I Suck At Optimism

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I’m doing my best to fill that glass up, but today is just not the day. Maybe I don’t 100% suck at optimism, but I’m much better at gratitude. I’m not sure why gratitude is easier for me, but I’m glad that optimism is a skill that can be learned.

My nightly gratitude practice has been in place for over a year. On and off, for over 5 years. Maybe that is why I feel stronger in my gratitude practice than in my ability to be optimistic. Maybe my gratitude habit just flows better because it is easier to dissect something that has already happened.

Maybe it is because today just sucks. Some days are harder than others. Sometimes the bad days sneak up on you (unexpectedly getting laid off, accidents, falling ill, fights with loved ones, unexpected deaths), and sometimes you have a warning (funerals, memorial services, upcoming birthdays of loved ones that have passed). I knew this would be a rough weekend in advance.

The main point is that it takes a long time to build up any skill, optimism included. This morning I had a difficult time thinking about this post. To be honest, I seriously considered asking Brian to write today’s post for me. This would violate our agreement of alternately writing posts. More importantly, after that first thought flitted through my head: “Just have Brian do it”. My immediate response was: “No, you have to do it. And you have to do it specifically because today is hard.”

I didn’t ask Brian to step in because I have to do the heavy lifting myself. Like all the skills and mindset shifts we talk about in Agile Best Self, learning the skill of being optimistic is hard. I will make mistakes; I will go down rabbit holes. I will look for experts who can give me an easy button. I will get frustrated. I will want it to be linear and logical. I will have to stop myself and give myself permission to be angry and sad and not perfect.

The paradox of this work is that I have to go it alone while I am surrounded and supported by my like-hearted community and trusted circle.

I have have a long way to go. And that is ok. I know y’all have my back. And that helps me know that it is all going to work out.

Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Published by MichaeleBestSelf

Connector, Catalyst.

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