Presented by BetterHelp.
When it comes to being successful in your lifestyle, social circles, and career, seeing the bright side of things shouldn’t necessarily be considered naive or unrealistic. In fact, looking for the potentially positive factors in a situation can give you a more realistic point of view than having a negative focus.
While the combination of optimism and pessimism can contribute to a balanced realist, taking the upbeat road a little more often could lead to more success.
Optimism, Pessimism, And Realistic Thinking
First, it’s important to explain the difference between optimism, pessimism, and realistic thinking. Optimistic thinking is characterized by looking on the bright side of things, finding the good in situations, and focusing on the positives. Pessimism, on the other hand, is a tendency to see the negative aspects of things, with a lack of confidence in plans or potential outcomes. Realist thinking is considered a healthy balance of these two things.
Realistic thinking focuses on seeing the reality of the situation by looking at facts and probable outcomes, regardless of your opinion on the matter. A realist will accept the current situation and move forward accordingly, regardless of whether something positive or negative is currently happening.
It’s important to try to have a realistic way of thinking in these situations in order to improve your mental health and expectations. With online mental health care resources like BetterHelp, you can learn more about how a balance of optimism and pessimism can improve your lifestyle.
1. Getting Through Hard Times
When you’re in a difficult situation, it can be detrimental to your mental health to focus on the negative aspects of your circumstances. But for many people, just looking at the facts and attempting to move forward regardless of what’s happening is a difficult and unrealistic task. Instead, it can be important to have optimism when working through these challenges.
However, this doesn’t mean solely training your thoughts on the potential positives and neglecting the negativity of your surroundings. Combining optimism with realistic thinking means taking control of the situation by first understanding the position you’re in and then using positive thoughts to push you through rough moments that could otherwise increase stress and anxiety.
2. Finding Multiple Solutions
While realistic thinking can help you prioritize getting through your circumstances, regardless of the positive or negative outcomes, realistic optimism takes another step forward. Not only are you going to get things done regardless of the current situation, but you’re driven to think of ways you can improve the situation while working through each solution.
For some people, the use of pessimism can come in handy because they believe they’re “planning for failure”. However, the use of realistic thinking already covers these grounds. Instead of planning for failure, you’re training your sights on success and brushing off potential mistakes and challenges. This helps you build the mentality that each problem is another stepping stone toward your goal, giving you the opportunity to find multiple ways to reach your objective.
3. Encouraging Communication
When it comes to exploring these opportunities, realistic optimism can contribute to improved communication in your relationships. In order to find the best solution that can benefit you and your household, team, or friends, it’s important to talk to others about their ideas, concerns, and feedback. This gives you a greater scope of the situation and your options for building success.
Unfortunately, when some people get set into a strictly “realistic” viewpoint, they may feel the situation is independent of others and discourage any positive or negative responses. Realistic optimism, on the other hand, encourages the flow of ideas and contributions to increase the chances of a more positive outcome.
4. Building Confidence
Optimism offers motivation and confidence in order to “go after the things we seek”. This is why it’s important to combine with a realistic mindset while leaning a bit more on the positive outlook of things. Optimism can help you to remember your strengths, interests, and capabilities that will assist you in your endeavors.
This is especially crucial when you come up against obstacles. Realistic thinking allows you to view the situation from a neutral standpoint, taking into account the challenges you’re facing. Your optimism then takes into account your positive attributes and gives you the boost you need to get past them and find the key to moving forward without feeling discouraged or frustrated.
5. Balancing Expectations
Finally, although we’ve been discussing the positive influence realistic optimism has on a situation, it can also present you with the tools you need to evaluate your expectations.
If you were to just go into a situation with optimism, you could have high standards that can set you up for disappointment if you’re unable to accept the potentially negative scenarios or consequences. By also viewing things realistically, you can regulate the predictions you may develop for a project or circumstance.
With enough effort and careful planning, you’re bound to have positive anticipation. Realistic thinking then gives you the opportunity to check for holes in your strategies and the potential for difficulty. As you continue forward, though, it’s important to reflect on each successful milestone you pass and use that as an encouragement to continue forward.
Realistic thinking is a great way to balance positivity and negativity without getting too focused on either aspect. However, having optimism throughout a situation will give you a number of advantages, as long as you’re still conscious of the potential fallouts. You’ll be more successful if you acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, using both to carefully plan and persist through your life.