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Self motivation part 10

Optimism vs pessimism

If your natural view on life is pessimistic you can alter this by gradually building up optimistic opinions.
This needs to be done slowly and consistently via small steps. Eventually, you may be surprised at your results.

The human brain has many thousands of thoughts each day so trying to change dominant habits may take a little time.

Pessimists tend to look for hurdles and encourage failure while the optimist will look for the possible benefits and be more successful.

When faced with what might seem an overwhelming task the pessimist will hold up his or her hands and give up.
The optimist on the other hand faces exactly the same problem and begins to think how he or she will get round it.
Breaking up a task into manageable chunks and even doing them over a period of time can be the answer.
Days or weeks later, the optimist has been successful and the pessimist hasn’t even started on the problem.

The solution to a problem may not jump up and bite you immediately.
However, the optimist is prepared to think it through until a solution is reached.
In these situations the pessimist will justify their position by thinking he or she is just being a realist but in fact is just giving up at the first hurdle.

Everyone will have negative thoughts and will be confronted with what appears at first glance to be a pretty grim situation.
Such events test your resolve. You may feel helpless or even angry.
In these situations you mustn’t fall into the trap of negative thinking which makes the position feel worse, lowers motivation and it quickly spirals downwards.

You could try this technique:

List all of the negative affects as you perceive them.
Then list all of the positives you can get from the situation in terms of gaining experience.
Go over each of the negative points and see if you can turn these to your advantage.
In this way you force yourself to become optimistic.
Eventually a solution may show itself or in the worse case scenario areas of experience can be gained.

If you have optimistic parents, in particular your mother, you are much more likely to be optimistic yourself.
The trouble with pessimism is that it is easy to blame someone else for the situation.
This reinforces the idea that you are being controlled by others instead of taking the lead yourself.

It is easy for a pessimist to take a minor injustice and exaggerate it wildly.

A pessimist may not be able to see anything positive in life.
However, if they are threatened with a major catastrophe, for example death, then they can usually find plenty of good reasons for being alive.

An optimist doesn’t run away from problems as he or she will expect them.
They face them and look for solutions.

Pessimists approach problems with a view to moaning about them while the optimist will be aware of the problem but suggest a solution at the same time.
This is particularly important in the work scenario where managers are keen to hear solutions instead of continued whining about things going wrong.

See yourself

Many people are more concerned how others view them than how they view themselves.
This becomes another example of how others begin to shape your life and not you.
You are being judged purely on what you let others see.

Another example of this is the constant fishing for compliments by being too self deprecating hoping that a person will pay you an extra compliment.

In similar fashion to leadership (see The Complete Leadership package) you must raise motivation by example.
In this case, there is no point in trying to motivate others until you are happy with your own level of motivation.

What if you are the problem in a motivational situation?
Sometime it is a good exercise to actually ask yourself if you are the problem.
The aim is not to make you depressed but to see if there are any areas in which you may be able to make things run a little more smoothly.

Mahatma Gandhi once said:
“You should be the change that you want to see in the world.”

You can’t run a business if no one has any opinions otherwise all ideas and decision making will be just down to you.
You need people to have opinions.
Hence, you must encourage opinions and have them yourself.
However, don’t go too far and become opinionated but you must have the confidence to express your point of view.

There should be no need to be robotic at work and human at home try to be yourself in both areas.

Make light of it

Fear of a task can be quite debilitating.
If you can make light of it and view it non seriously the fear will begin to dissolve.

Bring a problem out into the open by discussing it with someone.
Write out a list of facts about the behavioural fear.
Try to engineer an amusing situation about each one.
By the end of an exercise like this the fear will seem a lot less significant.

Be greedy

Money is often considered to be a dirty word.
Without it life can be pretty tough.
You should not feel guilty about trying to make a lot of money as this can be a very good motivator.
This does not mean that you should tread on everyone in your path but that you should be on the look out for opportunities to increase your earning power.

When you start to think about how this may happen it may seem physically and mentally impossible to earn any more than you are at the moment.
One technique to use here is a brain storm technique where the problem you must solve is how to earn more money.
Instead of having a fixed ‘stated problem’ you need to exaggerate what your earning goal may be.

Let’s say that you earn £35,000 per year and you want to raise this to £45,000 set your goal much higher at say £80,000.
The extra leap will help you to develop ideas that may have felt impossible to achieve.
Then start to list ideas and don’t worry about how foolish they may seem.
Many will be either totally impractical or even illegal but eventually you will focus on ideas that you really could do if you were prepared to put in the effort.

Some of your ideas may require both short and long term actions, for example to study for a particular qualification.
You may never have prepared a Curriculum Vitae or updated it for some time.
Other steps may necessarily have an impact on your family and social life.