Here's Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Positivity & Optimism

energy May 19, 2020

You don’t need to watch the news every day to know that we are living in some pretty interesting times. With so much uncertainty, it's easy to find ourselves unsure how to approach the daily negativity. We’re all being told to stay positive, but what does that mean?


And more importantly, what doesn’t it mean?


To start, let’s lay it all on the table: there is a fundamental difference between being positive and being optimistic and we need to understand that so we stop spreading a harmful message to those around us when we say, "Just be more positive!"


Positivity vs. Optimism


Being positive can often sound like “everything is going great!” and “just keep smiling!” It’s often empty sentiments and can sometimes present itself as a form of denial that things are better than they really are.


Optimism, on the other hand, is a core belief that although things may not be great at the current moment, they will get better in the future. Being optimistic is acknowledging the reality of today while being hopeful that change is imminent.


Why Optimism?

Is there anything wrong with being positive? NO! In fact, staying positive is a wonderful way to operate. Seeing the glass as half-full instead of half-empty can be a great discipline for handling challenges or to keep pressing forward.


The issue can lie in using positivity to cover up how we are really feeling or as a way to guilt people who are acknowledging hard feelings. If you are constantly pushing forward with a smile on your face, not acknowledging fears and not seeing potential issues because you are always focused on the “good,” you will be in for a rude awakening––and possibly an emotional breakdown!


Optimism is different––it is the overall belief that things will generally be favorable in the future. Optimists believe that struggles and failures are temporary and have external causes, which means they are able to see an opportunity for change.


An optimistic person sees their role in making change, and they generally avoid wishful thinking. They forge a realistic path for success, rather than hoping good things will happen to them because they are thinking positively.


The Path Ahead


Altering your way of thinking is definitely a discipline, and pairing positivity and optimism can go a long way when it comes to being a high performer. Just like with everything, there is a delicate balance of being optimistic, while not overestimating the outcomes so that you have a healthy sense of reality.


That can mean giving yourself adequate time to achieve your goals, not assuming you can pull off a month-long job on a weekend. It can also mean sitting down with your financial statements and going line by line so that you have a clear picture of where your business stands––not just hoping you come out on top by the end of the year and being "positive" about it without clear and necessary action.


Let me help you embrace a life of optimism. I’m here to help you become the high performer you’ve wanted to become and find the success you deserve, so check out my services here.


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