A change in mentality

By Travis Hunter
On February 8, 2019

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a pessimist. It was never actually a conscious decision on my part. At some point in the past, I just fell into a mindset and never seemed to find my way out of it.
In my life, I’ve used pessimism as a defensive strategy. In nearly every situation, I assume the worst possible outcome, so when it doesn’t happen, I can be pleasantly surprised by a bit of good fortune.
This precautionary measure might sound good in theory, but in practice, it’s awful. It’s downright absurd how much time I’ve spent agonizing over things that never even came to pass.
I realize now that pessimism probably isn’t the best mentality for a person to have. That constant stream of negative thoughts can really get in the way of enjoying life.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not about to do a complete 180 and attempt to take on an optimistic outlook. Personally, I find optimism as foolish as pessimism is unhealthy. Just as circumstances are not always terrible, they’re not always amazing, either.
While pessimism has a way of corrupting the present, I feel optimism can set a person up for disappointment in the future.
Luckily, there’s a middle ground between the two extremes.
After countless conversations with people I love and respect, I think it’s finally time to take their advice and embrace realism.
A realist deals in facts and probabilities, not hopes or fears. Rather than spending myriad hours pacing around the walls inside their own head, a realist is grounded. Instead of a continuous preoccupation with a lamentable past or an uncertain future, a realist is content in the present.
So, I think I’m going to try to climb out of that hole I’ve been digging for all these years. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s for the best.
Maybe I’ll just tell myself I can’t do it so that I can be pleasantly surprised when I do.
One last bit of pessimism for old time’s sake.

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