“When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.” ~Harvey Mackay
Let me ask you something. Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? If you’re dealing with the toxic gaslighting and other types of mental or emotional abuse of a narcissist, you might have trouble staying positive – I know I did back then.
But here’s the thing. Being angry or negative all the time can literally KILL you – but being an optimistic person can pay off in health dividends.
Optimistic people are happier, and that state of mind offers so many health benefits.
Listen, everyone can have a day where we get discouraged and fail to look at the bright side of the situation – that’s normal.
What’s not normal is to live in a state of negative focus.
How can you tell where you stand on the optimism versus pessimism scale? You can take the pessimism test and find out which way you lean – and if you discover that you have more pessimistic traits than optimistic ones, you can learn how to change them.
The Pessimism Test
The test is a test based on psychologically phrased questions that can detect your amount of cynicism, which of course, pessimistic people have in spades.
Your level of happiness is directly related to whether you see things negatively or positively. This doesn’t mean that you automatically think that every single person in the world is good and none of them are out to take advantage of you.
If you’re too trusting, you can leave yourself wide open to all sorts of situations that aren’t good for you – financially or otherwise. You have to strike a healthy balance between the positive and negative outlook.
The focus of the pessimism test is on how you view various situations that occur in life.
For example, say a young friend of yours wouldn’t listen to his father’s advice and ended up buying a clunker of a car that spends more time in the shop than it does on the road.
Would your reaction be A.) He should have listened to his father – he got what he deserved or B.) He’s young, he made a mistake but he’ll learn with experience?
If you chose A for your answer, then you chose a more pessimistic response. The more negative the response, the higher the odds that you’re dealing with some pessimistic traits.
Now ask yourself about your future. Where do picture yourself ten years from now? Are you in the same job? Are you happy? Did you know that pessimism is often considered the opposite of hope?
It kills dreams and chains people to drudgery. If you often don’t see the use in applying for the job you’ve always wanted or taking a chance to change your life in some way, then odds are high that you’re looking at things with a pessimistic view.
Taking a pessimism test can show you what areas of your life you need to fight to keep from being tied to a pessimistic attitude. Don’t look at any situation in your life (no matter how tough) and see only the impossibilities.
Search for the possibilities. Just because you have challenges with something, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. Start today and think, speak and live positively. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.
What do you think? Can you be an optimist? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.