Rethinking Positive Optimism

Positive OptimismWhen you face challenges and difficulties you must choose to be optimistic. Choosing to be optimistic does not mean denying the fact that there may be a problem or a negative in your life. Often in an effort to be positive many just live in denial of reality, and that will keep you from growth and living your best life. In my book Life Palette when referring to choosing to be optimistic I said, “This does not mean taking a view that everything in life is rosy or will “somehow work out” regardless of the circumstances.”

  • Positive Optimism Is Not Denial

There are times when the challenges and difficulties that you face will be hard – they are real – and if all you do is try to tune them out and act as though they don’t exist you may be living in denial. Living in denial will almost always make things worse because denial does not allow you to deal with whatever it is that is keeping you from growing and fulfilling your potential. In other words, denial will keep you living in a rut regardless of how optimistic you choose to be.  Choosing to be positive and optimistic does not mean choosing to live in denial.

In the Bible, the writer James shows us how to choose to be positive without denying the negative circumstance and troubles you are facing: “…when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT) It will become very problematic when you are facing a challenge and deny that the challenge exists – you will miss the chance to grow and go forward, to be as James says “fully developed, perfect, complete, needing nothing”. 

  • Embrace Challenge As A Path To Growth

The way you choose positive optimism without denial is to embrace the circumstance as a path to growth and an opportunity for learning, again being “fully developed, perfect, complete, needing nothing”. This requires a step of faith, but then again living out your potential as the masterpiece God created you to be is all about walking in faith. You must embrace that the struggle will take you to a better place and that you will grow through it and that God keeps His Word:  “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT) That is positive optimism versus denial.