How To Be Optimistic About The Future

by Raven Ishak

It can be hard to believe that good things will come your way when your hopes and dreams haven't come to fruition just yet. But finding ways to be optimistic about your future can allow you to be positive even when life isn't going the way you want. To be perfectly honest, there will always be bumps in the road, but how you decide to deal with them in the present can determine how your future will turn out.

"We have to believe that we are capable of anything, no matter what that ends of being. A fundamental belief in ourselves and our ability to accomplish whatever we set our minds too, enables us to succeed at whatever path we chart for our future. It's like the saying, 'If you believe you can, or believe you can't, your right.' If we set realistic and exciting goals, we are more likely to break them into manageable tasks we can accomplish," says psychologist Nicole Martinez Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle.

To be able to achieve the impossible, you need to believe in yourself even when things aren't going right. "They need to remind themselves the present difficulties are momentary. Everyone goes through tough times. Adopt a spiritual perspective. Understand things don't only happen to us, they happen for us. And to keep going until your life and your world looks more like you want it to look. Adopt a fighter type of attitude," says psychotherapist and author of Your Best Age is Now Robi Ludwig in an interview with Bustle over email.

Just because today isn't going well doesn't mean that your future is ruined. You're in charge of your destiny and the only person that can get in the way of it is you. So if you need a little pep talk on how to feel more optimistic about your future, here are 13 ways to do just that.

1. Have A Positive Attitude

You are what you reach for. It seems simple enough, but sometimes it's easy to forget what you're capable of when you have a negative mindset. "Positive energy breeds positive experiences and negative energy breeds negative experiences. We attract what we feel, so even if you have no idea what your future will look like, you can attract great things just by keeping a positive attitude about it," says life coach Alionka Polanco in an interview with Bustle over email.

2. Visualize What Your Future Will Look Like

You're most likely to achieve something great if you can already visualize yourself in that situation. "Every morning, I take a few minutes to intentionally daydream about what my life will look like in 10 years. Some days it's the same, others it's totally different, but no matter what — it makes me really excited to daydream about it," says Polanco. Once a week, try to visualize where you want your life to be by writing it down in a journal or talking about it with someone you care about.

3. Connect With A Life Coach

Sometimes it can be hard to determine what you want out of life when you might not be aware of where exactly you want your life to be in the next few years. A life coach can help guide you in the right direction and help you stay optimistic about your future. "[You] can work with a coach to help [you] identify what [you] truly want out of life, so that [you] get excited whenever [you] think about [your] future," says Polanco.

4. Set And Accomplish Goals

It's a good idea to challenge yourself on a weekly basis to stay optimistic about your future. Tackling these accomplishments, even if they're small, can allow you to be more comfortable to set and accomplish larger goals in the future. "I think another important personal habit is to learn how to set and accomplish goals. When we constantly follow through on what we say we're going to do, we learn to trust ourselves and what we're capable of," says Polanco.

5. Remove Any Negative Thoughts About The Present

Your future will not look great if you're negative about your present. Like I said before, how you decide to deal with your current problems can determine how your future will look. "The quote 'this too shall pass' comes to mind. First: they should remove any guilt or shame they feel about the present. As I mentioned earlier, negative energy breeds negative experiences so when you intentionally remove negative thoughts about your present situation, you open doors for it to change," says Polanco.

6. Take Responsibility For Your Own Actions

To have a successful future, you need to know how to handle a negative situation. While it might seem easy to blame others to save face, you won't feel good about yourself and that person won't believe that you're a team player anymore. "They should take responsibility for the situation at hand. Our society promotes blaming other people and pointing fingers when something goes wrong. The most successful people I know don't blame anyone, not even themselves. When something goes wrong, they look at the situation objectively and see where they could have done something differently. They use their setbacks as a learning process for being the best version of themselves," says Polanco.

7. Make Moves Toward Your Ideal Situation

If you complain about your life, but don't make any changes, then the only person you can truly blame is yourself. For you to feel excited about your future, you need to work toward achieving your goals instead of having a stagnant life. "They should take actions in the direction of their ideal vision. Small steps count — as long as they are moving in the direction of what they want," says Polanco.

8. Work In A Positive Work Environment

Your future is going to look dull if your present is filled with negativity, especially when it comes to your career. How can you be optimistic when you surround yourself in a negative work environment with people who don't care about their own future? "The best career move someone can make to have a more optimistic outlook about their future is to work in positive work environment, and to surround themselves with people doing the work they want to do. Positivity is contagious, as is negativity - so being in the right work environment should be top priority," says Polanco.

9. Be Flexible

"We can plan for the future, and set goals, but it is when we attach to those future outcomes that we lose our optimism, [especially] if things don't play out as we expected them to. True joy and optimism for the future lies in being able to meet every moment of your life as it unfolds with fluidity and flexibility," says holistic wellness coach Pax Tandon in an interview with Bustle over email. As you probably already know: life never really goes as planned. But even if that's the case, your outlook on your future will be positive if you're flexible and you don't beat yourself up when things don't go your way.

10. Take Baby Steps

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you think about everything you want to accomplish. But ideally, you want to break your big dream into small baby steps, so you don't burn yourself out. "Break things down into small and manageable steps, so that you have small and frequent successes. This keeps you motivated and moving forward. You feel pride and purpose, two of the most important ingredients for optimism and success," says Martinez.

11. Create An Accomplishment List

Look, sometimes you just need to toot your own horn to feel positive about your future. Don't get swamped with negativity when you've come so far. Remember your accomplishments by writing them down and reviewing them. Try to do this once a week or every night before you head to bed. "I have patients make a list of 10-15 accomplishments that they like about themselves and that they have accomplished. They all hate the idea of the assignment at the start, and love it when they finish. There are so many things they have not thought of, or given themselves credit for in a long time. It is also something to refer back to when they need an optimistic boost," says Martinez.

12. Take Care Of Yourself

Realistically, there's no way you can feel good about yourself if you don't take care of yourself. "[Take] care of your mental and physical well-being [by] getting the proper amount of exercise and sleep. And perhaps, most important of all, spend time with people who are optimistic and help you to see the world from a much more positive standpoint," says Ludwig.

13. Get Inspired

Go outdoors or travel somewhere new. Your present life might not be exciting because you may not be challenging yourself enough. "Read inspirational books that can help shape their world view to be more optimistic, positive and less negative. Read inspirational stories to know that positive optimistic outcomes can happen and happen all the time," says Ludwig.

While you may not know what your future entails, as long as you're setting goals and being optimistic, then everything will most likely work out.

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