Leverage Optimism in Stress Management to Take Action Toward Top Performance

Written on:July 7, 2012

How simple optimism can improve your life and the lives of others.

Lead like an optimist

Do you consider yourself an optimist? If not, do you realize optimists “win” and “overcome” more often than pessimists?

Optimism is not about how the situation affects you, but rather how you function in the situation. For example, most of today’s news reports present a dark outlook: stagnant high unemployment rates, lower company profits, slowing economy, etc. Although negative news affects everybody, optimists cope better with bad news and obstacles, and are more flexible about trying new ways to overcome the situations.

Optimists more easily thrive in difficult situations than less optimistic people; examples include more sales, shorter job searches, higher starting salaries, quicker recovery from coronary bypass surgery. Thus, leaders who integrate optimism as a critical factor in their skills toolbox also can gain a competitive advantage.

You, too, can apply a few simple, yet effective techniques to increase your level of optimism and enhance your success.

Take actions to present positive scenarios and create options. This is especially crucial during difficult times filled with negativity.

Stay focused on what you can change and work at improving those items. This will reduce negative effects and help others, too.

• If you don’t feel optimistic, fake it. Recent research (Why it pays to be an optimist, in MIT Sloan Management Review) suggests people who pretend to be optimistic are more likely to behave like an optimist and benefit from it.

In short, appreciate the world through the eyes of an optimist, and lead like one. You, your team, and your organization will benefit from the gained competitive advantage.
Your takeaway

Research findings underscore the importance of optimism. So, become aware how optimism can improve your life and the life of others by starting to explore how to improve your level of optimism. When you conscientiously think like an optimist, soon you will act like a champion.

Learn how you compare with others and how optimism affects your job, career, and life. Take the Optimism Quotient (OQ).



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