In a word, yes. It is sometimes a counterproductive thing to be a blind optimist. With optimism, as with most things in life, the key is to have it in moderate levels.
You should know by now that I am a helpless optimist, however not a blind one. I have a very realistic approach to my optimism and that is why I urge people to put in the action and necessary steps in order to reach their optimistic goals! (Whether it’s achieving something or going through a rough patch).
Being an optimist can be harmful when it is unrealistic. Unrealistic optimism can lead to:
- Increased risk-taking
- Lack of action in solving problems
- Believing that negative things cannot happen to you so you neglect sensible behavior like wearing seatbelts, drinking in moderation, getting regular check-ups etc.
Fact: Las Vegas is full of unrealistic optimists who think that they can control the odds.
On the otherhand some benefits of being optimistic:
- Less depression and distress
- Improved immune function
- Increased productivity and results
- Better psychological health and well-being
The important part of unlocking the benefits of being an optimist is to remain grounded. Know and live by this:
In order for everything to turn out well, a lot of work must happen along the way. And most often than not, it’s us that needs to put in the work!
Muhammad Ali was a daring optimist but who definitely put in the work required. Quoting him: “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.” He always came first but he was always the last one leaving the gym. That is what made him great.
So put your optimistic suit on, start planning and most importantly start doing!