Yesterday’s announcement from No 10 that the final easing of lockdown will be delayed, is yet another setback on the UK’s path to freedom. After 15 months of restrictions, it’s not surprising that many people are feeling disappointed and frustrated by the latest turn of events. Emotions that can make a big impact on your decision-making ability. Now more than ever before, it’s time to regroup by digging deep and drawing on your optimism to look to the future with confidence.
Research shows that optimism is the single biggest predictor of success in life. It enables you to seek opportunities, maintain a positive mood and be resilient in the face of setbacks. Emotional skills that are vital in helping you weather the uncertainty and challenges of the pandemic. The great news is that you can retrain your brain to become more optimistic by following the 3 steps below:
1. Find the positive in every situation
This is often easier said than done. When things don’t work out like you’d planned it’s easy to feel disheartened or angry. Optimists, on the other hand, look for the benefit in every situation. If, for example, you have lost your job as a result of the pandemic, try to focus on what you still have in your life. This could be close family and friends, a strong skill-set and great work experience. Whilst optimists undoubtedly have their fair share of disappointment, they are able to generate a positive mood and level of energy that is contagious. It’s therefore not surprising that it takes an optimist an average of 6 weeks to find a new job, compared to six months for a pessimist.
2. Learn from your mistakes
Optimists see setbacks as temporary and specific to a particular situation whereas pessimists see problems as permanent and pervasive. So, instead of taking things personally, aim to find valuable lessons from each problem. By asking yourself, “What can I learn from this situation so I can do better next time?” you are building resilience and adopting a growth mentality that will make your more successful in the long term.
3. Be solution-orientated and move forward
The final step in building your optimism is to let go of any negative thinking and focus on the tasks you need to do to move the situation forward. This is not about wishful thinking or false hope, it’s about believing that you have the skills to take control and make things better. By looking at the bigger picture, you will be well placed to think creatively and seek out new opportunities.
By following these three steps, you will be well on your way to building your optimism. This will enable you to lead by example and encourage your team to seek out new opportunities and be resilient to any future setbacks that come our way as we continue our journey out of lockdown.