How to cultivate optimism at work

By only focusing on the issues of suffering at work, we have forgotten to praise the merits of optimism, a quality that is essential for professional development

The innumerable benefits of optimism are well known. Yet optimists seem to be an endangered species. This is probably related to the focus of research on other concepts such as stress, burnout or depression at work, which are certainly very important and topical but may monopolize the attention. To this day, journals have published more than 31,000 articles on workplace stress and 5,000 on burnout, compared to just 1,000 articles on optimism at work. However, optimism is not an innate quality concerning a handful of privileged people, but accessible to all those who wish to seize it..

From a professional point of view, optimism plays an important role: studies show that optimists are healthier, get sick less often, have more citizen behaviors, have higher wages than their pessimistic colleagues and are more performing, committed and satisfied at work. Moreover, there are positive correlations between employees’ optimism and job satisfaction, their performance (assessed by supervisors) and citizen behavior at work.

Optimism is beneficial to health

Studies showed that optimist first-year law students (compared to their pessimistic colleagues), had higher salaries a decade later. Optimism is also linked to entrepreneurial success, through its effect on perseverance and the way entrepreneurs perceive failures. Moreover, optimistic leaders are more innovative compared to those who are pessimistic. Beyond work, various studies show that optimism has multiple beneficial effects on health: optimists (versus pessimists) develop fewer cardiovascular diseases, heal more quickly after a stress episode, have a level of well-being. to be raised and are indirectly protected against burnout and depression.

Relearn how to analyze failures

When facing with a failure, using the explanatory style of the optimists to better understand it turns out to be very useful. Optimists believe that failure is an isolated failure (rather than a logical sequence of failures) that is “temporary” (and therefore will end one day) and that may be due to a factor beyond their control. That said, because a reduction of negative thoughts does not lead to an increase in positive thoughts, you should open your box to “positive tools”. Thinking and remembering situations where things went well and went well, allows you to have at your fingertips the information you need for future success.

Enjoy the moment

Sometimes you get the impression that the positive side of a situation is disguised and impossible to find. To avoid falling into this trap, simply play a variant of “Where is Charlie? “. The goal of the game is to find three positive things during the day and write them down. This allows not only to play down and relativize events, but also to learn to see the positive aspects.

Visualize your future success

Thinking about a positive future and believing it, really, is not intuitive for everyone (read also the column: “The desire for success creates success”). Many studies have shown the beneficial effects of techniques such as mental visualization. Just follow these four steps to achieve this:

– Reflect on a particular sphere of life (professional, personal …) and visualize the best version of oneself in a distant future, where things are going well and (realistic) goals have been achieved.

– Write 5 sentences that begin with “in the future I will …”.

– Combine these sentences and create a coherent and detailed personal story.

– For five minutes, imagine and visualize yourself living the story described previously. To practice once a day, at least five days a week, for two weeks. (Technique inspired by the “Best Possible Self” method)

So now, be optimistic !

Categories: self-leadership

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