You always hear from life coaches and business coaches like me that optimism is key to success, but based on positive psychology, as I've repeatedly told you, we have realistic optimism and unrealistic optimism.
What does that mean? Realistic optimism is saying: "I'm optimistic about the future; I know I will succeed based on the behaviors that I show, based on the effort that I put in, I will set goals and make plans and take on the right strategies to make success happen for me." That's realistic optimism, and it is very empowering and motivational and will usually lead to success.
On the contrary, we have unrealistic optimism which is all about saying “I will be successful not necessarily because of the behaviors that I show, or the efforts that I put in, but because of something that is outside of my control. For example, I will be successful because I'm smart! I will be successful because that's always been the case in my family. I will be successful because I have studied at this university or because I have worked at this corporation."
So, if achieving success to you is something beyond your control, something that is fixed and not necessarily related to your efforts and your behavior, that's unrealistic optimism and will usually not lead to success.
So, don't get me wrong! Positive affirmations work! They are really helpful, but only if you use them in the context of realistic optimism.
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