The “Doubting Pessimist” Profile
“A PESSIMIST SEES THE DIFFICULTY IN EVERY OPPORTUNITY; AN OPTIMIST SEES THE OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY DIFFICULTY.”
~ WINSTON CHURCHILL
If we’re being honest I spent the majority of my life truly believing I was an optimistic person. And it took three simple words to make me realize, I was unknowingly lying to myself. I’ll never forget it, my Aunt and I were talking about any and everything as usual. She’s always up on the latest news, technology, and gossip. She’s really the reason I’m aware of what’s going on in the world (when I choose to hibernate in my hermit bubble and am fighting my urge to google). She uttered the words that soon became her very own catchphrase whenever we had a conversation…”You’re so skeptical!” For some reason instead of my usual “I’m just saying” or “I’m being real,” I asked…”Am I?”
The look she gave me was one that said “No Shit.” And then I thought about it. When I was in my Master’s program we had brief teachings of psychology some parts dealing with optimism and pessimism and I just knew for sure I wasn’t a pessimist especially regarding my career and aspirations. The anal part of me began to look for proof to prove a point. I felt like I was a realist who had a healthy amount of skepticism. But as I researched more of the mindset of a pessimist all I could say was…”no shit.” It was deeper than just being skeptical of the period panty (which is gross by the way, even if I haven’t tried it) or men’s ulterior motives (don’t even get me started, and no I’m not a man basher). I realized I actually let my self-doubt hold me back. But before I get into that I’m gonna break down “The Doubting Pessimist.”
The “Doubting Pessimist” is the poster child for negativity. Your view on life is most definitely the glass half empty. You never try to find the positive in a situation good or bad. You always take the negative approach, mostly due to insecurities of failing and self-doubt. You’re apprehensive about taking chances, feeling like if you don’t try then you have no reason to get your hopes up. The problem is you’re letting yourself miss out on opportunities. The Doubting Pessimist needs to either try to take on a positive outlook or take a chance and just go for whatever it is they’re apprehensive about. Remember failing is an absolute essential for triumph!
- You don’t think of yourself as a pessimist…You’re a realist.
- A Plan A never works…more like Plan B, C, and D.
- You are always ready for worst case scenarios.
- Negativity comes easier than positivity.
- Trust comes hard to you, once you trust someone you are loyal as ever.
- You do manage to get things done because you don’t depend on everything “working out.”
- You believe being positive will 99.9% of the time lead to disappointment.
- You consistently question your ability and talk yourself out of opportunities.
- You rain on other people’s parades.
- You have a difficult time forgiving and tend to hold grudges.
The main causes of this limbo obvious all relate to a difficulty with doubt.
1. A Hopeless Mentality: A hopeless mentality stems from not giving yourself enough credit. When something good happens to someone more optimistic they embrace their victory. But as a pessimist you consider it to be a lucky coincidence. When you have a hopeless mentality you have a hard time relating your actions and efforts to the end result. When you manage to find success at something instead of crediting it to hard work or everything you went through to achieve it, you talk down your success instead of celebrating it.
THE FIX: Find the relation between your actions and your successes, as well as your failures. Next time something good happens to you, pay attention to how you react to it, then take a minute to appreciate it. Now, the next time something bad happens, try to look for at least one positive outcome or aspect. My Uncle always says look for the bit of good in every bad situation. The point is to learn from both success and failure in order to adopt a more hopeful mindset.
2. Holding On to Negativity: Holding onto negativity doesn’t solely include you staying in your own bubble of negativity. A lot of times you pop said bubble just to rain on other people’s parades. You seem to suck all the positivity out of others shooting down things that seem “far-fetched.” You choose to bring them down to your “realistic” (negative) outlook because you see it as necessary. Another aspect of this is the inability to let go of that negativity. If something bad has happened to you or someone has betrayed you or has done you wrong, you have an extremely difficult time letting it go. Holding a grudge is second nature, but when you think about it, all that is doing is draining your emotions and can keeping you in that negative space.
THE FIX: You must first attempt to understand other’s perspective. This will aid in how you influence others as well as letting go of grudges. Before influencing others negatively, try finding a way to support them. Learn to forgive for yourself not others. It is for you to free yourself of negative emotions like resentment, anger, and bitterness. Remember forgiveness doesn’t mean to FORGET what happened, it’s meant to help you move FORWARD.
3. Having No Fight: How often have you started a project only to stop when things start becoming difficult? Do you often assume when faced with certain situations that they won’t work out? You give up easily when faced with challenges, assuming that no matter the amount of effort you put in, it will most likely fail. And when things don’t work out you act as if it’s to be expected. Now let me ask you this, don’t you think that limits your success? In order to be successful, there are many times that you have to believe in yourself when no one else will. Having no fight in you allows you to submerge into the never-ending cycle of self-doubt and pessimism.
The Fix: Don’t give up at the first sign of trouble. Be persistent and fight willingly to solve challenges by continuing to face your adversities. Have you ever heard the saying “Expect the worse BUT hope for the best.” When you do this you can allow yourself to feel disappointment then use it as motivation. However, expecting a positive result can possibly lead to better outcomes. Sometimes when starting out you have to fake the positivity until it becomes a reality that you truly believe in.
When I directed my first short film, it seemed like everything fell into place. It was such a great experience. After it wrapped and we finished editing instead of embracing how well we did. My first thought was, “we got lucky.” Me, a person who is supposed to believe in ordered steps and faith or thinks everything happens for a reason. Instead of giving myself credit for working my ass off and being proud…I always had that little negative voice in the back of my mind. So much so I think for a little while I allowed it to hold me up from heading up more projects. Which when I look back on it, was INCREDIBLY STUPID. But a prime example of a hopeless mentality.
Although I don’t LIVE in a pessimistic state, my pessimism mostly derives from believing in my ability, because I struggle with self-doubt (not giving myself credit). It’s reasonable to ask yourself am I good enough, everyone struggles with insecurities they’re not going to go away. But don’t let those insecurities completely overtake and deter you away from the decisions you make and opportunities you take for your life. Gain a more glass half full perspective.Changing your pessimistic mindset and fighting doubt does not happen overnight. It’s something I have to literally take time out to face and tackle head-on because I don’t want to be stuck in that place. When you’re trapped in doubt and pessimism you lose faith and optimism. Two things needed to motivate, encourage, and inspire you on your journey. Embrace your victories, fight through your challenges, and let go of your negativity. Prove it to yourself that you are good enough…then believe it!
So, can you relate to being a Doubting Pessimist? Do you know someone who is a Doubting Pessimist? If so, share and comment on your experience and let me know how you can relate to this limbo!