Recently I’ve asked myself the question, “Am I easily discouraged?” Sometimes I’ve had a guaranteed yes, other times I’m convinced I have unlimited courage. What makes it hard is that, in the particular situation, both things happen consecutively.
When something comes up, my first reaction is a mild defiance. “No, i’m not bad at that.” “Everything’s fine.” “I’ll make it better, then.” I have a heroic mindset that illustrates me as the perfect angel I think I am. It’s like the denial stage in mourning, which I think is a logical comparison.
Then, it’s like i’m shot out of a cannon and I did not land on the mat. My world goes downhill. I am miserable. I hate myself. Eventually, that hate turns around, and I start hating the people responsible. “Those jerks, how dare they fire me.” “Fine, I won’t be bothering with them anymore.” “They’re going to regret that.” Anger. Mindless, stupid anger.
Something begins to override that, however. I jump into planning. “Alright, I need to do this, this, and this.” “I will start applying now.” “I’ll talk to them tonight.” I immediately begin taking action to better the future. It’s like a shot of caffeine and suddenly Go, Go, Go!
I think it’s safe to say I do get easily discouraged, but the time it lasts has gotten shorter and shorter over the years. I’ve trained my brain to think business first, and then once I have that out of the way I allow myself that inevitable cry. It’s a good cry. Sometimes you just need it.
It could be easy to say it’s actually stubbornness rather than optimism, but stubbornness is when you refuse to accept reality. Optimism is when you accept reality but not it’s effects. The reality could be you lost your job, but its outcome does not sway you. You say, “I will search for a new job right away,” and not, “Getting a new job is hopeless.”
When bad stuff happens: understand, realize, plan, move, cry, get up. And watch a movie. Or read a book. Or listen to music. Relax! And remember:
As long as you breathe, you hope.