Being Optimistic is a Game-Changer

We are not here to constantly worry.

Verena Wilmes
Mar 29 · 3 min read
Photo by Shea Rouda on Unsplash

When we believe, heaven is not empty. When we believe, we give ourselves a chance. When we believe, everything is possible.

Yet, we ask ourselves if we have permission to believe, to believe that something good can happen to us. We hesitate because before we even dare to believe — before we start moving an inch — we already fear disappointment.

We call our doubts justified or we call ourselves realists, but the truth is, we think believing in something or someone — or simply believing — is a risk.

There are few things more tragic than that.

We tell ourselves that we used to believe, that we did everything right and still lost in the end. We were deeply disappointed, and we want to learn from our mistakes, not repeat them.

Whatever happened, being optimistic hurt at one point. Besides, we do not think we can be optimists. Life taught us differently and yes, we have the right to go through life as we like.

However, maybe we only need to be reminded that we are not on this earth to constantly worry, prepare for a possible future crisis, mistrust everything and everyone, and adjust our expectations.

Maybe life is not about seeing the negative as early as possible to avoid disappointment, but about being allowed to experience life with ups and downs that are totally up to our interpretation.

Objectively considered, the optimist probably experiences the same disappointments as the realist, but the interpretation of the reality is a game-changer for the optimist.

Newly transferred tasks at work are no disrespect or insult for the optimist: they are chances to prove him or herself and learn something new that can never be taken away.

The optimist does not ask if something can work, the optimist asks how something can work.

Believing and trusting in something — in ourselves, in goodness — gives us trust and makes us courageous. Courage lets us get active, and seeing that our actions can make a difference gives us hope. Hope lets us always find a way.

How much positive thinking influences our biology and our health is described by Ph.D. Bruce H. Lipton in his book The Biology of Belief.

He explains how the cells in our bodies react to our beliefs. Whenever we choose to have a positive outlook on life and the world, the biochemical signals reaching our cells induce a growth response.

However, when we have negative beliefs, the induced response in our cells is one of fear and closing down in protection mode. This inhibits growth, but the body needs to constantly grow.

In his experiments, Lipton discovered that signals from the central nervous system override local signals emitted from the body and compares this to the power our mind (and therefore, our thinking) has. This is exactly how the placebo and the nocebo effects work. So, according to him, thinking negatively is threatening our health.

Even if we consider ourselves optimists, we are still going to make mistakes and we will still be disappointed at some point; however, we will not see it as a humiliation.

This changes how we handle those circumstances and it changes our outlook on the future. Something we need more than we think, when we cannot let go of the past and repeat over and over again in our head how mistreated we were. The very same thing that seemed to us a memorial for our failure and a warning sign for the future can show us our true strength if we dare to change our perspective.

However, we need to give ourselves a chance for that. It is not the exclusively positive incidents that make an optimist; rather, the optimist forms positive outcomes because this is who he or she is.

When we believe, we recover more quickly. When we believe, heaven is not empty. We are put on this earth to make it a better place — to live a life worth living, to build something. We are not here to constantly worry.

If we truly want to make a better world for ourselves and our kids, we need to be more optimistic.

Miracles can only happen if we have faith in their existence.

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