“I have found myself struggling to remain optimistic recently.”
“Me too, part of me has a long term sense of impending doom.”
“But I am positive about what we are doing just now to cope and adapt.”
This was the gist of the exchange between two social sector leaders today on a support call. Both of them had made recent financial investments to expand their organisations in the next year. Optimism and positivity have some important differences. One can choose to act positively as a leader in the midst of various challenges. Positive thinking or a positive mindset can enable us to remain solutions-focused and help our team of people take action with the belief that we can weather this storm and get through this.
On the other hand, optimism and pessimism are often traits associated with our make up as human beings. My friend and I are at opposite ends of this spectrum, where I would often describe myself as relentlessly optimistic, my friend is very much on the pessimistic side, often struggling to see how it could possibly work out in the long run. “How will this all end”, he might say. Or “I can see no future for us”. But whilst organisations tend to favour and gravitate towards optimistic leaders they can be just as damaging, or successful, as pessimistic ones. He is a great leader - and he will often fight harder to take positive action in order to make sure his pessimism doesn’t come true.
So I am trying to embrace the unfamiliar waves of pessimism where I am struggling to remain optimistic - I am not sure it will be alright in the end. I remain very much focused on thinking positively and taking positive action each day. With that in mind, I am off running!
Stay positive folks!