Optimism may be the norm for some but a farfetched ideal for others. To many, the thought of walking in optimism can be seen as “dangerous” because it requires a lowering of defenses. Being optimistic takes a level of openness that many have yet to experience. What most may not know is that a person who struggles with optimism may really be struggling with the fear of disappointment; and disappointment is the antithesis of hope which is the expectation of good.
Dealing with Disappointment. Discouragement is a fruit of disappointment. When a person experiences disappointment, a natural response is to shift their mindset and behavior surrounding the event. The mind will seek ways to safeguard itself in thoughts of the event occurring again or look for ways to avoid the event altogether. So, what happens is disappointment creates discouragement and discouragement impacts hope. Again, hope is the expectation of good, but if experience paints a picture of unfavorable outcomes, optimism may seem further away. The key to dealing with disappointment is disassociating one’s identity and future from it.
Consider an athlete for example; no matter how many games an athlete loses they still have to show up to the next one. They have to move forward knowing that the next game can be the very game they win. The same is true about life; no matter what has happened in the past, one cannot define themselves and the many experiences to come based on previous disappointments. Doing so, is a sure way of not living a fulfilling life. Instead you may find yourself living in the fear or an illusion of a thing that’s not really happening.
Establishing Hope. Hope is a real. It is a mindset that seeks out favorable outcomes. And what one focuses on appreciates. Living in disappointment keeps one looking out for danger while one who is led by hope looks for light. The person who hopes keeps getting up because they believe that goodness is their reality.
Establishing hope comes from holding on to the good. Keeping score of the wins, of the good times, of the moments that positively impacted you builds a hopeful mindset. It creates a system of thinking that believes in favorable outcomes. With this mindset, events are experienced differently which creates more experiences that lean towards hope. This is what some may call momentum or serendipity. Allowing hope to lead your thinking even impacts your mood (perhaps you are experiencing a bit of hope and joy just by reading this Quick Read).
The reality of the matter is this: you will set your focus on one thing or another. Why not choose to invest in hope over fear? Consider that truth; you are going to think on something...so why not let it be hope.
Consider hope and what it means.
Then consider the wins you have experienced over time and make a list of them.
Aim to revisit this list at least once per week to build a hope(filled) mindset and take note of how your experiences change from day to day.
Be sure to journal your experience.
This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.