Pessimism gets a bad reputation. If you’re not walking around admiring the sunshine and rainbows, then you might be associated with doubt and negativity. Not to say that optimists don’t get their fair share of snarky comments about having their head in the clouds, but there’s a stigma associated with not seeing the silver lining in every situation.
The internet is full of success stories of people who “just believed in themselves” and “trusted that the universe knew what was best.” I’ve been one of those people on occasion, and the small bursts of optimism I experience are responsible for me taking all of the risks that have changed my life until now. But on the spectrum, my first instinct is to lean negative. I accept things at face value and would rather prepare myself for every possible negative scenario than be blind sighted and left standing with nothing but my fake smile and the hope that everything will work out.
I’ve found it more beneficial, and practical, to assume that everything is going to fall apart at any given moment. I can rationalize that I’ve done what I need to do and the rest is out of my control.
My goal is never to bring other people down. I applaud the optimism of those around me, even envy it sometimes. But optimism doesn’t equal mindfulness. Pessimism lets me be more mindful of my thoughts, rather than being inherently negative.
I’m Seldom Disappointed
Being a pessimist is great because I’m rarely jealous of others. When I see someone spouting their version of life-changing advice, I know they’re not trying to make me feel bad. Most of the optimism on the internet is just people who refuse to give up hope which is a beautiful thing. I tend to believe that they need their own message the most and their preaching is more of a note-to-self.
The new generation of solo-preneurs and people who’ve made it from working on the internet have given themselves “expert” titles and want to teach everyone how to accomplish what they’re accomplishing. I follow a lot of them and most days I can appreciate the reminder that failure is inevitable, and it’s all about the journey, but them a lot of time I can’t relate to someone feeling THAT good about the future. I don’t like being a hater because I know I have a lot to learn but my first reaction to preached positivity is “this is dumb.”
I’m Prepared For The Worst
I’ve prepared for every possible outcome, especially the negative ones. And being prepared for a negative outcome seems a little bit more proactive than convincing yourself a positive one is inevitable.
I See Things For What They Are
Sometimes things are very black and white, and I can call them out accordingly. Positivity also doesn’t pay the bills, and hard work always trumps all. Even when people say you don’t have to work hard to make money just smart. I gawk at that. Smart work is hard when all you’re used to is working long hours. Sometimes I still think mindset work is dumb even though it’s the one thing that’s allowed me to last this long outside of my comfort zone.
The world is shit right now, and I feel calm holding on to that.
Maybe in a few years or months or weeks, I’ll reread this article and cry at how far my mindset has some and laugh at how closed-minded about positivity I used to be. I’ll post an update whenever that happens.