Life is hard at times, and so is change. But how do you boost your optimism for change?
You see, change can be scary. It makes you feel unstable. You are not sure if you have done the right thing when you are in the middle of transitioning to do something different.
As a hypnotherapist and counsellor, I have seen many people who are anxious, depressed or have low moods. People come to see me to change a habit or change an emotion.
Some people will feel better quickly, while others may take longer to change. Although my training has shown that there are many reasons why people become depressed or anxious, I started to wonder more about the mindset of different people; hence I decided to write this blog and share my thoughts.
What are you eager to change?
Everyone wants or needs to change something. Life is about change. It’s not about standing still. Just like nature, we go through cycles of change.
Change is good, but it needs optimism.
Change helps us to develop and learn from our mistakes.
There are external changes and internal changes.
You might want to change your financial position. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about that?
You could have relationship difficulties, health problems or work-related stress. Do you believe that it is possible to change that?
Whatever you feel down about, remember there is always a way to escape it.
You need hope; sometimes, the right circumstances and people around you to help you change will make a big difference.
Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
If you came second in a race, would you be overjoyed or disappointed and say negative things to yourself? Many people might think of giving up because they don’t feel good enough, while others say, ‘Next time, I’ll do it!’ Would you have that optimism about the future after a race or pessimistic about this scenario?
Here is another real scenario I have heard many times from my clients.
This is roughly what they tell me. They are going for a job interview. They might have written lots of applications. They feel depressed because no one employs them, although they have lots of knowledge, skills and experience. They then go for the job interview and don’t get the job.
They become more despondent. But what choices do they have? They could fall into the deepest depths of depression, give up, and accept thinking that they are not good enough. Alternatively, they can become more determined to get that job.
I help these people realise that they still have potential by reframing those negative thoughts because the real reason they didn’t get the job might have been because they weren’t the right fit or they were overqualified. There could have been hundreds of reasons why they didn’t get the job.
So optimism is about thinking of the positive side. We all know that everything can’t always be positive, but things can feel better if we think more positively.
Pessimism is the opposite. It is about feeling negative. Nothing goes right for pessimistic people because they only focus on the bad things. When difficult things happen, pessimists tend to believe that the negative situation will last long. Maybe some will believe that it’s their fault this thing has happened.
Unfortunately, since COVID and the economic, social and personal pressures of life, many people are in a state of low mood, anxiety and depression. Society is more negative, often because of awful things happening around us, like the Ukraine war, climate change and financial pressures.
The World Health Organisation has recognised depression as a major problem affecting people of all backgrounds, ages and nationalities. And it has recognised that mental health is important to address as we progress.
But do you have a choice?
We all have to make choices in life, but do we have a choice?
When we consider basic choices, they include getting up or staying in bed all day, speaking or not speaking, smiling or not smiling. Or we can choose to eat healthy foods or junk foods. We can choose to wear clothes or not.
You see, we already make lots of choices every day.
Sometimes the decisions are very hard to make.
Sometimes we feel we have no choice because a decision is forced upon us. But we all have choices to change something we don’t like or our attitude towards it.
But, let’s face it, optimists have to make difficult choices, the same as pessimists. So why do optimists feel differently and find ways out of difficult situations quicker?
What differs is the way they explain it and deal with it.
Optimists believe that problems are temporary setbacks in life. They try to learn from a bad knock.
They look to the future with the hope that things will get better.
Some may even see difficult things as challenging and try harder to get what they want.
They are less dependent on others to make them happy because they find that inner happiness or peace.
So how do people feel more optimistic about change?
Here are some tips that can help.
Optimism can help you win.
1. Develop a positive mindset.
Carol Dweck developed the idea of different types of mindsets. She believes in the growth mindset. By developing a positive mindset, you are more equipped to deal with adversity.
For some people, they need to give themselves positive affirmations.
Other people read motivational quotes.
I try to visualise success.
2. Set realistic goals
When you are feeling down and have had a hard time, it’s difficult to set goals because you think you might not achieve them, or you ask yourself, ‘What is the point?’ But the difficulties you might encounter are often much greater than you think if you keep that negative mindset because you can end in a spiral of anxiety and depression.
Goals need to start with baby steps. You need to plan to do things you can achieve within a timeframe.
Writing them down and ensuring that the goals are clear helps.
Sometimes getting help from a trusted friend is a good idea, or you could get professional help.
I write down my thoughts and goals in a hard back book.
3. Practice Mindfulness, meditation or hypnosis.
Mindfulness, meditation and self-hypnosis are good methods of helping yourself to relax and let go of self-limiting beliefs. They help you to ground yourself and let go of self-limiting beliefs.
However, they need to be taught and practised.
I do deep breathing and practice self-hypnosis.
4. Surround yourself with positive people.
Optimistic people surround themselves with positive people who can support and guide them towards their goals.
Optimistic friends and family support you when things don’t go well, and they praise you when you have achieved a lot because they recognise the hard work it often takes to keep going when times are tough.
Optimism is about embracing resilience. So the more we work together, the easier it is to grow and meet our true potential. But of course, we need to plan where we are going first.
This is where coaching can help.
I feel good when I have positive people around me, and yes, I sometimes have coaching and other support.
On reflection, I’m an optimist. I believe people can change, as I have seen many people who want to change achieve their goals. But it all starts with wanting that change and believing it is possible.
Life is short, so learn how to feel better and develop your potential.
If you would like some help to make a change, contact me. I want to help. I offer hypnotherapy, counselling and coaching. It doesn’t matter where you are, as I often work online. Book a free initial consultation via Zoom and find out more.