Realistic Optimism Leads To Success

Folk wisdom states that if you believe hard enough, visualize the outcome you want and remain focused, you will succeed. True or false? It’s actually not that simple. Research has shown that the confidence you get from being optimistic is an important factor in goal achievement, however, that by itself is no guarantee that you will reach your goals. In fact, if you believe that success will come easily to you; that you deserve to be successful or that “luck” is on your side, you are more likely to be disappointed and fail more often. There’s a simple reason for this – you may fail to put in the necessary work and effort required.

Positive thinking and optimism are essential for success but so is being realistic about what is required to achieve the goal. It is important to understand that success, which lasts, is hard won and challenging to achieve. That awareness generates the determination, grit and necessary effort to persevere. Although positive thinking feels good in the moment, it often bears a false promise. Only when it’s paired with a clear view of potential obstacles will it consistently produce desirable results.

Don’t spend too much time visualizing the end result. Define the steps required you will take to get there. Make sure you remain realistic and open to input and adapt quickly to changes along the way.

Balanced goals provide direction, clarity and purpose, helping us to move forward with our career and our personal life. Having goals translates into more business success, and higher earnings and the ability to have a more fulfilling life outside of work. Watch my video on “Getting to Where you Want to Be

An additional resource I recommend you read is a Harvard Business Review Article – Be An Optimist Without Being a Fool.

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