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The Strength of Optimism
Believe you are a powerful force in your future, and act accordingly!
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The Strength of Optimism

Believe you are a powerful force in your future, and act accordingly

By Sharon Esonis, Ph.D.
Date: 02/24/2013

"Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume there is an instinct for freedom, there are opportunities to change things, there’s a chance you may contribute to making a better world. The choice is yours."
Noam Chomsky

"The pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties."
President Harry S. Truman

With the advent of the Positive Psychology movement, there has been a great deal of increased interest in the topic of optimism. Voluminous and robust research has brought wonderful news indeed for Life Coaching and the field of psychology in general.

Not only does an optimistic approach provide amazing benefits, but it can be learned by anyone… yes, even by dyed-in-the-wool, lifelong pessimists! Optimism has been shown to generate improved physical and mental health, longevity, performance excellence, creativity and success in attaining goals and dreams. According to Professor Martin Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania, optimism has even played a significant role in the outcomes of professional sports and Presidential elections.

Learning the strength of optimism through Life Coaching is a powerful way to find your Positive Path. In my professional training and experience, I have become convinced that working with clients on the cognitive and behavioral components of optimism can be life altering. The process is enjoyable with results often occurring within a short time frame.

What is this promising elixir? Optimism is a belief system with three major components: first, the belief in your own power to make your life and your future better; second, the belief that negative events in your life are not permanent, personal or pervasive; and third, the belief that positive events in your life are permanent, personal and pervasive.

Permanent refers to the lasting effects of an event. If you make a mistake, fail at something, run into an obstacle or encounter some misfortune, do you tell yourself that this is not going to go away or change, that this problem is permanent? Or do you, as the optimist, tell yourself that this is a temporary state of affairs? If something positive happens, do you tell yourself it is temporary, or as the optimist, you tell yourself that it will have a permanent and positive effect on your future?

Personal refers to your interpretation of who is responsible for the event and why it happened. If you are besieged by a negative event, do you believe you are a victim or that you brought this terrible thing upon yourself? Or, as the optimist, do you believe bad things happen to everyone, that your response to them is what will make the difference in the future? If something positive happens, do you tell yourself that this is a fluke, or as the optimist, do you tell yourself that you had a lot to do with this welcome occurrence?

Pervasive pertains to your belief about how other parts of your life will be affected by the event. In the case of a negative event, do you believe this will have a counterproductive influence on other aspects of your life, or as the optimist, believe that the effect will be related only to the area in which it occurred? If a positive event occurs, are you convinced that the results will only be beneficial to this specific part, or as the optimist, do you think that the sunshine will spread throughout your life?

Optimism is about positive, can-do beliefs, expectations, choices and strategies, about knowing you are responsible for your life and that you have the ability to be effective on your own behalf. The optimist learns all he can from adversity and then propels himself forward toward his goals and vision. The optimist takes credit for the things he has accomplished, savors the victories, and utilizes them as fuel for the ongoing journey of dreams and discovery.

If you’d like more in-depth information on ways to build and maintain Optimism in your life, Click Here.

If you’d like to discover your own Positive Path, one that can lead to a life of fulfillment and ultimate personal power, contact Sharon Esonis at (760) 221-8032, or send an email to