For the last week or so I’ve been recovering from a respiratory infection. As I lay in bed, I amused myself with a paranormal romance novel. In a nutshell, the book is about a sleep god who falls in love with a woman whose dreams he’s been entering. He desires her so much, he takes human form for 2 weeks to experience what she’s like. While he’s there, he decides to help her find Atlantis to fulfill a promise to her deceased father. Can you imagine a handsome, powerful god coming to help you on an important quest? Even though the heroine was grateful, she remained doubtful, skeptical and pessimistic throughout the book. She questioned, second-guessed, and conveniently forgot certain instructions, such as “don’t release this person because the world will end”. After a while, I kept thinking “this broad is really getting on my nerves!” After I finished the book, I realized that alot of people are like that in real life and aren’t even aware if it.
Gauge your level of optimism
As a goal-oriented person, I suspect that you generally believe that life can get better if you apply yourself to the pursuit of making it so. But what do you feel is the nature of life? Do you feel that life is not fair, that ‘what goes around comes around’ or do you feel that what happens to us is random and we should make the best of it? You may have a general good feeling about life, but really examine your ‘small thoughts’ to determine what your real outlook is.
For example, you get an unexpected bill or you blow your budget for the month. What is your knee-jerk reaction? Do you say “I knew this would happen”, “I never have any money”, or “if it ain’t one thing, its another”. These types of thoughts indicate that your level of optimism pertaining to money is low. On the other hand, if you recognize that sometimes unexpected things happen, “there’s always next month to try again” or “I may not have met my goal this month, but I’m certainly getting better”, then there’s indication that you have an optimistic outlook.
Its also important to note that your leve of optimism for specific areas can differ from each other, and also differ from your overall level of optimism. My personal optimism levels are a great example of this. My outlook on life is that my glass is half-full and getting fuller every day. In the attainment of current goals I’m very optimistic, but as far as money and relationships I sometimes have knee-jerk reactions that are negative generalizations and don’t reflect a mindset that treats situations as individual events. My optimism regarding relationships is higher than my optimism regarding money.
Change your expectations
Our level of optimism strongly relates to what our expectations are. And our expectations are based on our beliefs. If you believe that you have to work hard for money, if you grew up with the notion that “money doesn’t grow on trees”, then your expectations of how money will enter and leave your life affect how optimistic you are with regard to your finances. This mindset that money is difficult to get will determine how money comes to you. After all, the law of attraction states “we get what we think about”. I think this is why so many people didn’t last long in pursuing the law of attraction after watching “The Secret”. If you “get what you think about, whether you want it or not”, it sounds simple to just think about the things you want, like money, a new job or to meet your soul mate. But its what you expect about those things that you receive right now. So you have to change what you expect in order to change what you are receiving.
Just like with changing your self-esteem, in order to change your beliefs you have to engage in positive self-talk. Because a belief is only a thought you think over and over again. In those moments where your thoughts are unguarded, consciously change your thoughts about an expectation. When you get an unexpected bill, instead of reacting negatively, say to yourself “this means that my responsibilities and blessings are increasing; this is a good thing.” If a man you were interested in doesn’t return that interest, instead of repeating to yourself something you always say, like “the men I want just aren’t attracted to me”, tell yourself “thank goodness he recognizes he doesn’t meet my standards and is weeding himself out”. You won’t believe these new thoughts at first. Just continue to tell yourself positive things, and before you know it those less-than-optimistic thoughts will be gone.
Being an optimistic person not only affects your mood but it also affects your attainment of goals. By thinking optimistically about whats happening in your life, you’ll attract other things and experiences to you to make you more optimistic. Isn’t that something to look forward to, to be optimistic about? It is for me — I hope it is for you too.