Do you want to know how to be optimistic, but not be annoyingly so? I meet with people in a very intimate space. They show me their hearts, share with me things they do not tell anyone else. It is truly an honor and privilege to be invited into another life in this way. I am so happy doing what I do.
“I love my job, I get to show people how wonderful they are all day long!”
I am optimistically optimistic
If you have been following my blog, you might have pegged me as optimistic. Well, you nailed that one on the head. Perhaps it is one of the benefits of my profession. People always wonder how I could hear other peoples’ problems all day long. “Well,” I tell them. “I listen for how they resist them and I am inspired and uplifted rather than bogged down.”
Here is my secret on how to be optimistic: I operate under the assumption that no matter what oppresses people, they enact some resistance somewhere, even if it is in their mind. We hear a story the way we experience the world. I hear the resistance, the skills, and the hope. And then I hold up a mirror for my clients to see it, too. This instigates an immediate change in their perceptions and feelings. And it is not annoying. (Maybe they are just being polite.)
I also get to see people in many stages of their problem. Some just days after experiencing a tragic loss, and others many years later. I have seen people not comprehend how they could take another step and then experience peace about it somewhere down the line. Witness these transformation gives me faith that the next client can do it too. This hope is contagious. I catch it from someone feeling better who is standing strong for what she believes in. The next person I meet catches it from me. I have confidence in them and in turn they find it for themselves. (Having confidence helps people through hard times.)
This would be annoying
It would only be annoying, if I didn’t take them along with me. If I barely listened, nor allowed their pain, playing devils advocate and invalidating them. This would be annoying, hurtful, and mean.
Optimism is seeing the good in a situation. It is an attitude. There is always so many things to notice in a situation, if you are saturated in a problem, it is hard to see anything but the problem. A good friend, a partner, a loving relative, a coach, a therapist, or a spiritual director, etc, can help you get some distance to see good things about yourself despite the bad.
How to be optimistic
Optimism is not just a way you are born. You can develop optimism! To hone these skills, everyday, think of things you are grateful for. Big and small. After a few weeks of doing this, you will see that throughout the day, you’ll begin to notice ever more things that are good around you. Instead of depressing things sticking out like sore thumbs, the good, happy things will stand out. Eventually you won’t be able to hear any hard story without noticing something redeeming–something loving in it. Then–the best part comes–you’ll stop being so scared of the bad things that might happen. You’ll stop expecting the worst and begin accepting the good with the bad.
Try it and tell me about it!