Five Tips on Increasing Your Optimism and Achieving Your Goals
Optimism is the key to success.
However, for many people, being optimistic in every scenario is a challenge. Despite our best intentions, self-doubt has a way of intruding at the most inconvenient times. These negative thoughts circle in our minds and make it seem like the future cannot be bright. Luckily, there are things we can do to build up our optimism.
So what is optimism? And how can it help me reach my goals?
In the article Why you should be highly optimistic if you want to be successful, the author, Ruth Umoh, explains that optimism is the ability to look past problems and see future possibilities. Adopting this mindset helps individuals move past difficulties, achieving their goals, and ultimately being successful.
Simple, right? So why is it so hard?
Let’s pretend you are a superhero fighting with a villain called self-doubt. Just like any villain, self-doubt has a dominating personality and is seeking to control your mind. In comparison, you (the hero) seem small and helpless. Luckily, there is another character to remind you of your strengths and capabilities. This cheerleader is the internal voice that encourages you to succeed, and it is the reason why the hero wins in the end.
In reality, strengthening the voice that cheers you on is like building a muscle — it takes intention, dedication, and effort to develop and maintain. Even when your self-doubt has been in control for years, the supportive voice is still there cheering you on. Learning to ignore the villain and listen to the cheerleader can be the most challenging step for some people, especially if the villain has defined your identity.
To help increase optimism and achieve your goals, you need to strengthen and listen to your inner cheerleader. Here are five tips for building habits towards a more optimistic mindset:
1 | Name your villain
According to psychologist Rick Hansen, we have two voices in our head, the villain (critic) and the cheerleader (nurturer). Often our internal villain goes overboard and becomes the only voice we hear. Acknowledging the voice and giving it a name is the ultimate first step in moving beyond self-doubt.
What is your inner villain saying? How are you able to disprove the stories it tells you?
2 | Show up for yourself
Clinical therapist, Dr. Denise Fournier, says “showing up for yourself is all about making your own needs — be they practical, physical, emotional, or spiritual — a priority… and knowing that unless you show up for yourself, you can’t fully show up for anyone or anything else.” Understanding your needs and tending to yourself is a large part of building trust, both inwardly and outwardly. You will be amazed at the difference it makes when you intentionally show up for yourself every day.
How do you tend to your needs? What is something you can do to ensure you show up for yourself today?
3 | Celebrate your wins
It’s easy to overlook small accomplishments. If you focus solely on celebrating the large wins, there may be periods of time without recognition of the work you’re doing. These gaps can increase your self-doubt and stand between you and your goals. By recognizing even the smallest wins, you can increase your optimism and the belief that you are capable of achieving your next big goal.
What’s a small win you had today? How can you celebrate it?
4 | Embrace change
Everything in life, from nature to business, is consistently in a state of change. Sometimes change is good, and sometimes change is scary. Understanding your situation is not forever can provide a brighter outlook for the future. Learning to accept the impermanence of life can help you maintain that optimistic mindset.
Thinking back, have difficult changes brought positive outcomes to your life? What happened in those situations?
5 | Remember to breathe
Studies show intentional breathing reduces stress and anxiety. Breathing allows your brain to relax and focus, helping to navigate self-doubt related to thoughts or emotions. It’s a simple yet highly effective tool. For breathing exercises and resources, check out HealthLinkBC’s website.
How can you integrate deep breathing into your daily routine?
Do you have other tips or stories to share? Add them to the comments below.
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About the author:
Yvonne Ehrenholz is a marketing communications professional living in Vancouver, BC. Helping organizations build trust and strong relationships is what drives her passionate for marketing.
Yvonne releases a new blog every Tuesday. Keep your eyes peeled for more about marketing, content, SEO, and general life reflections.