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Published on August 12, 2020

10 Ways to Stop Being Pessimistic

10 Ways to Stop Being Pessimistic

Remember being carefree and optimistic during your childhood? Now, you are older and wiser and maybe even cynical. As we get older, life gets tough because we get more responsibilities or life throws experiences at us that shape us into pessimists.

Don’t worry, even if you are at the glass-half-empty end of the spectrum, there is still hope for you. It is never too late to change your thoughts. After all, your thoughts shape your reality.

But how can you stop being pessimistic? How to be more of a “glass-half-full” person?

If you want a positive reality, then your thoughts need to reflect the same.

Not everyone is a pessimist, sometimes we just have bad days. Here are a few telltale signs that will let you know if you are being pessimistic or not.

  • You always think, “what if it doesn’t work out rather than what if it does?”
  • You don’t get shocked when things go wrong.
  • You easily give up.
  • You expect to get bad news.
  • Sometimes, you may be selfish.
  • You find it difficult to forgive.
  • You get annoyed by optimists.
  • You engage in negative self-talk.

If all or some of these signs resonate strongly with you, then it may be that you are a pessimist. Don’t worry, you can still change this.

Below are ten ways you can stop being pessimistic. Do remember that these are not one time solutions. These are small habits you need to inculcate in your everyday life.

Once you start incorporating them, they will become inherent, and being more positive will become like breathing.

1. Replace Every Negative Thought With a Positive One

The next time you catch yourself thinking negatively or even just thinking some mind-boggling thoughts, stop there and replace that with a positive thought. It can be anything. Think of anything that makes you happy and adds value to your life.

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This is essential because we have the power to rewire our brains even if many of us don’t realize it. When you constantly replace pessimism with optimism, you will rewire your brain to think more positively.

The result of this? Thinking positively will be second nature to you!

2. Make a Gratitude List

When you focus on things you have rather than what you lack, you create abundance in your life. Sometimes, we take the little things in life for granted and this is where pessimism comes from.

We don’t appreciate everything enough and this creates a negative attitude. Being optimistic is all about changing the lens through which you view the world.

Focus on what you have by making a gratitude list. Every day, write about five things you are thankful for in life. This will help you to keep things positive as you will focus on what you do have, and it’ll help stop you from being pessimistic.

3. Stop Seeing Setbacks as Failures

We tend to amplify setbacks in life by thinking that they are the end of the world. Everyone faces obstacles. They are part of the package deal that we call life. However, it is important to keep your perception clear.

See your setbacks for what they are. Life is a learning process and they are there to help you grow. Learn from them and do better next time.

When you feel like giving up altogether think about how you can learn from it? What is the bright side of it? How can you do things differently to get the outcome you need?

These are the questions you need to ask yourself so you can deal with setbacks in a much better way.

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4. Do Good Things for Others

Your pessimistic mindset can only be replaced with positive thoughts. Do you know what will help you feel positive and stop being pessimistic? Being kind and doing good for other people.

If you think the world needs repair, then be the change to help repair it. Smile at someone to make their day, leave a good tip for your waiter, offer to hold groceries for an elderly, or compliment a stranger.

These little things count. They help others and they help you because your soul feels joy when you do good for others.

5. Find an Outlet to Release Negativity

You automatically channel your thoughts into actions. This is why if you have negative thoughts, you can channel it into doing something that releases that negative energy.

You can take up painting, drawing, kickboxing, or anything that brings you joy and helps release pent-up energy. The outlet you find is up to you!

6. Speak to Yourself the Way You Would Speak to Your Loved Ones

We can be our worst enemies and hinder our progress. Don’t ever speak about yourself negatively. Provide yourself the same compassion you give to someone else because you are worthy of it, too.

One great way to start speaking to yourself positively is by having positive affirmations around you. Find some things that resonate with you and keep them around the house as a reminder. This way, you will be able to easily feel more positive.

7. Don’t Label Yourself as a Pessimist

If you want to stop being pessimistic, then don’t label yourself as one. Don’t ever put yourself in a box.

When we label ourselves, we are putting a limitation on ourselves. The label then defines us and we do everything according to that definition. If you label yourself as a pessimist, then you will keep thinking and doing things in a way a pessimist would.

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Remove this label and look beyond it. You are just a human who has both good days and bad days. All of us do. What you make of those days is completely up to you because you have the power even if you have forgotten it.

Get rid of the label and stop putting yourself in a box. You can be anything you want, even an optimist!

8. Have People Around You That Provide You With Positive Energy

Like attracts like. If you think of yourself as a pessimist and you have people around you that also think alike, then it is time to get rid of them. Yes, that may be hard, but it is something you need to do.

If you want to move forward in life, then you need to get rid of people and habits that don’t serve you. If the people around you add to the negativity, then find new people that are more positive.

The company you keep influences you, and when you surround yourself with positive people and optimists, then you will also start thinking that way. Let go of all the negative energy that doesn’t serve you and see how beautiful your life becomes.

9. Find Someone You Can Vent To

Sometimes, all we need is someone to listen to us and understand. It is important to have a person in your life that provides you with a source to share your thoughts. We can stop being pessimistic if we can find someone we can vent to.

You can vent, share your negative thoughts, and let it all out. This can be anyone. You can either vent to a close friend whom you trust or find a therapist.

The important thing is to have someone to listen to you. This will help you in taking off a burden. You will feel light and you will get a fresh perspective on things. This will give you the drive to do better and take charge of your life.

10. Include Movement in Your Life

Movement also gets rid of the energy that we have built up for long. A great way to get rid of negative energy is to work out. It can be as short as a fifteen-minute workout. You just need to move your body to release that energy.

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Your tensions, negativity, pessimism, and stress will be released. Your mind will become more focused and driven. You will take your mind off from all the negative thoughts that don’t serve you.

Even if you don’t feel like working out, try going for a walk or run. Being out in the open in the fresh air can do wonders for your attitude. It will also help you feel more positive.

Our bodies store our emotions, so shed those negative emotions through the wonders of movement. It doesn’t matter what kind it is. All you need to do is move!

Final Thoughts

We all have an individual lens through which we look at the world. Sometimes, that lens can be distorted and no longer serve us. It is important to recognize these patterns and be serious about making a change in your life when you come to this realization.

These ten ways will help you move forward in life. They will help you break all negative patterns so you can stop being pessimistic and finally live a life full of positivity. Stop hindering your growth and progress.

Start making these changes now, and see how your life changes for the better. The first step is always the hardest, but it is one you need to take.

More Tips on How to Stop Being Pessimistic

Featured photo credit: Wes Hicks via unsplash.com

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Doron Hafner

Entrepreneur, Personal and Business coach

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

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Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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