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Become More Optimistic with These Simple Methods

Become More Optimistic with These Simple Methods

Are you living a life that is fully optimized? Do you feel that you are getting the most out of your life?

“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” ― James Branch Cabell

What is Optimism?

Loving life with optimism is simply living life seeing the brighter side of life. Optimism is an outlook in which one views the world as a positive place. In doing so, one realizes that a wonderful life is worth loving.  So often, we get caught up in the trap of negativity and we may feel that everything is working against us—we feel overwhelmed and out of control, but there’s a way to break free of that.

Our Choice

Just because we are caught up in these negative circumstances doesn’t mean that we have to let them control our emotions:  we have the choice to change how we feel. Research in various sciences has shown that optimism can greatly affect not only our way of thinking, but also our entire way of life, and a great contributor to our thought processes is a positive outlook.

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Positive Choices

We can actually program ourselves to think positively over time: it is all a matter of choice whether one wants to make optimism a habit.   I personally like to use the “Flip Switch” technique, which allows you to immediately take control of your emotions and thoughts. The technique is really a very simple one: monitor your thoughts and feelings over the course of the day, and when you notice negative feelings, do this:

  1. As soon as you become of your feelings, STOP! Stop what you are doing and thinking.
  2. Be totally aware of your thoughts and feelings; just spend a second exploring exactly what you’re feeling.
  3. Decide to think a more positive thought.  This could be as simple as “I am grateful that I am alive today”, or “My work is very fulfilling.”
  4. Think as many positive thoughts as you can for about 20 seconds.
  5. Check in with your feelings and see how you are doing.

Most people will find even these few short seconds will make a huge impact on their emotional well-being.  After you practice this a few times, you will be able to change to more positive thinking in just a couple seconds.

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How to Find More Inspiration for Optimism

  1. Look for the silver lining: I know I know, it is a little cliche but it really is so true. It’s hard when you’re right in the middle of a situation, but take a few minutes to mentally step back from the situations and see if there is just one area that could be seen as positive.
  2. Positive Friends:  choose to spend time with the most positive people you know. If you don’t know any, time to step up and find some—it will be fun!
  3. Look for inspiration: there are several ways you can surround yourself with inspiration, such as spending time with smiling babies, or reading inspirational books, affirmations and quotes.
  4. Be Grateful: there is always something you can be grateful for, so acknowledge it, say it out loud.  My favorite is “thank you for my breath”

The more you are aware of your negative reactions, the more frequently you change to more positive thinking, and the more you look to surround yourself with inspiration, the more optimistic your life will be.   Once you are in this more positive frame of mind, the easier it is to make the decision to live a fuller life—one with more fun, more joy, more excitement,  and more adventure.

 

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Last Updated on May 17, 2019

This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

The pursuit of worthwhile goals is a part of what makes life enjoyable. Being able to set a goal, then see yourself progress towards achieving that goal is an amazing feeling.

But do you know the biggest obstacle for most people trying to achieve their goals, the silent dream killer that stops people before they ever even get started? That obstacle is the comfort zone, and getting stuck there is bound to derail any efforts you make towards achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself.

If you want to achieve those goals, you’ll have to break free from your comfort zone. Let’s take a look at how your life will change once you build up the courage to leave your comfort zone.

What Is the Comfort Zone?

The comfort zone is defined as “a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.”

What stands out to me the most about that definition is the last part: “using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance.” How many successful people do you know who deliver a steady level of performance?

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The goal in life is to continually challenge yourself, and continually improve yourself. And in order to do that, you have move out of your comfort zone. But once you do, your life will start to change in ways you could never have imagined. I know because it’s happening right now in my own life.

Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. You will be scared

Leaving your comfort zone isn’t easy. In fact, in can be downright terrifying at times, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly normal to feel a little trepidation when you’re embarking on a journey that forces you to try new things.

So don’t freak out or get overwhelmed when you feel yourself getting a little scared. It’s perfectly normal and all part of the process. What’s important is that you don’t let that fear hold you back. You must continue to take action in the face of fear.

That’s what separates winners from losers.

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2. You will fail

Stepping out of your comfort zone means you’re moving into uncharted territory. You’re trying things that you’ve never tried before, and learning things you’ve never learned before.

That steep learning curve means you’re not going to get everything right the first time, and you will eventually fail when you move out of your comfort zone. But as long as the failures aren’t catastrophic, it can actually be a good thing to fail because …

3. You will learn

Failure is the best teacher. I’ve learned more from each one of my failures than I have from each one of my successes. When you fail small, and fail often, you rapidly increase the rate at which you learn new insights and skills. And that new knowledge, if applied correctly, will eventually lead to your success.

4. You will see yourself in a different way

Once you move out of your comfort zone, you immediately prove to yourself that you’re capable of achieving more than you thought was possible. And that will change the way you see yourself.

Moving forward, you’ll have more confidence in yourself whenever you step out of your comfort zone, and that increased confidence will make it more likely that you continue to step outside your comfort zone. And each time you do, you’ll prove to yourself again and again what you’re really capable of.

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5. Your peers will see you in a different way

Whether we want to admit or not, people judge other people. And right now, people view you in a certain way, and they have a certain idea of what you’re capable of. That’s because they’ve become accustomed to seeing you operate in your comfort zone.

But once you move out of your comfort zone, you’ll prove to other people, as well, that you’re capable of much more than you’ve shown in the past.

The increased confidence other people place in you will bring about more opportunities than ever before.

6. Your comfort zone will expand

The good thing about the comfort zone is that it’s flexible and malleable. With each action you take outside of your comfort zone, it expands. And once you master that new skill or action, it eventually becomes part of your comfort zone.

This is great news for you because it means that you can constantly increase and improve upon the behaviors that you’re comfortable with. And the more tools and skills you have at your disposal, the easier it will be to achieve your goals.

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7. You will increase your concentration and focus

When you’re living inside of your comfort zone, the bulk of your actions are habitual: automatic, subconscious, and requiring limited focus.

But once you move out of your comfort zone, you no longer rely on those habitual responses. You’re forced to concentrate and focus on the new action in a way you never do in your comfort zone.

8. You will develop new skills

Moving out of your comfort zone requires that you develop new skills. One of the many benefits you’ll experience is that you’ll be stepping away from the “limited set of behaviors” and start to develop your ability and expertise in new areas.

Living inside of your comfort zone only requires a limited skill set, and those skills won’t contribute much to your success. Once you can confidently step outside of your comfort zone and learn a new skill, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve.

9. You will achieve more than before

With everything that happens once you move out of your comfort zone, you’re naturally going to achieve more than ever before.

Your increased concentration and focus will help you develop new skills. Those new skills will change the way you see yourself, encouraging you to step even further out of your comfort zone.

Featured photo credit: Josef Grunig via farm3.staticflickr.com

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