The disappointments of life can cause you to see nothing but negativity in your future. You express hopelessness, belittle your own abilities, refuse to take any risk, say no to personal growth opportunities, complain about the unfairness of life, and say that nothing you do will make a difference in a particular circumstance. Do you recognise any of these attitudes in yourself? If so, there’s good news.
Dr Paul Meier, a Christian psychiatrist, said, ‘Attitudes are nothing more than habits of thought, and habits can be acquired. An action repeated becomes an attitude realised.’ That means with practice, you can develop an overcoming attitude. Here’s how:
(1) Be honest about your quest to conquer pessimism. Give someone you respect the permission to point out when you are being negative.
(2) Limit your exposure to negative input. Since you become like the company you keep, look for people who fortify your faith and not feed your fears. ‘Walk with the wise and become wise.’ (Proverbs 13:20 NLT)
(3) Volunteer to serve others who are less fortunate. Serving creates positive feelings and gives you a sense of value; it’s also the right thing to do.
(4) Look for the good in every situation and always express faith that it’s there! US President Harry Truman said, ‘A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities, and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
When you face a difficulty today, see it as an opportunity because ‘He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.’