Optimism is about seeing good in others and in the situation one is in. In challenging situations people who posses optimism feel enthusiastic rather than threatened, because they believe they can do something about it and see challenges as opportunities for improvement. For them future is better than the past. They are upbeat even in the face of genuine setbacks and that draws people to them and makes them popular.
- Over the course of one week observer how you respond to situations that you feel are threatening. Write those responses down. For instance, What happened: “somebody cut in front of you at your company’s cafeteria.” My reaction: “I felt disrespected and raised my voice at the other person.” Or, you sent an email to a broader team and got a negative feedback about your suggestions. Your reaction could have been a defensive “they don’t understand me.” Now next to that write down the consequences of these reactions on your wellbeing. For instance: “I stayed mad because of the incident at cafeteria for the next few hours and couldn’t concentrate well on more important tasks.” Or, “I now try to avoid cc-ing those who criticized my email in my future communications.” Now, in the next column, write more positive reaction you could have had: Reflecting on the incidence in the cafeteria, you can write “Today I learned how to be patient and positive.” About the responses from co-workers on your email, “That was a helpful feedback. Let me try writing emails slightly differently.” Notice the correlation between the nature of your responses and the resulting feelings you are left with: negative ones contribute to pessimistic views, but when the feelings are positive, more positive energy flows. Work on adjusting how you react to things from negative and pessimistic, to positive and optimistic
- Try to grow a little thicker skin. When something negative happens, picture yourself shedding negativity like water off a waterproof raincoat
- Minimize complaining. Try not to automatically assume something cannot be done
- Stay positive in all your actions. Respond to emails and phone calls without delays. This responsiveness will make people drawn to you and come to you for additional information and opinion. That will also help you expand and strengthen your personal network, which is the asset necessary for success