"Realistic Optimism" though, is the level of belief you have in yourself and your ability to accomplish something successfully.
It’s through hard work that you become more optimistic, because you realise you’re preparing for a particular outcome and through your commitment and effort you build evidence that enables you to be more hopeful that you’ll achieve it.
The ‘realistic’ element is key, because it encourages you to ask questions, find required resources, do scenario planning and risk mitigation, all of which helps you to guide the future in a more informed manner.
In my career as a high-performance athlete, I overcame many physical, emotional, financial and logistical setbacks. Even shifting my self-talk from mostly negative to overwhelmingly positive, was a skill that I learned that greatly elevated my optimism. In sport, as in life, I believe almost all problems can be solved, mitigated or worked around in some way. I’ve found temporary setbacks are just that – temporary.
Realistic Optimism enables us to view challenges as just part of the journey, and anticipate and grow from any adversity.
The best news: this personal and professional capability is a skill that can be developed.
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