Ask any successful person to divulge the secret to winning, to meeting and exceeding goals, to feeling fulfilled and accomplished, and he'll usually say that optimism is key. Optimism is what helps us deal with unexpected change, crushing stress, and inevitable disappointments. It's what prompts us to learn from mistakes rather than feel defeated by them.
Optimism doesn't just make us feel happier. It also makes us more confident. Optimism helps us believe in ourselves and our ability to bring about a solution.
Case in point: the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. These talented athletes were already great at the mechanics of pitching, batting, and fielding. But the Cards hadn't won a World Series in 20 years. When I was hired as their first ever Director of Mental Training, I focused on a different type of coaching. They needed to learn how to set goals, focus on their priorities, stay positive, be disciplined, and win. They needed to learn how to cultivate optimism and confidence.
The season I worked with them, the Cards won their first World Series in two decades. I worked with them again in 2011 when they won a second time. This is a testament to the fact that optimism can definitely be learned.
Here are seven ways to cultivate optimism and confidence in your own life.