When it comes to keeping your chin up, everybody has advice to push on you. Whether it’s ‘you should be more optimistic’, ‘there’s always a silver lining’ or ‘it can only get better now’ – the reality is that it’s exhausting. At the end of the day, all most people want to do is retreat to their own company and try and work through what’s eating them up, but that doesn’t mean that thinking positively is a bad thing.
So just where do you draw the line between positive thinking and over-optimistic behaviour? Well the answer isn’t always that simple, but there are a few obvious things that come to mind.
- NO: If you empty your bank accounts on scratch cards and lottery tickets, expecting to guarantee a return on your ‘investment’ then you are definitely being over-optimistic. The odds are definitely not in your favour and, more than likely, you’ll find yourself with nothing left in the bank and a lot of uncomfortable days to come – no matter what lucky affirmations you try.
- YES: If you get called in for a job interview and are sitting across from one or more interviewers and start thinking negative thoughts, the chances are you are more likely to answer a question wrongly or overthink things and make mistakes. Being positive here is an asset and not a hindrance, it means you are likely to smile more – seem more perceptive – appear more confident – and that’s not to mention any mistake you then make you can brush off and the interviewers will be a lot more favourable to accepting human error where applicable.
- NO: If you take a seat at the roulette tables, or even one of the many different online roulette games, throw all your money on red and hope for the best – while you have a bigger chance of winning than the lottery, again prepare to be disappointed. But if you go in with a strategy, know your limits and stick to your plan, you can be positive about doing the best you could possibly do without going too far.
- YES: If you start your ‘Dry January’ challenge or decide to go on a diet, negative thoughts will often lead to premature failure. This is because mentally it will be easier to accept defeat or be tempted by wayward friends and offers. The positive belief that you will be able to succeed in your goals alongside small and measurable targets can be the difference between achieving what you set out to do or failing, unfortunately.
While there is plenty more that we could say on the subject, the reality is simple for most of us. Start your day, your month, even your year with the belief that things will go well – that things will get better – that you will achieve your goals and you will likely find yourself facing better odds to get there. Just don’t confuse those odds for over-optimism and start buying thousands of lottery tickets in bulk like we said before ?