Realistic Optimism

So this was my resolution last year but I didn’t manage to do it very well at all. This year I am more determined to make this a habit of mine and not just a resolution.

So last year I said I was going to be more optimistic as I can be very pessimistic. Then I went back to my usual way of thinking as the way I saw it pessimism is more realistic than optimism. It didn’t make sense to smile when I felt sad or to fake it till I made it.

But then around the end of last year I thought, I don’t have to go over the top with the optimism. Optimism isn’t unrealistic when done right. I mean optimism is just having a positive outlook on life.

It’s kind of like Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore. They both have struggles and go through hardships and lessons but Winnie is always ready to get up and try again and to trust that there is a way out whereas Eeyore is always ready to give up and sits in the negativity.

So naturally I am an Eeyore (I love him but we both need to change) and I decided to try realistic optimism. Where I could be optimistic but with logic (I think Eeyore would like that).

For example, my knee is busted from an old injury and it gets aggravated in the winter. It got so bad this year that I can’t walk without it hurting. It’s stopping me from moving and I hate it. So I finally went to the doctor and got booked for physio. Until my appointment I’m essentially stuck indoors because walking hurts. But I was like, “Nope Gift even if you have to walk really slow and only a short distance to Sainsbury’s and back, walk! Put some music on so you have a fun and don’t think about how long it’s taking.” And that’s what I did and it’s helping me feel less sad about my knee because I almost got super down about it.

So it’s the simple things, like changing the way I talk to myself in my head. Even just countering the negative inner Gift with a positive inner Gift has made a huge difference.

I also think it’s ok to let yourself be sad from time to time, you don’t have to be positive all the time as the movie Inside Out taught us. So I got rejected for a job I really wanted and I was sad so I gave myself the weekend to wallow in it and to just feel the emotions. It allowed me to process what I was feeling to get over it. Then afterwards I told myself, “This isn’t forever you will get a job, I mean look at all these other similar opportunities! You see it wasn’t the only one you could apply for.”

It’s also important to celebrate the victories. I got a positive book review on my book The Chief’s Revenge and it made me so happy. Someone read my book and gave me a detailed positive review, like they actually read my book and liked it? A total stranger?

To an author this is everything and so I was so touched! It made my day. So I told everyone, I printed out the review and you bet I’m going to keep it so I can remember the happy memory.

I’m still on my journey and I’m still learning so if I have more to share on realistic optimism I’ll come back on here and tell you.

That’s it for now,


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