Optimism Can Make Things Go Your Way: Here’s How
Imagine every day you did just one thing better than yesterday. How much richer would your life be?
What would be different in your life? Would you be happier and getting more out of your time instead of wasting it watching reruns of The Office? Maybe you’d be healthier and you’d be wearing clothes you liked and going out instead of sliding into loose-fitting shirts and avoiding booths. Maybe your freelancing career or online business would be making more money.
Is your online business or freelancing career where you want it to be?
Or do you sit at your laptop day after day chasing random tactics hoping to finally find that silver bullet that gets you tons of clients? I’ve got some news…It doesn’t work that way. Successful freelancers don’t rely on random tactics. They make it a point to make every day better than the last. What if you did this? What type of changes do you think you’d experience?
You’d probably spend less time being distracted (sorry Jim and Pam). You wouldn’t worry that no one will ever hire you again. And you’d definitely stop freaking out that there are just,
‘To many freelancers to ever get paid what i’m worth.’
You ever wonder why thoughts like that hold us back? The reason will surprise you.
The Surprising Power Of Our Thoughts
Our thoughts make up the story we tell ourselves about:
*Who we are
*The world around us
*And our present circumstances
This is why people who are optimistic always seem to have things going there way…even if they aren’t. Why is this? Simple.
Optimists shine a light on the good things. People perceive your story as reality. Consider me. You might think I do nothing but land A-list clients and take trips. The truth is I deal with crappy clients, get turned down for gigs because my rate is too high, and occasionally have to fight clients to get paid.
I don’t shine a light choose to not let these things weigh on me so you don’t hear about them. I shape my story which, in turn, shapes how I interact with the world.
Think about it. If you are an optimist would it bother you if you lost a big deal, had a client complain about your work, or have to wait an extra week to get paid? No, you wouldn’t. As an optimist, you’d be focused on the fact that you have plenty of great clients, happy that a client trusts their relationship with you to bring up issues with their project, and excited that you have clients who are paying you.
How can you change? How do you go from who you are now to being an optimist? Simple. You master the art of optimism. Here’s how.
How To Become An Optimist No Matter Who You Are
To cultivate optimism you need to practice three things every day.
Practice 1: Practice Gratitude
Every morning I close my eyes and say three things I’m thankful for. I do this multiple times a day. Why?
Because practicing gratitude orients the mind towards the positive. When you are truly grateful there isn’t room in your mind for anything else.
Here’s the exact steps to how I practice gratitude:
Step 1:Close my eyes and imagine something I am grateful for.
Step 2:Build up the memory of this gratitude until it is clear in my mind.
Step 3:Ask ‘Why’ I am grateful for this and then answer it.
Step 4:Repeat the first three steps three to four times
Doing this every day will train your mind to see the good in things and prime you to respond to them. Over the course of two weeks, you’ll notice a marked improvement in your mood, you’ll be less likely to react negatively, and more.
Practice 2: Reframing Events
The biggest mistake people make with their thoughts is getting trapped in the past. People replay events over and over in their head. They relive those same emotions and never change the outcome.
This creates a negative feedback loop that primes us to constantly either be in a negative state or expect all states to lead to negative states.
Here’s how I stop this.
When I start replaying events in my head (bad ones) I ask myself,
‘What’s the lesson I can take forward from this?’
This question lets me reframe the experience as something bad that happened to me into an experience that will guide my growth. More simply put. You take the memory into the locus of your control and grow from it.
This is huge. Learning to reframe will make it easy to sail through the hardest of times by keeping your mind oriented on positive results and growth.
Practice 3:Insert Pauses Into Your Day
People have trouble with coming to a pause. They think that they will lose momentum, break flow state, or look lazy to the people around them.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Pauses are the most powerful way to cultivate optimism during your day. The great thing is the size and length of your pause are not in proportion to the quality it brings you.
In the morning I meditate for fifteen to twenty minutes before doing anything. That’s my first pause. What happens when life gets busy and I can’t make that happen? I steal time during the day. Two times that work well for me is sitting for five minutes quietly in the bathroom. The bathroom is great because it is private enough to remove distraction.
Or you can take five minutes from your lunch or dinner and devote it to pausing. I do this before eating as I find it harder to pause with a full stomach.
How do I pause? I have different methods depending on my solitude or space. If I’m in a rush and in a crowded place I turn on a song I really like (Trapeze Swinger in acoustic by Iron and Wine is great for this, so is any song from the ‘All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone’ EITS Album), put in my earbuds, and close my eyes. I try to keep my mind empty for the length of the song. As a bonus having your earbuds in means people are less likely to distract you.
Another pause practice I do is five count breaths. This is an exercise I created by altering a yoga breathing practice. What you do is breathe in for five seconds, hold your breath for five seconds, breath out for five seconds, then pause for five seconds. Repeat this five times. By the end, you will feel physically and mentally balanced.
Why does pausing work? Simple. It alters our mindset. When we are in a hurry or busy we shift our focus to see everything around as ‘busy’. Our reality is set by our perception. That’s why people at high-stress jobs take that negative energy home. They are caught in a cycle they can’t see beyond. Pausing allows your mind to adjust to reality and get out of the one in your head.
Why You Should Practice Optimism
Optimism makes life easier.
Imagine never getting stressed out over money, clients, family, and more ever again. This is a radical mindset shift from how you currently live…and one that is easy to do.
Try it out. Pick one of the three practices from above and do it every day for a week. I’d suggest doing all three every day for a week but one is good to start. At the end of the week note how different you feel about what is going on around you.
Optimism reframes your mind. The more optimistic you are the more opportunity you’ll begin to see. This works because optimism lifts the mental burden we carry in our heads. This relieves the constant strain on our energy and attention. This is the secret behind why optimists always seem to have things going their way. They have the energy and focus to identify and act on opportunities because they aren’t bottlenecked by their own mindset.
Follow Up With Me
If you read this then do me a favor. Practice optimism for one week. At the end of the week email me about your experience. I’d love to hear about the impact this has on your life.
If you don’t have my contact information join my email list and you’ll be able to reach me right away!