Pessimist vs Optimist

Everyone knows that the main difference between pessimist vs optimist  is a person who expects the worst vs someone who believes in the best. But the effects run much deeper than that.Young girl laying on the ground in autumn looking happy

A pessimist thinks he’s being realistic and that an optimist is unrealistic. The optimist says the pessimist is being negative.  So which one is right?

Well, both are right. Because what you believe, ISBoth are being realistic in their own head.

‘Whatever you believe, IS.’

The pessimist believes that the negative outcome will happen, so he tells himself he should worry about it.

The optimist thinks, even if the negative outcome becomes real, there’s no point expecting it, attracting it, worrying about it and assuming it to be true, so he chooses to ignore or temporarily shelve it.

Both realities are real. The question is, which one is more beneficial?

The Effects of Being a Pessimist vs Optimist

Which way of thinking will promote a healthier, more productive life?

Yes, you guessed it, the optimistic thinker wins.

Silhuettes of people dancing with green strobe lighting behind

If the pessimist is wrong and the event doesn’t happen, he’s spent the time (let’s say 2 weeks) living through all the negative emotions, raising his blood pressure, losing out on quality sleep, releasing more cortisol into his blood stream…and the list goes on.

If the optimist is wrong, he’s had (let’s say 2 weeks) of healthy living and is fresh and ready to face the event. A bit of a no-brainer, no?

Understanding this difference between these two approaches and how they affect your reality will help you build a healthier, happier, more successful life.

How to Recognise if You’re a Pessimist

    • If you’re a pessimist you believe you’re being realistic by looking at the likely negative outcome of a situation.
    • You look at what’s missing from a situation rather than what’s actually there.

Black background with coloured words like doubtful written on it

    • When something goes wrong you tend to pile all the other negative things together to make a big negative mountain.
    • You’re addicted to the negative pull that tugs you down, but in your mind you believe that you’re just well prepared for the negative outcome.
    • You struggle to enjoy the positive aspects if there are negatives attached (and there usually are).
    • You often feel that a negative event is forever, and can’t treat it as just temporary.
    • Sometimes you take things personally and get angry at events even when they’re random acts of nature.

Negative Effects of Being a Pessimist

    • By looking for the negative outcome, you attract that outcome to your reality faster.
    • You can always choose to look at the negative or the positive. If you repeatedly chose the negative, you’ll never break free to see the sunshine, so your reality actually becomes a sadder place.

Negative words on a white background

    • By putting everything negative together, a pessimist can feel like nothing’s going right. If you could learn to separate the things and isolate them they would be much easier to overcome. But by seeing all the problems together you make them insurmountable.
    • The result of becoming addicted to the negative pull is that if you think it’s normal to feel that way so you never strive to find the happier level of thinking.
    • By feeling that an event is forever, you multiply the negative effect instead of minifying it.

How to Know if You’re an Optimist

    • You find something positive in difficult situations.
    • You discount the negative side so that you can focus on growing the positive side.
    • You tend to expect the best so you can strive for a bigger future because you believe it’s possible.
    • You view negative events as being temporary.
    • You feel in control of your life.
    • You may be annoying to a pessimist because he thinks you don’t see the reality of a situation, whereas actually you, as the optimist, have chosen to focus on the ‘gain’ rather than the ‘lose’ points.

Positive Effects of Being an Optimist

  • If you’re an optimist, you can go into difficult situations and achieve far better results because you didn’t warn your own body & mind about that the odds were stacked against you. This can give you a huge advantage over realists or pessimists. You can achieve greater heights.

Surfer surfing through a huge roll wave

    • By looking at the gain in every situation you can accept the difficult times with less damage to yourself because you know you will come through it.
    • You recover more quickly as you move forward towards something positive.
    • Feeling in control means that as an optimist you can take responsibility for your life and you don’t feel like a victim, and that gives you strength.

Another Difference Between Pessimist vs Optimist

Being an optimist means taking every opportunity to get as much out of it as you can. No failure. No giving up. Just changing direction as many times as necessary to find success. Some people will say that an optimist lives in a fantasy world because they’re being optimistic, but really what’s the truth other than opinion? And where is the line between optimist and pessimist?

Black board with writing, there is no such thing as bad weather, just a bad choice of clothes

Being a pessimist can actually just seem like being normal to many people. Most people tend to look at the negative outcome of a situation and/or not realise that they’ve developed a pessimistic attitude.

To Worry or Not to Worry?

Worrying isn’t helpful and it isn’t healthy. A worrier thinks worrying is his responsibility: it shows he cares. His worry will somehow stop the dreaded event from happening.

Worrying is basically and activity of imagining the negative event, over and over again in the imagination and living it as though it were real. With this vivid imagination also comes the consequences and the whole picture of what ifs.

What if A happens, what if B happens, what if C . . .? Worriers can get annoyed with non-worriers for appearing to be un-bothered.

But the fact is that worrying does not help the situation; it only creates health issues.

How to Stop Worrying

Instead of worrying, sit down and write at least one positive suggestion for each negative scenario even if you don’t believe you can actually fulfil the suggestion. Don’t write down the fear, just the solutions.

‘I could buy a new house. I could win the lottery. ‘

Make it a rule that if your worrying voice starts going on at you you’ll sit down and give it some suggestions. Then, when you’ve made your suggestions, let it go. If you can’t find any suggestions for a particular one, just move on to the next. So if you’re worrying about losing your house, write a list of possible solutions. Include all constructive possibilities, even if they seem impossible to attain.

By starting this habit you’ll begin to counteract your negatives with constructive suggestions, even if those suggestions may seem unrealistic. And you’ll see your worries differently, less alive and more like a list. 

Girl sitting looking away from camera at sunset

Slowly you change futile worry into productive analysis, and from the habit of analysis you can create constructive thinking and a constructive attitude. If you feel pulled towards the negative, just recognise it.

‘Recognition is the First Step Towards Transformation.’

Every time you feel overly negative, promise yourself to be honest and recognise that you can change. The benefits of changing your attitude will astound you. Remember that everyone who’s really successful went through lots of failures first: and in those failures they kept on going forward until they found success.

When your mind tells you that it’s stupid to be positive, ask yourself:

‘Do I have the results I want?’

If the answer is yes, keep on as you are. If the answer is no, then work on changing your attitude and know that it will bring you different results.

Conclusion Pessimist vs Optimist

Choose to train your brain to be happier and to see less problems. Know that your health is linked to positivity. Be patient. Know that it won’t happen overnight.

Remove importance from the problems. Removing importance is one of the biggest tools we have in our tool box. Even if something seems enormous, by removing its importance we succeed in changing our feelings and our attitude towards it – and therefore our results.

‘You can’t falsely create happiness when you don’t feel happy, but you can create the breeding ground for happiness and watch it grow.’

Are you more a pessimist or an optimist? Do you see problems lurking in every corner or do you seek solutions?

2 Replies to “Pessimist vs Optimist”

  1. We also have to cope with being indoctrinated by years of false negative beliefs. These take some overcoming as they are apt to show themselves, like so many ghouls when you least expect it.


    1. That’s a great point you make – most of us have built up years of false beliefs which we have to un-learn, ones which we didn’t even realise we have until they suddenly appear, like you say! Learning to be more optimistic in general can counteract a lot of our negative beliefs from the past just by putting us in a new place mentally and with a new viewpoint. And when you really know that an old belief is not in alignment with you anymore, then it becomes easy to overwrite it. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

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