Tag Archives: Self-improvement

Stifle your Inner Pessimist

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pessimist

Merriam-Webster defines pessimism as “an inclination to emphasize adverse aspects, conditions, and possibilities or to expect the worst possible outcome.” We all have our moments when we view our glasses as half-empty, but when people are plagued by pessimism, frankly, they’re no fun to be around.

Often, people become pessimistic when they are under stress. Losing a loved one or a job, or experiencing a crisis such as a fire, an accident, or an illness can color your outlook with gloom.

But pessimism harms you:

  • By stealing your joy when something good happens, because you anticipate everything that could go wrong (yes, she agreed to go out with me, but when she finds out I earn minimum wage, she’ll dump me for someone richer)
  • By preventing you from making positive changes in your life, because you fear you’ll fail (I could apply for a promotion, but if I don’t get it, everyone will think I’m a loser)
  • By highlighting other people’s worst qualities, which will destroy your trust
  • By giving you a negative attitude about life, causing anxiety, depression, and even physical ailments like insomnia and high blood pressure, which can weaken you and make you susceptible to disease

Though a pessimistic attitude is harmful, there are times when a moderate amount of pessimism is useful:

  • When you’re contemplating an investment, you’re more likely to scrutinize it to be sure it’s a solid opportunity for you
  • When someone phones you with a deal that’s too good to be true, you’re less likely to fall for a scam
  • When someone you know to be unreliable makes a promise, you won’t count on them, so you’ll create a backup plan; or you’ll be pleasantly surprised when they keep their word
  • When you’re asked to take on a responsibility that you know is out of your skill set, you’ll find it easier to decline

Nevertheless, too much pessimism will affect you negatively. It’s important to change your mindset to allow for positivity. Some strategies to try:

  • When something you anticipate being problematic actually goes smoother than you expected, celebrate it! Say out loud, “That went better than I thought it would.” Analyze what went right—the customer service representative knew just how to handle your concern (be sure to thank him); the miscalculation you made was caught and corrected before it had a chance to affect anything; the work product you thought was too ordinary turned out to be exactly what the client was hoping for. Then file your success in your memory bank to refer to when you’re in a similar situation.
  • If you suspect your friends are avoiding you, do a little honest introspection. When you get together, do you vent your frustrations? Talk about all your problems? Shoot down possible solutions? Try this little experiment. Call one of your friends, and ask him something about his life. How was his vacation? What did he do, who did he see? Listen, and resist the impulse to steer the conversation onto a negative topic. Instead, ask more questions about your friend’s experiences.
  • When you have to do something you’re worried about, instead of focusing on all the things that could go wrong, imagine what the best possible outcomes would look like. Is there something you could do to prepare for a good result? Maybe wear an outfit that makes you feel more professional? Do a little research or review policies? Tape an affirmation over your desk?

Creative Juice #187

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Creative Juice #187

Don’t spend one more day not knowing about these things:

Creative Juice #180

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Creative Juice #180

Pretty things and creepy things. Great ideas and sad thoughts.

  1. Gorgeous creepy crawlers.
  2. A different kind of book nook. I didn’t know these were a thing.
  3. Do you have lots of scraps in your fabric stash? Here are some ideas of what to do with them.
  4. Photography on grass.
  5. Suicide’s painful legacy. Don’t do it. Ask for help.
  6. Amazing underwater photography.
  7. This Vile painter will make you see through walls.
  8. If your favorite cartoon characters were fossils. . .
  9. A gorgeous travel-sketch-journal to inspire you.
  10. I’m sharing this post about the Road to California quilt show especially because it features a quilt made by the fabulous Cindy Stohn.
  11. Read these 25 excellent suggestions for improving your life and be encouraged.
  12. Nathalie goes to Austin. (I have a friend who lives there. Now that I know how cool it is, I’ll have to go visit her. . .)

Creative Juice #172

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Creative Juice #172

 

 

 

Creative stuff from all over the internet.

 

 

Creative Juice #165

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Creative Juice #165

A dozen neat things to enjoy this weekend.

Creative Juice #158

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Creative Juice #158

Beautiful and interesting stuff here.

Creative Juice #153

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Creative Juice #153

Twelve articles to inspire you.

In the Meme Time: Habits for Artists

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Habits for Writers

Creative Juice #152

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Creative Juice #152

Nudge your creativity into action with these wonderful ideas:

Creative Juice #151

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Creative Juice #151

Inspiring stuff:

  • Beautiful fungi.
  • You become more skillful as a result of practice. One watercolorist’s story.
  • Kinetic art made out of paper.
  • Advice you can take even if you’re older than 21. You’re never too late to grow wise.
  • How to write 12 books in 12 months.
  • Helpful resources for the journey called Life.
  • Wish your exercise routine could make you more creative? Think color.
  • Crumpled art.
  • I’ve only seen a few of these, and some of them were hard to watch, but this list of classic movies is noteworthy.
  • I wish I’d seen this article before we remodeled our home. . .
  • This article is from a few years ago, but the reasons to read and suggested books are still compelling.
  • Some sketches from Amsterdam (and links to lots more).