𝗠𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗢𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰
Updated: Dec 31, 2022
If you’re reading this as an entrepreneur, it’s you likely are already an optimist. Despite many people telling you or implying that your idea cannot come to fruition, you continue to invest in and scale your business.
Optimism carries a value that can be self-fulfilling. As you believe things can work out, you push yourself to find the optimal path. While I don’t support unrestrained optimism or the assumption that every emergency will always resolve, I recognize many times dire crises create unexpected opportunities.
“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place,
you think you’ve been buried, but
you’ve actually been planted.”
– Christine Caine
Once something terrible happens, you may have no control over the immediate impact, but you can control how you respond and feel. For instance, following adversity, people often ruminate on the worst possibilities. Instead, imagine spending the same energy on how to solve problems, how to build better, or how to discover new prospects.
The Odds Are Against Optimism
You should know that the odds are stacked against you as an optimist. There are several reasons why pessimism seems to be easier to embrace than optimism:
Bias. Negativity bias occurs when measuring two pieces of equal information and the bad one far outweighs the good one. This bias emphasizes the downsides of what can happen.*
Ease. To conceive of the world in a new way requires more mental rigor than to imagine the world as it exists today. If you say something will work out, and you are wrong, typically people are upset, so it’s simpler to not reimagine the world.
Good Intentions. Many people you encounter have faced adversity and felt defeated. As a reaction to their experience, perhaps even in a caring way, they want you to avoid the same result. Being cautious rather than optimistic can feel safer to these individuals, and they’re likely to advise you accordingly.
Experience. Detractors can readily provide examples of what did not work in the past. However, someone rarely possesses the acuity to visualize the future combined with the skills to realistically convey that vision.
Timing. Bad news travels fast. Good news may take a long time or may never come. So, we tend to hear mostly negative news.
Expectation. Pessimism is a default for many people. When was the last time an employee came and praised you for the payroll being perfect? However, you will hear immediately about a mistake.
Shift Your Energy
Despite the pressure, embrace the opportunity that optimism provides.
“Instead of worrying about what you cannot control,
shift your energy to what you can create.”
– Roy T. Bennett
Pro Tip: Optimism does not equal naivete: it equals control. You can recognize the challenges, face the trials, and cry those tears while still believing you will reach a better place in the future.
If you embrace a growth mindset, then you may see personal development as a long-term gain versus constantly measuring today’s wins and losses.**
Come to terms with your optimism to appreciate exactly when and how it holds value.
Key Takeaway: Optimism is integral to success and even helps to create success. Be open to doubling down on optimism, especially during a challenge. However, keep the realization that too little or too much optimism can cause problems.
* To learn more about Negativity Bias and other biases, go here:
** To learn more about Growth mindset, go here: https://www.webuildscalegrow.com/post/5c07b7fc
Based on over twenty years of experience combined with three years of research, Scale: Reach Your Peak is a modular handbook with over 130 independent topics across 500 pages including leadership, growth, sales, marketing, operations, finance, and teams. Each topic takes five minutes to gain invaluable insights, best practices, practical options, and realistic exercises.