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9 Signs That You’re An Optimist

9 Signs That You’re An Optimist

Martin E. P. Seligman, psychologist, educator and author, in his book Learned Optimism says: “One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.” You can choose to think positively and see the good things around you, or you can choose to think negatively and only see the negative things around you. It’s all up to you.

It is advisable, however, that you think more positively. A positive outlook in life makes you happier, healthier and even wealthier in the long run. Of course, stuff happens and unrelenting optimism can sometimes be contrived and irresponsible. But being optimistic is not about unrelenting optimism; it’s about trusting that good will happen while also preparing for the worst.

Here are a few things optimists do differently you can emulate today to look on the brighter side of life.

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1. You count your blessings.

It all starts with counting your blessings. While others moan and groan, optimists take stock of the good things around them. It does not stop there; optimists also take inventory of what’s not so great. They are grateful for obstacles, hardships and even failures because these are anchor points for resilience and wisdom. Optimists know what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

2. You make the most of all opportunities.

Optimists believe in making optimal use of the opportunities life throws at them. They are not blind, in denial or naïve to the risks and dangers involved in taking chances, but rather look at the bigger picture, the resources available and then make every opportunity count for a much brighter future full of possibilities. Optimists are simply positive, visionary realists, not idealists.

3. You believe in yourself.

While others cower and doubt their own abilities, optimists believe they are good enough just the way they are and constantly strive to get better. They trust their own intuition and abilities when carrying out their day-to-day activities. Optimists simply won’t judge or criticize themselves against a set of arbitrary, unrealistic, third party beliefs and ideals, such as those from popular media or peers. They don’t need everyone’s approval; they just do what feels right in their hearts.

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4. You also believe in others.

Optimists not only believe in themselves, but also in other people in their lives. They inspire others to be the best they can be. They know that when you treat a person as he or she is, that person will remain so. But if you treat a person as he or she ought to be, that person will become what he or she ought be. Optimists simply see sparks of good in others — sparks that everyone else won’t see — and work to turn the sparks into a roaring flame.

5. You use positive self-talk to reinforce actions.

Optimists do not allow present circumstances or environment to dictate their attitude and mood. They use positive self-talk to express their hopes and to reinforce good attitudes, outcomes and actions. If things are not going too well, they say things like “I know there’s a problem here, but I can solve it” and keep going. When they succeed at something, they say things like “That’s just as I had anticipated; I worked hard and it paid off.” In a similar situation, a pessimist might say: “Boy, was I lucky to close that deal!”

6. You turn envy and jealousy into catalysts for success.

Everybody gets a little jealous sometimes. While others burn with envy, optimists realize that the universe does not owe them anything because someone else is successful and they are not. However, the universe might owe you something when you work hard to better yourself. Instead of burning with anger and jealousy, optimists use other people’s success as motivation to work hard and bring success.

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7. You don’t make bad experiences a self-fulfilling prophecy of what lies ahead.

Just because you failed or suffered today doesn’t mean you will fail or suffer tomorrow. Good things come to those who persist and overcome challenges. Optimists do not let past misfortunes determine their future success. They know that bad experiences make you stronger and the path to success clearer.

8. You choose not to blame others.

People tend to point fingers at others when things are not going well. They blame their family, politicians and even the economy for their problems. Optimists choose not to blame others because they know others don’t hold complete control over them. There is always something you can do to make things better. Change starts from within, and where there is a will there is always a way.

9. You forgive.

Optimists know better than to underestimate the power of forgiveness. Martin Luther King Jr. fought hate with love. He recognized the past is the past and forgiveness was the path to a better future for everyone. Optimists, therefore, forgive and forge ahead. They know tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to correct what needs correcting and create a brighter reality.

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Are you an optimist?

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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