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, improving teamwork and output and inspiring others.
And yet, optimism and its two most commonly related words, hopefulness and confidence, aren’t 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 more accessible. Still, most people fear being too optimistic might make them look 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 stop 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, and now we have to work overtime to redo everything. Why couldn’t they have been clearer in 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 will be really exciting when we get this right.”
Words can 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, not a setback. Person B is what you can call a rational optimist, who can see reality for what it is while 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 becomes a learning experience that can increase the work produced and make it more meaningful.
Give yourself credit
Are you your best cheerleader? Do you stop to pat yourself on the back when you succeed in something? If you don’t, you should.
Celebrating your wins and the efforts you put into accomplishing them is important. Not only does it motivate you (and your team) to continue delivering good work, self-appreciation builds confidence, which attracts more success. It changes 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 fail?
People associate failing with negative emotions like fear and shame, but 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 experienced 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
Working from home can be 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.
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 find a new groove at work, home, and 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. Now get your mojo back.
This article was brought to you by Naluri’s Mental Health Coaches. Naluri empowers you to develop healthy lifestyle habits, achieve meaningful health outcomes, and be healthier and happier through personalised coaching, structured programmes, self-guided lessons, and health tools and devices. Download the Naluri App today or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on utilising digital health coaching and therapy to become a happier, healthier you.