Optimism is part of mental toughness and the latter is much-misunderstood term. Mental toughness is the outcome, the attribute that you enables you to feel that you can overcome any stumbling block, any down-turn and shake it off. You know that if you dwell on the negatives, they will loom larger and larger in your mind and perspective may be lost. Therefore, negative thoughts are not worth the effort!
Mental toughness is a combined effort of mindset, mental strength and natural disposition. It can, however, be learnt! Mentally tough individuals are found to be more optimistic than others.
Let’s look into how optimism is increased
- PAST Feedback can come form all quarters: your own feedback to yourself, feedback from others, such as a coach or mentor or instructor, feedback in terms of results.
Think of past performances and only consider positive feedback, decide to consciously disregard the rest. This take some mental muscle! However, take stock of the huge array of feedback that came to you; that negative comment was likely in the minority. Now, filter only for positives. I’m not saying accept only praise, but accept criticism given in positive terms on how to improve.
- PRESENT Successful athletes can sift out negative comments and acknowledge only positive feedback. They make regular deposits into their confidence bank account.
Each and every little win, no matter how small, is deposited. Then can draw on this account anytime their resources are a little lower.
- PERSPECTIVE – optimists can gain perspective on their achievements and challenges. They can zoom out of the tiny aspect they are focusing on and see the bigger picture.
They know that there are peaks and troughs in the day to day minutiae, but learn to look at the overall upward trend over time. This directly influences their motivation and confidence.
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