An Optimistic Mindset
After the challenging year we have just left behind, the future may seem bleak for so many. But, a sense of optimism may be more important than ever; on both an individual and societal level.
As a mindset-led organisation, Aspire4u cares about understanding people’s behaviour and helping them move forward by changing mindsets. Therefore, we wanted to demonstrate how an optimistic mindset can improve your outcomes.
Why is optimism important?
In psychology, optimism is the belief that outcomes of events or experiences will be positive. Blind optimism has its downfalls – we need to be aware of potential risks. However, people with a more optimistic outlook will have longer lives, healthier relationships, greater motivation, and be less prone to fatigue and depression.
Optimistic individuals view negative events and outcomes as temporary setbacks and blame their external environment. Whereas pessimistic individuals view them as unchangeable and blame themselves. It is easy to see how optimism is important when faced with global uncertainty on an unprecedented scale.
Young people aged 14-25 were one of the groups hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have all heard about the countless job losses, school closures, social isolation from peers, and new or worsened mental health difficulties. Yet, surprisingly, it is these exact young people that remain positive about the future. According to the International Labour Organisation’s Youth & COVID-19 report, when asked about their career prospects, 70% of young people reported feeling optimistic about their future at least some of the time. If young people can remain hopeful about 2021 despite significant social, economic, and health challenges, we owe it to them to do the same.
How to foster optimism in 2021
I have some more good news! If you are not naturally an optimistic person, you can learn to build a more positive outlook (and support the young people in your networks to do the same):
- Kindness and Empathy – Being kind with your words and actions may seem like a no-brainer, but is easily forgotten when you are under stress or caught up with your own worries. Making a real effort to be kind and understanding towards others will lift-up the people around you. You might just start to see the good in others, too.
- Mindfulness – Focusing on the present through mindfulness practice will bring a renewed sense of clarity and calm. You can use an app like Headspace to guide you through the process, or if that doesn’t appeal to you, simply turning off all background distractions for 10 minutes while you cook dinner or go for a walk will help you feel more grounded.
- Healthy news habits – Only look at the news once or twice a day and try to avoid ‘doom scrolling’ as much as possible. Only follow social media accounts that make you feel good. Remember, you are the master of your own feed.
- Welcome the positive – Celebrate your small achievements throughout the day. Write down three reasons you are grateful. Small actions like these will accumulate and help you create a more optimistic perspective.
Looking for a place to start?
Follow our youth-led positive news channel, OnPoint, to learn about the fantastic people and organisations in the West Midlands working hard to build a better future for young people. Also, for your daily dose of female empowerment, follow our Little Helper Kate on Instagram. The page is dedicated to sharing local businesses, positive quotes, and optimistic COVID posts!
We would love to hear how you and your organisation are fostering optimism this year – so please get in touch if you would like to start a conversation.
Written by Alison Fulop
For Aspire4u CIC,
The Mindset-Led Organisation
You can also click here to read more of our blogs.
We are a not for profit community engagement organisation. We use the arts to develop mindsets to improve well-being, foster financial literacy and give people employability skills.
So get involved! You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss our current opportunities.
Finally, for more information get in touch