Success with optimism AND pessimism

The problem: You want to be positive and optimist but you fear failure.
In the past some friends have seen me as a pessimist and I was convinced that a pessimistic view is more realistic than an optimistic view. When reading life hacking blogs it looks like successful people should avoid every form of pessimism and negative thinking people. Trying to surf on the wave of optimism and positive thinking you feel fears and worries about possible failure.

The reason: Missing union of positive and negative aspects.
You might have heard about or seen a lot of people failing in their attempts to achieve big success or even people that are successful in general had their very bad periods. You try to be positive and optimistic but somewhere in your mind you know of the dangers and risks and you fear that as soon as starting full of enthusiasm you rush and fall into the first trap.

The solution: Integrate positive and negative aspects into your success plan.
If you want to be a successful person you commit to set actions achieving it - you want to get things done. Acting means effects. And effects may be different from your expectations and desires. So there is the possibility of negative effects or failure as well as the possibility of success or positive results. This is a fact and is a neither positive or negative view. Everything is possible.

Without the possibility of positive results you wouldn't start working so having positive effects and results in mind as a goal and motivation for moving on is important.

Be positive when thinking of your goals:
  • Trust in the possibility that the world can be improved.

  • Trust in your power being able to contribute to a better world and happier yourself!

  • Assume that all other creatures have the same desires of being happy and therefore will benefit from the positive things that you do.

  • Trust in your ability to be able to learn everything necessary to achieve your goals.

  • Be happy about the success already accomplished. So moving on is a chance to repeat the good feelings.

On the other hand be pessimistic in your concrete planning of your way to success:
  • Get aware of everything that could go wrong to identify the biggest pitfalls and the highest risks. The benefit: You can do something to prevent from the risks with the heaviest impacts.

  • Do not assume or hope for the help of others or in other words: Do not expect that others are doing their job accurately, attentive and carefully. Search for help and accept every helping hand but don't rely on it. The benefit: Being double attentive prevents from errors. Humans do fail (that does not mean they always fail) - double checking is precaution. Especially when you have a management job it is required that you ensure that everybody is doing well his part. When many work together then the probability that somebody fails at some part is quite high.
  • Assume that you are not knowing important facts. So get aware of the holes in your knowledge. The benefit: More attention makes you watch out for additional knowledge which helps preventing from problems and increases your competence - knowledge is power!
You see that the pessimistic view of the future has several benefits helping you to rise the probability that you succeed. To protect yourself against the biggest troubles that may come out on your way to your goals is as important as working on the main goal to get the positive effects. The negative assumption should not exclude that you accept helping hands or be happy if a highly probable problem did not occur. Pessimism should just be your assurance against disillusion.

After you have imagined some worst case scenarios you can better rate your plan for the way to achieve your goal(s). You can evaluate different solutions/plans and choose the best way to success.

Regarding the Anxiety:
Take your fears and worries as a warning of possible traps and holes in your plan to success. Fears and Worries are warning signs to be attentive - not more! If you are aware of the risks and decide whether to do something to reduce the probability or accept the risk. If the remaining risks in your opinion are too high in relation to the possible positive results then you still do not need to drop your goal(s) completely. You can also search for an alternative way with less risks.

It is clear that some chance to big success also comes along with higher risks. Some people like it hot and want to take the risk. Others prefer the sure and easier way. It depends on your priorities, character and desires. It is simply your decision how much risk you want to take.

Remember that the slower way with a lot of small steps into the correct direction to meet your goals do often bring the better long-term results than the fast and big success.

Related posts: Positivity barricades, Focus on strengths, Being positive, When to criticize, Optimist meeting pessimist, Living your opportunities.

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