But is it so simple? Can you simply judge a person a pessimist if they see problems in a given situation and label a person an optimist if they show a can-do attitude? In reality the people who keep trumpeting about the benefits of positive thinking ignore the fact that just by dreaming about a thing does not make it achievable. If positive thinking alone can ensure a success then I would be an Olympic swimmer today like Michael Phelps, who makes butterfly strokes look easy, but when I tried the same, found it virtually impossible.
Studies have shown that overly optimistic people may fail in achieving their goals too. But then, isn’t optimism a good thing? Yes it is ! Optimism and confidence that you have in your capabilities will certainly help you achieve your goals. However, to be successful you need to be realistically optimistic.
It is necessary to see all problems realistically that might come your way in challenging situations. While optimist leaders set audacious goals and inspire their teams to achieve monumental success, the realistically optimistic leaders not only set audacious goals and inspire their teams but also do not ignore the magnitude of the challenges and difficulties that lie ahead and plan ahead. This leads to a greater chance of success.
Realistic optimism is a significant trait of great leaders, which keep them distinct from the rest of the crowd. It allows leaders to find a balance between their passion to achieve results and realistically evaluating the potential of doing the same in a balanced way.
Some tips that you can use to be realistically optimistic and goal management are:
- Set achievable goals: Do not set goals that are too difficult to achieve. Do not try to be perfect to begin with and try to improve iteratively. Step back occasionally, measure your progress and reset the targets if required.
- Develop a problem solving attitude: The realistically optimistic people keep their calm and balance in difficult situations and try to address the issues with a determined and problem solving attitude. Divide and conquer. Break down year long targets to monthly or weekly achievements. Rome was not built in a single day either!
- Be realistic: The realistically optimistic people see things as they really are and not how they want them to be. They evaluate each idea, consider the pros and cons associated with it and then reach a conclusion.
- Communicate relentlessly: Successful leaders not only set goals for themselves but they involve all stakeholders and communicate the goals and their achievements with them on a continuous basis. They have weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual feedback sessions to measure progress and align everyone.
- Learn continuously: The realistically optimists see an opportunity of learning in every situation. They constantly measure the outcomes and use inputs for self improvement and re-orientation.
Thus, the approach of being realistically optimistic can make you successfully set and achieve your goals. Please contact us if you need help or more information in this area or check out our Free trial with the goal setting module.