The power of optimism and hope.
As an individual I am generally fairly optimistic and upbeat, but there have been times in the past five years when my normal levels of optimism have dipped and been accompanied by increased levels of fearfulness and anxiety.
There are a number of reasons for my ‘dips’, both professional and personal, but I believe my increased levels of professional optimism today is due, in part to feeling more in control of my own destiny as a result of the potential I see for my network marketing venture.
So in this post I would like to explore ‘optimism’ and how it might be related to the concept of ‘locus of control’, the idea that people are generally either predisposed towards an external or internal locus of control. An idea originally conceived by Julian Rotter, in the 1950s.
People with an internal locus of control, tend to feel and believe that they can influence and have some control over events and their outcomes. They generally attribute their success and achievements in life to their own efforts and tend to take the control they can in any given situation.
However, someone with an ‘external’ locus of control, will in general believe and feel that they are at the ‘mercy of fate’, there is little they can do to influence or change things. They find it difficult to identify and take the control that is available to them and may well use negative ‘self-talk’ to maintain a state of ‘victimhood’.
Perhaps this seems obvious, but it occurs to me that those people who have a tendency to attribute success, or ‘failure’ to their own efforts might well be more inclined towards optimism and hopefulness. They may well have the attitude, ‘I can do better, next time.’
So where would you place yourself?
And if you are generally more inclined towards an ‘external locus of control, what can you do about it?
Well, maybe recognising it in yourself, might not be a bad place to start.
It is also probably worth acknowledging that in any given situation you always have a choice, it’s just that you may not like the choices available to you at that moment in time.
Actively, practice looking for where you can take control. At the very least you can always take control over how you feel.
Start paying attention to your ‘self- talk’, what are you habitually saying to yourself? Is your language ‘peppered’ with ‘nevers’, ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’?
There is a wonderful saying, that goes along the lines of ‘be careful what you say to yourself as you are the one always listening.’
When things don’t go according to plan, practice asking, what can I learn from this? What did I do well? What will I do next time? Questioning a situation is a great way to regain a sense of control and mastery over it.
When things aren’t going well there are days when I need to remind myself that, “Tomorrow is another day”, from the film Gone with the Wind.
So there you have it, until next time