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4 misconceptions about optimism (and harsh reality)

4 misconceptions about optimism (and harsh reality)

October 4, 2022

No one can doubt that optimism, in some situations, can be a key to success in some aspect of our lives. But nevertheless, We live in times in which the obsession with happiness makes many people think that optimism is everything .

Being an optimist has its advantages, but as long as it is in tune with the environment and the reality in which we move. Like everything in this life, both excess and lack of optimism are negative.

  • Related article: "125 short positive phrases to live your day to day with optimism"

How is an optimist?

Each person has their own peculiarities and, evidently, being pessimistic is not good at all. In fact, people who are sensible and objective and, in addition, are optimistic, can be considered advantaged.


Optimists are people who look at the positive side of things instead of spending the whole day regretting that they do not care how many times they fall, because from each experience they get positive learnings. Now, the optimist is not that person who always has a smile in his mouth despite adversity, but is one with a high self-confidence and is realistic with the environment that surrounds him.

But, How are optimistic people? This type of individuals present a series of characteristics:

  • They see opportunities for growth and learning in failures. Falling means getting up.

  • They do not deceive themselves, but they have a great capacity for self-reflection and they are sincere with themselves.


  • They are objective and realistic people, reason why they always pretend to be sensible and coherent in their actions.

  • They have a good self-esteem and are valued positively.

  • They do not compare themselves with others, because they have found inner peace.

  • They have a great capacity for self-motivation despite the obstacles that come their way.

  • They fight for what they want and for their own dreams.

  • They live in the here and now and enjoy the present.

  • They are emotionally intelligent.

  • If you want to know more about these characteristics, you can read our article: "11 characteristics of optimistic people"

False beliefs about optimism

While being an optimist is beneficial, some people may have false beliefs about this positive mindset.

1. Being an optimist will make you happy

Happiness depends on many factors, and to think that simply to adopt a positive mentality and be optimistic everything will go on wheels is a mistake . Optimism is not something that imposes itself, but is a way of thinking and behaving that has much to do is the level of self-confidence that a person has and how it relates to the events that occur around him.


Optimism is not to look the other way when negative things happen, but to face reality as it is and accept it. Once accepted, is to get moving and work step by step to achieve what you want.

2. Optimism is an attitude

Optimism is not something that an individual can impose on himself, and as I said, it has to do with building a strong personality and being a realistic person who trusts in himself. It is not about seeing the life of a rose and living oblivious to the problems. It is about analyzing them and accepting them. To observe and detach emotionally from some unpleasant situations.

It's about looking towards the future, but always with your feet on the ground . Optimism is not living in irrational expectations. It is seeing things as they are and learning from them. Optimistic people also fail, but understand that failures are part of life.

3. The problems are solved with optimism

Optimism alone does not solve problems. It can motivate us to get ahead, but we also have to do our part so that everything goes as we wish . Therefore, self-confidence is key in this sense, because it is a psychological variable that refers to the perception of the skills and resources we have when carrying out a task. Believing in oneself does solve problems, not optimism on its own.

  • Related article: "Albert Bandura's self-efficacy: do you believe in yourself?"

4. You can be optimistic all the time

To think that you can be optimistic all the time and to live with the smile in your mouth all the time is something unrealistic, and in this case we would be talking about false optimism. As the humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow said, "False optimism, sooner or later, disappoints, angers and despairs."

False optimism has to do with a low self-esteem and an attempt to hide the insecurity that one feels . In fact, false optimists do not achieve the goals that are proposed, because they are not realistic. In the long run, and as Maslow explains, false optimism ends up frustrating the person.

In short, people with false optimism:

  • They do not value themselves

  • Do not self-motivate

  • They do not live in the here and now nor connect with themselves

  • They are not honest with themselves

  • They are not realistic

  • False optimism is just as bad as pessimism. If you want to know more about this, you can read our article: "False optimism: what is it and what are its negative effects?"


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