Success and the Optimism Choice

Self confidence is one of the keys to personal and professional success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS and 42 Rules to Jumpstart your Professional Success.  You can become self confident by doing three things.  First, choose optimism.  Believe in your heart of hearts that today will be better than yesterday, and that tomorrow will be better than today.  Second, face your fears and act.  Procrastination and inaction feed fear and rob you of self confidence.  Action cures fear.  Third, surround yourself with positive people.  Don’t let the naysayers into your life.  Hang around with people who are positive about themselves, their careers and life in general.

I was leading a workshop on career and life success the other day.  I mentioned that I think that self confidence is the hinge on which personal and professional success swings and that optimism is the most important ingredient in the self confidence mix.  For me, optimism begins with the ten points of The Optimist Creed.  I have given away a couple thousand copies of The Optimist Creed.  If you would like one, just go to

Today I’d like to focus on the difference between optimists and pessimists.

  • Optimists tend to see problems, failures and setbacks as temporary.
  • Pessimists tend to see problems failures and setbacks as permanent – almost their destiny.
  • Optimists see problems, failures and setbacks as isolated occurrences.
  • Pessimists see problems, failures and setbacks as omnipresent – things from which you can’t escape.
  • Optimists don’t take problems, failures and setbacks personally.
  • Pessimists personalize problems, failures and setbacks.

If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I am an incurable optimist.  I see problems, failures and setbacks not only as temporary, but as opportunities to learn and grow.  I expect things to go well.  When I run into problems, failures and setbacks I’m always a little surprised because I don’t expect them – I do however, plan for them.  Finally, I never take a problem, failure or setback personally.  I’m a human being.  Sometimes I make great decisions.  Sometimes I make poor ones.  My self worth is not threatened by the occasional problem, failure or setback.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are self confident.  Self confident people are optimistic.  Optimism is a conscious choice.  It’s up to you to decide if you will be an optimist or pessimist.  Will you choose pessimism and see problems failures and setbacks as your destiny – things you can’t escape?  Or will you choose optimism and see problems, failures and setbacks as temporary and atypical?  I choose optimism.  To my way of thinking, it’s the foundation of self confidence and success.

That’s my take on the optimism choice.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, you have my deepest thanks and gratitude for reading.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.