expecting success rather than failure, seeing an opportunity rather than a threat; seeing others positively; expecting the future to bring positive change, that things will be better
People with this competence
- See obstacles and bad events as temporary, surmountable, challenges to overcome
- Have a self-talk style that springs from an outlook of expecting success
- Believe not only that they can succeed but also that they will succeed
- Apply this belief to all they do, not just to a single task
- Operate from a mindset of success rather than fear of failure
- See success as a function of people’s motivation and ability
- Believe bad events are not their fault; rather they are just inevitable external realities they can surmount.
- Are unfazed by defeat, and when confronted by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder
- Do not see setbacks as a personal flaw; rather, they see setbacks as temporary
- Do better at work, in school, on the playing field, and in life
- Enjoy better health; and may even live longer, according to recent research
People lacking this competency
- Expect the worst
- See setbacks as pervasive, always present and indicative of their entire life
- Give up more easily
- Are prone to depression; their health can suffer
- Believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and even that misfortune is their own fault
- Attribute success to luck rather than their own capabilities
- Feel helpless and listless most of the time
- Tune into your self-talk about the adversity in your life.
- Examine your beliefs about the adversity, or how you interpret it.
- Take note of your feelings about these beliefs – do you feel sad, anxious, joyful, guilty?
Note that pessimistic explanations result in passivity and dejection and optimistic explanations energize you.
- Dispute the negative beliefs; don’t allow them to become habitual or circle endlessly through your mind (e., “this is absurd, I’m blowing things out of proportion”)
- Look for evidence or alternative explanations to dispute negative beliefs (“There’s noevidence here that I’m a failure; I just messed up this time.”)
- “De-catastrophize” (term borrowed from D Martin Seligman, see below)