“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
“Fake it until you make it,” suggests Jane Brody in her health column A Richer Life by Seeing the Glass Half Full in the New York Times.
Optimism is the Attitude of Success
Optimism is the attitude of success. We all know that. But knowing that and doing it – that’s something else again.
Murphy’s law, which we all know too well, promises that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. But in her book, Breaking Murphy’s Law, University of Kentucky Professor Suzanne C. Segerstrom explains, “people can learn to be more optimistic by acting as if they were more optimistic.” She recommends a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy where you start by faking it: act on an optimistic plan, and expect attitude to follow action.
What’s an optimistic plan? Instead of avoiding issues, optimists tackle them. Optimists plan for success, solicit advice and focus on solutions. Segerstrom’s “faking it” is “being more engaged with and persistent in the pursuit of goals.” She suggests that “you might succeed more than you expected.” And even if the plan doesn’t work, there’s a good chance that the experience will arm you for the next similar problem you encounter.
When I have a client who is mired in a negative outlook, I sometimes suggest that he or she take a moment every day to identify something good that happened. They are instructed to write down what they did to make that good thing happen. You can read more about how this simple exercise has helped some of clients turn around their thinking and set them up for success here.
Coaching Questions to Ask Yourself
- How can I take a can-do approach when I feel myself stymied by negativity?
- What advice can you get about succeeding at your next challenge?
- How can you focus on the solution instead of the problem?
If you would you like to be coached on how to re-frame the negatives and turn them into stunning successes contact Dr. Lynn K. Jones for a free coaching session.
P.S. Thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to share their stories of seeing things from the positive or who forwards this blog link to friends!
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.
BCC Board Certified Coach #1487