophe.

IN SUMMARY

To develop more optimism and hope within yourself adopt an approach that (a) takes less personal responsibility and “blame” and adopt more of a “that’s life” philosophy (not “It’s me”, but “things happen, everything is not within my control or even my responsibility”), (b) describes any bad event as temporary, as a passing phase (not “It’s forever”, but “It’s only temporary, a passing phase”), (c)make bad events specific and don’t make it a catastrophe (not “It’s everything”, but “It’s this specific thing”).

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