Monty Python definitely got something right when he said, ‘Don’t grumble, give a whistle’. Often, when we’re not feeling our best, both at work or otherwise, things simply don’t go their best either. Optimism at work may sound like an oxymoron, but we firmly believe that when looking at things through a happier lens, they really do become better.
Being an optimist at work does not mean being unrealistic. Bad days happen, work is not always rainbows and butterflies, and smiling at all times is close to impossible (potentially annoying for those around you). Being an optimist at work does not even mean finding the good in every situation – it simply means that life’s worse moments do not cause unnecessary stress. Optimism is how you approach situations, both good and bad ones.
Is optimism really the key?
An optimistic outlook immediately increases our positive feelings at work. People high in optimism expect that they’re going to experience positive and favourable outcomes. Forbes asked people to rate how inspired they are to give their best effort at work and revealed that highly optimistic people are 103% more inspired to do so!
What can I do to be more optimistic?
Mind your language
As humans, we’re often influenced by what we see and hear, and what we say to ourselves is no exception. Being more mindful of any negative defining language we use is a great tip people in the psychology profession give to help their clients.
It’s very easy for us to say ‘things never go right’, but if you were to really analyse that statement, you will notice the exaggeration and severity of it. Try asking yourself ‘How can I improve things today?’. What the second approach implies is that today, things may not be their best, but there can be good parts, and tomorrow is another day. The words we say have an effect on us, both consciously and subconsciously. Try changing your words to positive ones that will help, not hinder you.
The way we use language not only affects us personally, but those around us too. All employees at all levels, but even more so if you’re in a managerial role, you should ensure that your language does not dampen spirits. People are automatically more attracted to people who are optimistic, so do try your best to help lift others up whenever possible.
Dwelling on things that could have been almost comes naturally to us, both professionally and personally. Making up scenarios in our head to finish a story or change an ending happens far more often than we’d like. ‘What if I had taken that promotion? I could be rich right now!’. Yes, you could be rich. But you could also be poor. Daydreaming and creating fantasies does nothing to help our current reality – make sure you keep your momentum going by moving forward, not remaining stuck in the what ifs.
Be kind to each other!
Clashes at work are normal, and no amount of optimism will reduce their occurrence. What we can do, however, is change the way we deal with these clashes. Your colleagues are people, just like you. We all have our good and bad days – make sure to lift others when they’re low.
Is your manager not doing their job as well as you think they should be? Instead of focusing on their shortcomings, find ways to be more productive and proactive. Is your colleague constantly complaining? Carve some time out of your day to simply listen to their woes, and try to make their day better. When everyone feels their best, performance and productivity (not to mention morale) are also at their best. Empathy goes a long way!
Optimism at work is no easy feat. It’s all about developing a mindset that views ‘bad’ as part of life, part of the process. Optimism will not remove our professional life’s more difficult moments, but it will help you learn how to deal with them better.
At Ceek, we are always optimistic that everyone can find the right career path for them. If you’re looking for job opportunities, we would love to hear from you. If you’re an employer looking for your next star candidate, get in touch and search with Ceek!