We’ve all met people who are positive. We’ve met people who never turn down an opportunity, and always seem ready to tackle any challenge. They don’t shy away from problems. And they always seem to be talking about the next thing they’re going to do.
Let me ask you a question: Do you despise those people? Or do you wish you were like them?
Then there are the people who are constantly negative. They can always come up with a reason why something won’t work, and accordingly they avoid trying anything new and unproven. They complain more often than they admit and have never found a silver lining.
Are You More Positive Or More Negative?
Here’s another question: Which person do you think will be more likely to have a happy life?
I’m not even talking about being successful or making a certain amount of money. If the same person went through the same life two times — once being positive, and once being negative — which one would be more enjoyable? Which one would be less stressed, laugh more, and experience new things? Here’s a tough one: Which one do you think would have more friends?
Nobody Likes A Debbie Downer
Clearly, there are appropriate times for critique and analysis. But if you are the one that always focuses on the negative, pretty soon, people will stop coming to you with their ideas.
If you are the negative one, ask yourself this question: Am I negative because I’m afraid to fail? Or is it because there really is no silver lining to be had?
I hate to break it to you, but… there’s ALWAYS a silver lining.
You may not have developed the habit of looking for it, which is why you don’t see it. When was the last time you honestly tried to look at the bright side?
Sure, it’s easy to poke holes in an idea. It’s more challenging to figure out how to fill those holes. It’s also more constructive. And worthwhile.
Don’t Worry, There’s a Silver Lining Here, Too
If you are the negative one, you actually have a very useful skill: the ability to see the weak points in an idea.
The reason pessimism is destructive is not because you identify what’s lacking; it’s because you continue to focus on that lack without providing a solution. An optimist can learn from a pessimist how to see the weaknesses in a plan. But an optimist then focuses on how to address those weak spots. The best plans are the ones that have been poked and prodded until all the holes are filled.
If it’s tough for you to be optimistic, try spending more time with others who are constantly positive. Let them rub off on you a little. Try to see the world through their lens. Whenever you notice the ways an idea could fail, push yourself to come up with ways to make the plan less likely to fail. If you can do that and re-form your habits, you will find that you really can do anything.
You Can Do It — Optimists Can Learn From Pessimists
Hey look, another silver lining!
If you are naturally optimistic about everything, don’t try to avoid the conversations about the weaknesses in an idea. Don’t get defensive when someone points out a flaw — you should thank them for pointing it out and then come up with ways to address it.
Optimism should not be blind (that would be called ignorance). It should be the drive that causes you to always find a way over, around, or through an obstacle.
Being Positive is Pivotal to the Life in Charge Mindset
When it comes to your own personal abilities, you need to be an optimist. If life throws you a curve-ball, you need to be able to honestly tell yourself: “I can do this.”
If you don’t believe that you can do it, then you won’t persist until you reach your goal.
If you don’t believe that you can do it, then you might give up too soon.
If you don’t believe that you can do it, you’ve already convinced yourself that you won’t.
In the words of Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
Don’t give up. You can do it. If you don’t fully believe that yet, then surround yourself with other people that do believe in you. That might be you mom, your brother, your best friend, your spouse, or a co-worker. Whoever it is, make an effort to spend more time with them.
If you swim in a pool full of bleach, you’ll come out with your bathing suit faded. Likewise, if you immerse yourself in a group of people with “can do” attitudes, you can’t help but be affected by it.
Pretty soon you’ll believe in yourself and your ability to learn and adapt to any circumstance.
No matter how tough things get, always remember that you can do it.