Optimism Can Bring Your Mojo Back
Research shows optimistic people live longer. Optimism can also prevent depression, make you more grateful, resilient, and creative, boost work performance, increase success, and help you form better connections with your peers which in turn improves teamwork and output, and inspires others.
And yet, optimism and its two most commonly related words, hopefulness, and confidence, aren’t exactly permanent personality traits in the office. Sure, they exist in moments and can be seen in the handful of colleagues that seem to have things easier, but, the truth is, most people worry that being too optimistic might make them come across as too positive, almost even delusional. It’s much easier to say, “Let’s not be too hopeful, let’s not overreach, let’s be realistic.”
But could your perception of reality be stopping you from embracing all the good and amazing things optimism in the workplace brings?
Here’s what you can do about it.
Change your narrative
Consider two people coming out of the same meeting:
Person A shoots you a frown and says, “They didn’t like the presentation, now we have to work overtime to redo everything. Why couldn’t they have been clearer in the brief?”
Person B gives you a wry smile and says, “They gave us some feedback and I heard a couple of ideas we could explore. We’ll have to work overtime but it’s going to be really exciting when we get this right.”
Words have the ability to shape the way you perceive things. Person B isn’t happy about having to work more either but is optimistic in their outlook. This solution-focused mindset perceives the inconvenience as a challenge to overcome, not a setback. Person B is what you can call a rational optimist, someone who can see reality for what it is whilst still maintaining the belief that actions can improve the situation. They have reframed something negative into something positive.
And optimism is contagious. It brings a higher level of energy to any situation and a can-do attitude that lifts the mood not just for the optimist, but for everyone else around them also. It now becomes a learning experience that can level up the work produced and potentially make it something more meaningful.
Give yourself credit
Are you your best cheerleader? Do you stop to give yourself a pat on the back when you succeed in something? If you don’t, you should.
It’s so important to celebrate your wins and the efforts you put into accomplishing them. Not only does it motivate you (and your team) to continue delivering good work, self-appreciation builds confidence which in turn attracts more success. It can literally change the way you see the world and your place in it.
But on the flip side, are you also your worst critic? What do you say to yourself when you don’t succeed?
People tend to associate failing with negative emotions like fear and shame, but the truth is failing is just one way to learn something new. Ask any successful person who inspires you and you’ll hear them say that failure is experience and experience is invaluable. They’re successful because they failed.
Giving yourself credit for the effort you put into something that fails is as crucial as giving yourself credit for something that succeeds. It builds your character, elevates your perception, makes you more optimistic, and pushes you to keep trying and learning new things.
Don’t give up
The pandemic has not made it easy to stay positive. Working from home is drab. That is the reality of now. Optimism doesn’t deny the facts. It’s not about donning a pair of rose-tinted glasses and being annoyingly positive all the time.
Optimism is not giving up. It’s about picking up where you left off and trying again, trying better, and eventually, succeeding. It’s about sticking to your guns even in the face of adversity. It’s about being adamant that you’re going to make it through. Finding optimism in yourself will help you, and those around you, to find a new groove at work, at home, and in your personal goals.
And besides, research shows, optimists make more money, sell more products, engage more people, achieve more success, and live healthier, happier, and longer lives.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how Naluri’s 360-degree approach to healthcare can change your team's perception and how they work.
- Writen by:
- Chloe Pharamond