Battling Pessimism

battling pessimsimHow do you view the setbacks you experience in life? Are you an optimist or a pessimist? We all suffer various hard trials in life, and some of us more than others but when it comes to battling pessimism, on which side of the line do you stand?

Are you someone who can bounce back from hardships, ready to try again, or are you likely to give up after even relatively minor difficulties?

For example, imagine that you are looking for a job. You go on an interview and you do not get the job. How do you think about this afterward? You might take it very personally and view it as a permanent problem, telling yourself, “No one would hire someone like me. I’ll never get a job.” Or, worse… you could let this one setback taint your view of every aspect of your life and get you to thinking, “I’m a total failure. I’m no use to anybody.”  In either case, that’s pessimism at work and it’s working on you.

Battling Pessimism

When it comes to pessimism, how do you fight back? Having the awareness to recognize your negative thoughts is the first vital first step. Of course, the next step is to fight against them and you can do that by looking for reasonable and logical alternative explanations.

For example, is it true that you were rejected because no one would hire you or is it more likely that the employer was simply looking for someone with qualifications better suited for the job?

By looking at the facts, you can expose your pessimistic thoughts and see that they are merely overreactions. Does one rejection really mean that you are a total failure; or can you think of other areas in your life where you have had other measures of success?

I bet that you can…

Learn to dismiss your dire “fortune telling” as just that… negative and pessimistic thoughts clouding reality. After all, could you really know that you would never find a job?

Battling Pessimism with Positive-Goal-Oriented Thinking

Hope and optimism are the polar opposites of pessimism and negative thinking. In short, having hope invokes the belief that you will be able to meet your goals. And when you have hope you are far more likely to develop and possess more positive, goal-oriented thinking.

In order to believe that you can meet your goals it is important to create a history of setting goals and actually meeting them. This is why every success is important, regardless of how small.

It is all too easy to get caught up in the routine and struggle of life without stopping to think about what we really want out of life or what matters the most to us. Get clear on what you want and set goals that will guide you in that direction while focusing on the important things in your life.

When your priorities are set, whether they are personal, career or in some other area of your life, it is easier to choose goals that are both important and meaningful to you. If a goal is not meaningful to you or too hard to it may prove to be too daunting and cause you to give up. Because of that, it is best to break down larger, long-term goals into smaller, short-term ones that are more easily attainable thus creating that catalog of success that ultimately builds confidence, positive thinking, optimism, and hope.

With a more positive mindset, when obstacles do arise, you will be able to view them as challenges instead of dead ends. And when a goal does not work out you can always replace it with a more realistic goal, or other “backup goals” which will in turn give you a positive direction in which to focus.

There is still a lot of ugliness and hopelessness in the world that can discolor our bright and shiny outlooks on life and battling pessimism can be a challenge in and of itself. Even when you succeed in developing positive, goal-oriented thinking, the nature of our world may still have a profound impact on you when it comes to own personal level of hope and optimism. This is why it is so very important to buoy your own sense of positiveness, your personal happiness, and your “good energy” to put into the world…

Battling pessimism should be more than just a personal mission. You can either spread your negativity to those around you and to the world, or you can set an example and share your infectious optimism and hope instead. The choice is yours… it definitely falls into the “you are are either part of the solution or part of the problem” category, so which will it be?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – A Certified Life Coach In Aspen Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 26 July 2015

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