A lot of people in this world are accused of having blind optimism. Of being too naïve, trusting, and overconfident in their own abilities to manifest their biggest dreams even when there’s no evidence of it.
When people say that I’m a Negative Nancy, they’re always right.
Now, I realize that being more on the pessimistic side is a lot better than being fully optimistic in many ways — I believe that the worst is way more likely to happen than the best, my highly cautious nature has saved my life countless times, and I’m very wary of ways I could be manipulated, cheated, and taken advantage of.
While I am fascinated by all the hypothetical ways the future could turn out and could spend hours delving into theories, both in fictional worlds and reality, I know that the future can be imagined from a holistic perspective and expressed in a few words — global war, death by the billions, totalitarian government takes over, economic collapse, dissenters must find a way to survive or risk being killed, resources grow extremely scarce, natural disasters destroy the earth.
I do believe that in the grand scheme of things, the world will grow worse and a catastrophic end is inevitable.
But when it comes down to day-to-day living, I realize how much I’ve allowed these futilist beliefs to seep into the way I view my overall trajectory in life.
I’ve made up too many excuses to cover up the deep-rooted fear I had of working hard at something I care about and then having my efforts be rendered useless by some uncontrollable circumstance that would be infinitely beyond my own abilities to overcome.
I’ve stewed in envy and self-loathing as I kept ruminating over all the ways people in the past have compared me to others and in the most counterproductive way (PSA: if you’re dealing with an Enneagram wing 4, pitting us against other people and labeling our differences as deficiencies is a big no-no).
Even though it’s already 2020 and I keep telling myself I should just “get over it all,” the feelings still linger.
Depression still overpowers me. Anxiety still sends shockwaves through my system. My pessimism binds me to illusions that I perceive as a harsh, unmovable reality that I can’t control, not even a little.
For much of my life (with the exception of early childhood), I was always believed that being pessimistic could protect me in a way that being optimistic couldn’t.
That would also explain why I roll my eyes at posts that tell me to just “be happy and more positive.”
However, I realize that I’ve constructed a false dichotomy between pessimism and optimism and that there is such thing as blind pessimism that slowly but surely consumes the spark within you that compels you to defy your own limitations and ascend, not for the sake of laud or vainglory, but for self-evolution that shifts one from being a victim to being a victor.
There would be many days when I’d see my work as futile and I succumb to bitter nihilism.
But I am starting to awaken from this sleep.
I still expect to succumb to it. I still expect everything to be difficult. I still expect life to have more valleys than peaks.
Yet I know I truly don’t want to sacrifice myself at the altar of rigid, callous, and soul-crushing pessimism anymore.
I don’t want to look back 10 years from now and say that I wish I’d done more to help myself heal and tap into the creative stream that I feel is deep within my bones, aching from holding everything in. Heck, right now, I look back at my past self this way.
It was a series of small inactions made out of cripplingly doubt and loss of faith in myself that led me to deep slumber, but I’ve reached a breaking point.
Blind pessimism is ruining the way I view the world and my place in it.
It’s time to change that.