Positive emotions about our future include faith, trust, confidence, hope and optimism. Optimism and hope can create better resistance to feeling overwhelmed, better performance at work and better physical health.
People who ‘give up' easily believe the causes of bad events that happened to them are permanent. People who resist helplessness believe the causes of bad events are temporary. As I've mentioned so many times, it is a mental choice and mental decision, to view things from a hopeful perspective or a disheartening one.
It is suggested that if one thinks in terms of ‘always’ and ‘never’ one will have a permanent pessimistic style. If one thinks in terms of ‘sometimes’ and ‘lately’ one can be said to have an optimistic style.
Optimistic people explain good events to themselves in terms of permanent causes such as their personal traits and abilities. Pessimists name transient or temporary causes such as mood and effort.
The optimist believes good events will enhance everything he/ she does while the pessimist believes good events are caused by specific factors, not necessarily within their control.
The good thing is optimism can be learnt and the acknowledgement of this brings us hope. Whether or not we have hope depends on two factors according to Martin Seligman. He describes these as follows;
“1. Finding permanent and universal causes of good events along with temporary and specific causes for misfortune is the art of Hope.
2. Finding permanent and universal causes for misfortune and temporary and specific causes of good events is a practice of despair”
It is essential to realize that our beliefs are just that…..beliefs. They may or may not be facts. Just because a person fears that they are unemployable, unlovable or inadequate, doesn't mean it's true. It is essential to stand back and distance ourselves from our pessimistic explanations at least long enough to verify their accuracy.
When challenges come our way it is important for us to tune into our internal dialogue. When we hear negative beliefs, let's challenge them.
Be optimistic about your future. You are creating a wonderful story, a unique and original story specific to you. Remember, optimism can be learnt and the acknowledgement of this brings hope.