Positivity alone is a recipe for delusion.
Pessimism alone is a recipe to never achieve what you really want out of life.
Your goal should be to be sincerely optimistic, and today I’m going to show you how to get there.
Which are you? Are you more pessimistic? Are you more realistic? Are you toxically positive? Or are you genuinely optimistic? Because here’s the thing about pessimists and toxic, positive thinkers:
Pessimists are always more accurate… but only because their dreams are so small.
Toxic, positive thinkers are consistently less successful… because they lack the realism necessary to look at their life.
This topic was inspired by my friend Brian. As we were traveling together to our best friend’s bachelor party, he asked me a really interesting question, “I want to be less pessimistic and more positive. How can you be more positive?”
My answer, “You don’t want to be positive. You want to be optimistic.”
You might be wondering the same thing as Brian at this point—what’s the difference? Aren’t positivity and optimism the same thing?
They’re not. They’re very, very different.
I am an incredibly positive person but it's authentic and it's real. I don't have to force myself to do this. The reason I'm telling you that is because I used to force it! I used to be the guy who used positivity as a coping mechanism for my insecurities. On the outside, I was pretending everything was totally fine. But on the inside? On the inside I was dying.
Positivity was a way to shield myself from the pain that I would have to endure to grow. I was completely ignorant to it.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase; ignorance is bliss. But it’s not. Ignorance is pain. It’s pain because it leads to more pain in life that you aren’t expecting. When you’re in a place of genuine optimism, you’ll honor the challenges in your life. But when you’re in a place of toxic positivity, you’ll pretend things don’t exist.
I’m going to take you through a way of identifying which of the following you are: toxic positive thinker, pessimist, or genuinely optimistic. Be honest with yourself during this self-evaluation, because if you are, you can begin your transformation.
Toxic Positivity Identifiers
A huge identifier that you’re living in the land of toxic positivity is avoidance. You’ll pretend problems are smaller than they are or that they don’t exist. Toxic positivity will never get you to where you want to go and cause other people to look at you like something's off.
Have you ever been in business and you're that person sharing all of these positive, uplifting, happy things? I used to be that person. People were never able to connect with me. Why? Because perceived perfection equals no connection. If you’re in a place where you're posturing or showing that life doesn't have challenges, people will brush it off.
When you’re toxically positive, you also tend to crave validation and significance. You’ll use your positivity to be seen, but it feels empty even while you crave that significance on a deeper level. Positivity becomes a coping mechanism for your insecurities.
One last sign of toxic positivity is that you use the consumption of personal development as a way to shield yourself from going through the challenge of actually changing your circumstance.
Positivity is a good thing when it’s a byproduct of your optimism, but harmful and toxic when it’s a way to distract yourself from the realities of life.
Pessimism is the flip side of toxic positivity. It's still toxic, but its focus is more on the negative. Now, what does pessimism mean? Pessimism means that you let fear win. It means that you are afraid to get hurt, and you tie your worth to results. All this means is you will minimize what you're going after so that you're never wrong.
Living in the land of pessimism, you will value accuracy at an extreme level.
Here's the thing, most people that label themselves as pessimists are just realistic. They're not actually pessimists because true pessimists are gutless. If you are pessimistic, it means that you won't go after anything in life because you're expecting life to be rigged against you and never to get what you want.
On the scale of pessimism there is also realism to address. Realism can still be toxic because you’ll still shrink your dreams down to make sure you can hit them. They also still tie their worth to an outcome. Even though they may take more action than a pessimist would, a realist isn't actually living in the feelings of their wishes on a regular basis.
Genuine Optimism Identifiers
Optimism is the sweet spot! This is where you want to be because when you’re optimistic you can do three things simultaneously:
An optimist values growth over accuracy. They know they’re going to be wrong most of the time. But here’s the thing, when you value growth over accuracy, you still win. Because even if you miss the goals you set, you’ve learned something from them. You’re also naturally setting bigger goals and dreams that cause you to think differently.
To be truly optimistic, you need to accept the current reality of your life and the challenges in it. A lot of self-worth work is needed to be a sincere optimist. You need to do the deep worth work on yourself so that no outcome ever impacts your worth. If an outcome does, you’ll sway to one side or the other of toxic positivity or pessimism.
After reviewing these you may find yourself asking yourself, “Why am I so pessimistic?” or “What am I using toxic positivity as a shield for?” then you should take my free quiz.
This quiz will give you some insight into where your feelings of worth are getting tied up with your results. Because that’s what’s causing the pessimistic, realistic, and toxic positivity in your life.
Not only that, but the quiz will help you identify your unique archetype, your success starting point, your current beliefs about life—and then something really interesting happens. Suddenly, you're self-aware enough to say, “OK, that's been limiting me in the past. Now I'm going to change it.”
Take the free quiz: quizzes.bradbizjack.com
I hope this added new insight and value into your life today. I’m looking forward to hearing how you transform from your current starting point to a place of genuine optimism. Thank you so much for tuning into The Path to Mindset Mastery. Always remember, you’re only one insight away from a radically different life!
Next week, I have a huge announcement for you. Stay tuned!
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