Can You Be Too Optimistic?
Optimism is good. After all, the tendency to look on the bright side of things or situations can get us through a lot.
It can inspire creativity, get us to try new things, and keep us working toward our goals despite stumbling blocks. When we’re optimistic, we know we can do it.
But can you be too optimistic? Personally, I doubt it. But I do think it’s possible to let an overdose of optimism get in our way if we aren’t careful.
That’s because another part of the definition of optimism is the tendency “to expect the most favorable outcome”. If we expect the most favorable outcome without also adequately planning for possible unfavorable outcomes, we can get into trouble.
An overdose of optimism without the accompanying plan (and backup plans) can cause us to make decisions that we end up regretting, or leave us wondering where we went wrong. We can also start out optimistically, and then get discouraged and give up when our grand vision doesn’t immediately appear the way we thought it would.
For example, if we’re thinking of buying a new car and want to finance it, we’ll figure out whether or not we can afford the payments. When the numbers work out, we may go for it. But that can leave us forgetting to factor in the many new and additional expenses associated with owning the car. Or it can leave us forgetting to account for what might happen if we lose our jobs, etc.
So it’s important to also plan for unpleasant possibilities before going ahead with something. Don’t just optimistically think that “It’ll all work out”. It’ll be likely to all work out a lot better with some advanced and through planning.