Staying optimistic can be tough. Taking an optimistic and positive view also creates more stability and possibility in a time where things might seem fragile and frustrating. Tapping into your optimism and taking full advantage of your resources can be simple. Here's how:
1. Look beyond the moment, take the long view.
Worry can be daunting. The moment to moment to do’s can be overwhelming and distracting. Yes, what you do now matters. Every moment counts. This being said, the troubling times of right now are not permanent. Take the long view, think about how much has been overcome and surmounted up until now. Pregnancy is a great example of taking the long view: 9-10 months of potential discomfort, uncertainty, new requirements and responsibility, all lead to new life, new possibility, new family.
Consider all you have gone through & grown through. Think about how potentially amazing the future can be and consider how this difficult experience you are going through (or those of the recent past) might just be preparing you for the success and satisfaction ahead. Like Stephen Colbert recently reminded, “Every bit of darkness is only for now. The light always wins.”
2. Laugh with fear.
Make progress and overcome the analysis paralysis by laughing at the unknown, your uncertainty, and the irony of life. Laughing can be so cathartic. Even when you are scared, don’t dismiss the fear but don’t take it as the whole truth either. Humor can be a way to avoid facing things that are unsettling, yet for most it is an under-utilized tool. Laughing sparks the “feel good” hormones in the body and brain, which lead to more optimism and happiness. Who couldn’t use some more of this?
Taking things super seriously is an vicious cycle that strips away all joy. A little laughter can go a long way.
3. Trust your ability to change.
Whether making new choices to get different results or seeing through a different lens, you have incredible power in you. Change comes with being alive, choosing how you change is a real life super power. What’s done is done but your ability to respond to what’s happened is still in your control. Every day, you are becoming… either you are changing in empowering ways or continuing unconscious patterns. Wake up, trust yourself, choose how you want to live and change, grow, evolve. How beautiful can it get? It’s up to you, you change agent, you.
4. Team up with your people.
We become who we spend the most time with. If you want to be more positive, optimistic and upbeat, surround yourself with people who embody these traits. It's tough, if not impossible, to change and evolve if you're being held down or back by old, outdated energy. For example, if you make a commitment to exercise daily while most of your friends prioritize drinking and Netflix, more than likely you will revert to what they do, and there goes your commitment follow through. On the other hand, if you team up with or befriend energetic and enthusiastic nature lovers, it's probable you will start hiking, rock climbing or even ocean swimming before you know it.
The same is true if you want to see the world through the eyes of gratitude and positivity. Being around those who constantly gossip or complain will make it difficult to stay upbeat. Who is someone who radiates positivity and brings out the best in you? Give them a call and set up a date.
Set yourself up for success and satisfaction. Surround yourself with people who have what you want, value what you do and even further along the path you are starting. Mentors, coaches, masterminds, group classes and support groups can be incredible resources and accountability in getting you to where you want to go.
With optimism comes more to be optimistic about. Perspective is everything! In this moment, maximizing what's here leads to new awareness and possibility. Start simply. Start small.
What is one thing you can do today to increase your optimism and make the most of where you are?
Dreaming can be seen as indulgent, unimportant, even counterintuitive. Not only have I been judged by others for having a curious mind and vibrant imagination at times, I have also judged myself. Harshly. In a world that praises logical, linear, productivity above most else, dreaming and giving valuable time toward the "unreasonable, unrealistic, creative fodder" is a target for labels like avoidant, silly or even stupid. Surely, this is not how all people view (day)dreaming and creative play, though it seems to be commonplace. As I have noticed the judgments around creativity, I have been asking new questions. These have sparked new discoveries, revealing the reason behind my own daydreaming nature and how it can serve everyone to dream a little bit more.
Why do I dream?
Why does it matter?
Why should you dream, too?
Wired for anxiety, or at least living with it for much of my life, dreaming and accessing the nonlinear, creative side of my self has saved me from sometimes debilitating worry. Without this outlet, the ability to redirect energy from anxiety into curiosity, I have plummeted into depression and ill health. Through creativity I have accessed my wholeness. This has been a journey, both of courage and experimentation. I denied the dreamer in me through my loyalty to producing, having something to show for myself... all to no avail because the To Dos are never ending. Dreaming must be prioritized to be profited from.
Dreaming is not living in a fantasy world where the daily tasks are ignored, nor is it denying the hurts or difficulties of our current world. Dreaming is a doorway into a grander perspective, a language beyond words, a world of possibilities that aren't yet tangible. Dreaming connects us to our spirit, bringing us from the world of mental into that beyond thinking. When we dream we tap into what is possible and a path is paved to bring us there.
Have you ever made a bold wish only to find "coincidences" or synchronciities all around you that made the desire, the one that seemed outlandish, come to pass? This is the reality of dreaming. Until we dream it, it cannot be. Everything in this world is the result of somebody's courageous dream.
Think about it, every invention and creation and staple of society was once a thought someone called unrealistic.
Dreaming is a creative act. This can come in many forms, whether writing, drawing, wandering through a book store, collaging, cooking or gardening. This act of creativity includes seeing from multiple perspectives instead of just one, considering another's perception and seeing how it might apply to your own experience.
Dreaming + Creating = Visioning.
Without dreams, without curiosity, without creative questions, change cannot be accessed consciously. Dreams bring us to new heights, guide us in overcoming our hurdles with a sense of purpose and meaning.
I dream to escape the habits that I spent many years forming, those of worry and fear driven thinking and action. I dream because it connects me to something greater than myself, to spirit and life that cannot be predicted. I dream because I know there is something beyond what my eyes can reach that will be powerful and pioneering. I dream because I want to grow, because I am driven to become greater, to increase my capacity and make an impact on the world around me. I dream because it's fun, because it rattles me out of my ruts and into my essence. I dream because defying the odds is more worthwhile than succumbing to fear and being mediocre. I dream because I'm human and want to know what superhuman feels like, even if just for brief moments. I dream because there's magic in mystery, in tapping into the pool of unknown, grand, mystical, awe inspiring ideas that my mind can't wrap itself around. I dream because it challenges me, inspires me, pulls me forward.
Why do you dream?
Whether you are running from a nightmare or running toward a dream, expand your edges. Allow the creative to sweep you up, to guide you, to comfort you, to smooth your edges, to soften your fears, to lift you into a new perspective, to delight you and irk you and anything else it will do with you.
DREAM. Dream yourself into the vision you have for your life, for the world, for what's possible, for what could be, for what could no longer bind you...
What do you dream of?
If you don't know how to dream, click here to be in touch with me for a few ideas on how to stir the creative in you. It can be simple. It can be scary. It can be sweet. What I know for sure is that you are designed to dream & if you can dream it it can be.
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one..."
With Huge Heart,
Need help turning your dreams into real life? Contact me for coaching.
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas