Optimism is about looking at things in life in a positive way and believing in positive outcomes. It is about believing in yourself and expecting the best from life. Optimistic people see the good in things, rather than focusing on the bad. This can help in overcoming the difficulties, challenges and problems that we come across in life.
Pessimism is the opposite of optimism. Pessimistic people focus on the
negative things in life and expect the worst outcome. They tend to think
that problems are too big to tackle and give up without even trying. This
can result in feelings of hopelessness, which can lead to helplessness
It is important to be realistic when it comes to optimism. We can't always view things favourably; to think that we can wear rose-coloured glasses all the time is not feasible, practical, nor compatible with the realities of human life. We must appreciate that balance is important.
"Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute."
Are you an optimism? Do you see the glass as being half-empty, or half-full? Have a go at the popular Life Orientation Test (Scheier & Carver, 1984). On a scale of 0 (extreme pessimism) to 24 (extreme optimism), how do you rate?
On average, most people score a rating of 15 - this being slightly optimistic.