Practicing optimism regularly has been proven to be an effective tool for building resilience and is a tool that leaders can leverage to build excitement, show appreciation, and develop buy-in from those around them.
Optimism is looking for positives in the simple things in life and everyday stresses and challenges you face. It’s also being able to see even a glimmer of positivity in negative situations or events. It doesn’t mean ignoring or avoiding negativity, it simply means acknowledging that there can be good and bad together. There may be an event that was 99% negative, but there is that 1% where you can see how it can be positive.
To practice optimism today, think of one stressor in your everyday life. Something that is annoying, inconvenient, or tends to make you think negatively. For example, “My Monday morning meetings always take longer than they should because no one prepares for it over the weekend.”
Now, focus on finding a way to see one positive thing that can come out of that stressor. Ex. Although the meeting takes longer than it should, we tend to open up more about our personal lives and we feel more connected as a result.
Now reflect on some other things you have a tendency to see in a negative light, and write out a few positive things that are a result of those things.
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Kent, M., Rivers, C. T., & Wrenn, G. (2015). Goal-Directed self-regulation, executive functions, and personal growth (eudaimonia) in evocative contexts of PTSD, obesity, and chronic pain. Behavioral sciences, 5(2), 264-304.
Kerig, Patricia K., (2020). Resilience for Trauma-Informed Professionals (R-TIP): Protecting ourselves from secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue. Presentation on April 24th, 2020 from https://apa.content.online/app/pro/orderedProduct.xhtml?eid=1481116