When the going gets tough — as it does for many in times of recession — the optimist often has the edge. The optimist is more likely to be able to motivate him/herself to get up and get going. Some people seem to be naturally more optimistic than others. It can be a personality trait, perhaps ultimately with a genetic basis, but with much to do with upbringing and past experiences of adversity.
The famous best-selling book, Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking’ has been criticised by mental health professionals for its insistence that simply banishing negative thoughts is the key to success and happiness. In fact, this can sometimes be harmful. Pessimism can also be a symptom of depression that requires professional help. However, if it’s the lesser problem of life threatening to get you down, there are a variety of self-help strategies, notably those based on cognitive behavioural therapies (CBT), that you can try in order to get back on track.
Many of us have dreamed of packing up our lives and starting afresh in a far away, exotic location. That inner voice we stifled many years ago when we traded our ambition for security occasionally finds its way into the forefront of our minds. Whether we are considering chasing after a childhood dream, holiday romance or simply an urge to expand our horizons the majority of us will reason ourselves out of any kind of life changing action. After all there are responsibilities to be met. Work, friends, family, and a whole host of other issues that we are convinced will fall apart in the event of our absence. Maybe the desired change doesn’t require a new location. Changing our job, partner or lifestyle can bring up similar feelings of anxiety which can force us to abandon our dreams. With change comes fear, and it is this fear that leads millions of people to continue on in unsatisfying and unhappy lives. Often the fear is completely unwarranted and serves only to imprison us in a false security of our own making. By challenging this fear and breaking out of our self-imposed restrictions we can achieve things that we previously thought were impossible.
The failure to reach goals can’t be entirely blamed on a lack of resolve. Picking yourself up by the bootstraps, reading self-help books and inspirational videos can help to keep you motivated. But the lack of progress so many experience often has its routes in their adopted lifestyle. If you hope to achieve any measure of success, you need to look at how you run your life and make corrections that bring more of the success you desire.
Some relationships can never work. And staying in them increases misery. While you can avoid saying friends to keep you from getting depressed, it’s harder to end an intimate relationship. If you are in such a relationship that is dragging you down, you may need to end it after you’ve tried everything else.