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How to Be an Optimist


How to Be an Optimist

How to Be an Optimist

This article will show you how to be an optimist. Life is not always an easy path. Emotions, challenges, happy moments, setbacks, trials, and triumphs are all part of what makes it exciting. Along with love, laughter, sadness, and anger, it is never boring for long. It can push you beyond your boundaries, test you in ways that make you believe you will crumble, but through it all, you can still find happiness. You can be happy if you can see the silver lining. You can weather any storm when you know how to be an optimist. 

An optimist is the one that goes on to achieve some of the most significant accomplishments in life. An optimist is someone who sees themselves doing better than they are, and it is this very mindset that keeps them moving one step forward when everyone else around them is ready to give up. The optimist is the one who will always be the first to put their hand up and say they are willing to embark on a challenge because they never focus on the negative aspects long enough to hold themselves back. An optimist will believe they can succeed, even when a realist is there to point out all the ways they can fail.

This illusion or belief that they can and will succeed is the drive that fuels them to keep going, and it is for this very reason that they will succeed. They turned the lemons that life gave them into lemonade because they believed that they could, and so they did.  That is what optimism can do for you, for as Lao Tzu said, your thoughts become your words, and they eventually become your destiny.

Optimists  Believe in Themselves

When that belief in yourself is strong enough, what you believe you will eventually conceive. No matter what challenge comes their way, the optimist believes they are more than capable of handling it. Optimism is a virtue. When you think the best, you will expect nothing but the best. It is the way everyone should be living their lives. Too often, far too many people struggle to hold on to happiness. They don’t understand why lasting happiness seems like an impossible feat to achieve. They don’t understand why they seem to spend more time unhappy rather than happy.

What does it mean to be an optimist? An optimist is someone confident and hopeful about the future. Optimism is often confused as a synonym for happiness. You don’t have to be happy to be an optimist. Being an optimist does not mean you will be happy all the time. The optimist creates their happiness. Though optimism and happiness are closely related, they are not the same. Optimism is more than being a positive thinking. An optimist is a person who is inclined to be hopeful and to expect good outcomes.

The opposite of positive thinking is negative thinking. This is the type of thinking that defines the pessimist as those are the persons who tend to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen. It is often difficult for a pessimist to identify themselves as a negative thinker. However, there are a few ways to identify that personal characteristic.

Am I A Negative Person? 

We all struggle with negativity. Several indicators might signal you could be having more negative thoughts than you initially thought. Some of these signs include the following:

  • You keep saying, “It’s too good to be true. It will never last.”
  • A victory means nothing to you
  • You dwell on the past
  • You judge others
  • You don’t accept compliments
  • Your automatic thoughts are negative
  • You have trouble maintaining relationships
  • You’re focused on the problem, not the solution
  • You’re not excited about the future
  • You think you’re too old for everything
  • The words “never” and “always” are your favorite words
  • You would rather not try than fail
  • You constantly complain

It doesn’t take long for someone to fall into a pattern of toxic behavior. Such behavior inhibits your ability to make life improvements and you will have no desire to learn how to be an optimist. Not to mention how destructive it is to interpersonal relationships. A negative person is challenging to get along with and unpleasant to have around. Few people like being around this kind of personality as it can be contagious. They’re cynical, and they tend to reject any constructive advice. Identifying the signs that you have become a negative thinker is often tricky. There is some good news, though. Once you take ownership of this trait, you can begin to change this attitude to a more positive outlook on life.

pessimistic-How to be an optimist

Signs of a Negative Thinker

Here are the more important signs that negative affectivity makes you a negative thinker:

    • You Play the Blame Game – You blame others for the bad things that happen, but you never blame yourself. The effects of this kind of thinking can be destructive. Negativity breeds more negativity. It’s a contagious emotion, and the chronic stress associated with it can have detrimental effects on your health. The danger is that you don’t realize it’s starting to take over your thought pattern. You can destroy your life relationships because you couldn’t stop yourself from playing the blame game. It is a red flag to watch out for if you feel like everyone in your life is out to get you.
    • You Gossip Too Much – While gossip is a part of life, it often hurts someone else if you indulge in it too often. Gossiping is a negative trait, and people don’t want to be associated with negativity. One of the biggest challenges we all face is taking responsibility and being accountable for our own emotions. It is always easier to point the finger at someone else, blame others, and claim they are responsible for what happened. Trash-talking someone else is not what a healthy-minded individual would do, and someone optimistic will never engage in such gossip. When an optimist with a positive mindset finds themselves in the middle of a gossip session, they will always choose to take the high road and walk away.
    • Everything Is Always About You – Relying on your support system in times of need is one thing. However, when you have a never-ending string of requests and never seem to return the favor, that is a red flag. Your personality could be a lot more harmful than you realized. Not only is your list of favors a long one, but you forget to say thank you when others have helped you. It won’t be long before you find that people are slowly trying to avoid spending any time with you.
    • You’re Prone to Being Difficult – Stonewalling is when you refuse to communicate or cooperate. In other words, you are difficult on purpose, even though you know it’s the wrong approach to take. Have you ever had to deal with someone who was just so infuriatingly stubborn on purpose? That is because you’re dealing with a negative personality, and if you are guilty of this tactic, then you are more harmful than you thought you were. When you refuse to be cooperative, you are incredibly manipulative, forcing others to bend to your will because they’re tired of dealing with your tantrums. Negative individuals will be difficult on purpose, and the more agreeable you try to be with them, the more difficult and disagreeable they will aim to be.
    • You’re Not Motivated Anymore – An overloaded brain will find it hard to escape the cycle of negativity. Eventually, you will begin to lose any motivation. That’s because being cynical is always the more comfortable option. Being positive requires a lot more effort. Simply put, you don’t feel like doing anything because you’re not motivated enough. Motivation is the push that gets us through the activities we ordinarily would not want to do. When there is a lack of motivation, there is a tendency to get trapped in this negative. Your life begins to fill with negativity, from the thoughts you have, the people in your life, and the kind of content you consume. When you’re consuming more bad news than good, it’s hard not to let your perception turn negative. Our brain believes what we repeatedly reinforce, and unfortunately, if you focus on the negative, your world outlook will be negative and you will never take the initiative to learn how to be an optimist.
    • You Hold A Grudge – If you choose to hold on to anger instead of forgiveness, you will make it very difficult for others to support you. The only person you’re punishing when you choose to hold onto resentment and grudges is yourself. You deny yourself any happiness by choosing to remain in this painful emotion. Holding onto resentment is only going to affect your attitude negatively. Holding on to grudges is the worst thing you can do. Not only are you pinning the blame on others for the way you feel, but you’re simultaneously robbing yourself of all the happiness you could be letting into your life right now when you continue to hold a grudge. You will spend your time blaming your unhappy circumstances on others when, in fact, the only one you should blame is yourself for choosing to hold onto this emotion. If you never learn to let go of grudges, it will be almost impossible to feel happy. Things will never improve as long as you continue to stay in a toxic mindset.
    • You’re A Debbie-Downer – When you choose to focus only on the things that go wrong in your life and refuse to acknowledge the positives, you are training your brain to place more value on negativity. After a while, you’re going to become harmful enough that people want to avoid you, even if they did care about you. A negative personality is a drain on other people’s emotions and energy. When you behave like a Debbie-Downer all the time, nobody will want to be around that. The only people you will seem to attract in your life are people to think the way you do, and this means you’re only attracting more toxic personalities into your life.
    • You’re A Very Angry Person – You keep your anger on the inside. Rather than talk about your problems, you choose to respond negatively to people, keeping all that anger bottled up inside. In moments of anger, we make poor decisions. It is hard for you to get over your anger. When you feel angry, you let it simmer and boil within you until it explodes and everyone else around you feels your wrath. We lose all sense of rationale, and our emotional intelligence ceases to exist. It is when we become the negative individual that other people want to avoid.  Why does anger make us cynical? That is because the anger that held inside can be a problem. Anger is a raw emotion that can lead you to do things you ordinarily would not do. Anger will hijack all our ordinary senses and make it impossible to make good decisions when consumed by this emotion. Holding onto your anger is preventing you from living a meaningful, happy life. You frequently find yourself feeling disgruntled, irritated, and frustrated more than you are happy. All we end up doing is either hurting ourselves or the people around us.


How to Be More Positive

When you choose to be happy every day, it will change your life. Of course, we’re not perfect, and some days are going to be better than others. But ultimately, what we need to remember is that happiness is a choice. To be optimistic and smile through your obstacles is a choice. The World Happiness Report states that over 220 million children and one billion adults suffer from depression, anxiety, and conduct disorders at any one time. It certainly paints a picture of how many unhappy people there are on this planet.


Become More Positive and Learn How to Be Optimistic

You can learn to be optimistic. There are several ways you can incorporate positivity into your life, even if you’re not a naturally optimistic person. The habits you cultivate can be life-changing, and optimism is all about choosing the right kind of habits. Habits can be transformative, but the key to sticking to these habits long-term is to ensure the habits you’re developing are practical and easy to implement. When a habit is easy enough to slip into your routine, it doesn’t feel like a struggle to change your behavior. We all want to be happy.

If you ask anyone what they truly want out of life, most of them would tell you that they want to be happy. The goal sounds simple enough, yet it is surprising how many people find happiness to be such an elusive concept. The problem is that most people don’t realize happiness and optimism go hand in hand. One cannot exist without the other. It is impossible to be happy without having a positive or optimistic attitude and vice versa.

Do you want to know a secret? We don’t find happiness; we create it. That’s right; you are responsible for creating your happiness. You are responsible for creating that optimistic and positive outlook that you want. It is a matter of changing your perception and adopting better habits while you’re at it. It may be easier for some people than others, but everyone can learn to be happier and adopt a positive mindset. The habits that you choose to adopt don’t have to be difficult to implement either. Some of the daily habits below will help you become a more positive person, and they are easy to incorporate into your routine:

    • Practice Looking for The Silver Lining in Everything – This will be one of the habits that will encourage you to develop that positive mindset and make it a constant fixture in your life.
    • Give Unconditionally and Practice Gratitude Every Day Without Fail – Giving can be one of the most powerful and emotionally uplifting things one can do for another.
    • Reduce the Negativity In Your Life One Day At A Time – Each day, make it a habit to remove one negativity source from your life.
    • Choose to Live In the Present, Not the Past – Happy people never look back; they always look forward to what’s ahead.
    • Get Up and Get Moving – In other words, start making exercise a regular habit. Getting those muscles pumping and oxygen working through the body does wonder for our emotional and physical health.
    • Make It A Habit to Live Aligned to Your Values and Authentic Self – This one is a major habit that you need to develop for long-term positivity. This habit means that you are not living for the expectations of others.
    • Be Open About Talking to Strangers – Most of us walk around with our walls up, leery of other people. Be open about talking to strangers because you never know what great new connections you might form
    • Make It A Habit to Focus On Your Achievements Each Day – Happy and positive people can wake up and end the day with a smile on their face because they focus on the achievements they made throughout the day.
    • Create A Morning Mindset Routine – Make a mental list of each thing you are looking forward to. It helps to create a feeling of anticipation and excitement that creates momentum for the entire day.
    • Surround Yourself with Other Happy People – Positive people surround themselves with other positive and happy individuals too. If this wasn’t a habit before, it should be now.
    • Choose to Smile Every Day – The simple act of smiling can instantly change the way you feel internally, even if you don’t necessarily have anything to smile about, even when you don’t feel like it, smile. Studies show that even a forced smile improves positivity.
    • Adopt A Positive Posture –  If you struggle to move your mind into a more positive perspective, try moving your body there first. Your body feels every emotion that it goes through. The body is the first place to feel it.
    • Rediscover Your Creative Passion – Optimistic people tend to have a higher level of creativity, which becomes an outlet for self-expression.
    • Make It A Habit to Laugh Often – Positive people don’t take themselves too seriously. They have a good sense of humor, which has made it much easier for them to maintain their sunny disposition. Positive people are lighthearted about life, and they know how to have a good time.


If you take five to ten minutes a day and practice these suggestions you will find yourself transforming into an optimistic person. It won’t happen overnight and may take you three to four months before you notice the change. But with a little practice and just a small effort, you can transform your point of view. In doing so you will be increasing your chances for success in relationships, career, and health.  Psychological studies have determined that optimistic people are more likely to put effort into achieving whatever it is that they want to get done. The higher one’s optimism the higher the probability of their success in life. You can be just as successful.

Please let me know what your experience has been in the comments below with positive and negative thinking.

Robert Gill, Jr.

Robert Gill, Jr.

Robert Gill, Jr. is an author, publisher, entrepreneur, and businessperson. His most recent book, "90 Days to Your First Real Estate Investment Purchase," guides those with little money to invest in rental properties. His current book, "Happiness Power," describes the powers that happiness provides those that experience it. It will be released in January 2021. He has written non-fiction books and articles on subjects ranging from teaching, crafts, hobbies, and self-help and cooking to personal finance. He lives in Far Hills, New Jersey, with his wife and Lab, Ginger.

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