A Coaching Power Tool created by Karen Mortensen
(Life and Executive Coaching, CHILE)
I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present. Robindranath Tagore
How do we explain things? How do we define events?
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word OPTIMISM as:
a doctrine that this world is the best possible world and an inclination to put the most favorable construction upon actions and events or to anticipate the best possible outcome.
PESSIMISM is defined as:
an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome and the doctrine that reality is essentially evil and that evil overbalances happiness in life.
We have the choice to look upon our life and everything that happens in our lives from an optimistic or pessimistic viewpoint. When you are optimistic you are more willing to take action to change things for the better, which increases the possibility that things will change for the better. In this way optimism becomes self-fulfilling.
Pessimism can also become a self-fulfilling prophesy if there is some area in your life that you have decided you cannot improve, then you will no longer even try, which means it will probably stay the way it is or even get worse.
The main difference between optimists and a pessimist lies in how they explain setbacks to themselves.
Optimists don’t attach themselves to a setback, they think it won’t last and they stay focused, create actions and therefore make the setback short-lived. Pessimists see negative events in the worst possible light, as never-ending, and think in terms of “always” and “never”.