Optimism seems so natural to some people. They always seem to be looking on the sunny side of things rather than thinking of the negatives. No matter what happens to them, they never seem to get down on themselves like the rest of us might.
While some people are naturally good at being optimistic, others can become just as bright and cheerful with the right tools. Anyone, even the biggest pessimist, can become an optimist if he is willing to give it a shot. If you're truly pessimistic, you might be thinking, "Pssh, yeah right, like I could ever become optimistic." Well, what I'm going to tell you might come as a shock, but the key to becoming an optimist is to... STOP THINKING LIKE THAT!
That's right folks, negative thoughts are what translate into pessimism. So, if thinking negatively can equate to pessimism... Thinking positively can lead to optimism!
The trick is to catch yourself in the act of being pessimistic and change your thinking. This might not come easily, but it's very doable. One way we can train our brain to start thinking more positively is through affirmations.
Affirmations are positive phrases we say to ourselves. Phrases like, "I can become an optimist," for a relevant example, are affirmations. Here are a few more examples:
- No matter what happens, I can bounce back.
- I am a strong, competent person.
- I am beautiful.
- People love me.
- I do excellent work.
- I am successful.
- Everyone has setbacks, and I can overcome them.
- If I work hard, I'll get good grades.
- I love myself.
Repeating phrases such as these to ourselves can actually have an impact. You'll find that if you practice affirming with optimistic, confident phrases, your brain will start building new neural pathways. These pathways will start to lend themselves towards positive, rather than negative, thoughts.
If you're a pessimist you're probably thinking, "That's a bunch of BS. It'll never help." Well, one of the first steps you can take towards becoming an optimist is to give it a shot. It can't hurt to try, and if you believe it's worth your time, you'll find that it really does help.
If you're looking to come up with your own affirmations that are relevant to your situation, remember to focus on positive phrases. Rather than saying, "I will not procrastinate," try a positive phrase like, "I will complete my work in a timely manner."
Self affirmations are just one way of training your brain to becoming more optimistic. I have personally achieved great success with this method, and I am now a more confident, optimistic person because of it. There are other ways, too, and there are a wealth of books available on the topic. Check your local library if you're truly determined to give up your pessimistic ways. Before you go, don't forget to say to yourself, this phrase: I am an optimist!