The Pitfalls of Optimism & Why It Leads to Disappointment
If you’re an optimist; if you expect things to go your way, if you expect good things will happen, if you give other people the benefit of the doubt, I guarantee there are times you will be disappointed. You will be frustrated, discouraged, and maybe even mad.
Life is unfair! Bad things happen. Other people treat us unfairly. If something can go wrong, it sometimes does. If you keep your expectations and your hopes low, you will be disappointed less often. Pessimists or even realists avoid being let down, mislead, or used as often as optimists. Optimism is full of pitfalls!
But . . .
When I’m optimistic; when I believe the future is bright and there is abundance and people are good; when I believe that there can be silver linings in even the darkest clouds, I feel happier and more enthusiastic. I have more motivation and energy for my business and my life. I am more patient, generous, and understanding of others. I feel better emotionally, mentally, and physically. Life is easier and more enjoyable.
You could say that optimists pay a price. For me, the price is well worth it!!
Yet, there are still times I still fall into pessimism, into a mindset of scarcity, of protecting myself, of mistrust. Sometimes it’s warranted. But many times it comes from unnecessary anxiety and worries. Sometimes I “catch” it from other people. I try to notice when this happens, but it can be difficult.
Here are a few ideas to make optimism a little easier.
- Spend time with optimistic friends.
- Remember or journal about a time when a situation went really well. (This can be challenging because we’re wired to ignore it when things go well.)
- Imagine what it would feel like to be optimistic. Imagine what you would be thinking and how it would feel physically and mentally.
- Envision a future situation turning out exactly as you want. Think about each detail and what would go right.
Pessimists are right; things do go wrong, people mistreat us, and life can be hard. But I want a life filled with more hope and happiness. I’m willing to pay the price. How about you?