An Optimistic Mind-set for Greater Accomplishments

By David Ryback, Ph.D.

Optimism can begin at the top. Certainly it has the greatest capacity to influence from that position. The optimist sees what is and then adds to that what can be done to achieve the most, within the values of those in the organization, so that all feel involved in a creative enterprise.

Those who feel in charge of their lives, careers and relationships—think Donald Trump, Lee Iacocca—have a high degree of the optimistic mind-set.  Those individuals who have confidence based on past experience also have a sense of what they can accomplish and are able to attack challenges with gusto. Who would you want on your sales force?  Those with a high or low degree of optimism? Salespeople with a highly perceived Awareness Factor can determine how high to aim, figure out what they have to do to reach those goals and then muster the energy to achieve them. Those with low degree of the Awareness Factor will be paralyzed by any challenge that they fear they might not accomplish, or at least be slow out of the starting gate. So how do you achieve a higher level of that special personality resource for yourself?

Baby Steps and Modeling Toward Successful Outcomes

According to Albert Bandura, originator of the self-efficacy concept, the first step is to build your self-confidence in any challenging task by taking baby steps at first and making sure you succeed. Then gradually place the bar a bit higher, etc., assuring you succeed before moving on to higher challenges. It’s all in the coordination of challenge so that you ensure your success by making sure you stay one step ahead of failure. 

The second mode, according to Bandura, is to get a mentor, so to speak, who already knows the ropes and whom you feel trusted enough to follow in that individual’s footsteps. Bandura calls it modeling. Just watch how it’s done and do likewise, to put it simply. As well, it’s good to have a supportive environment so you are reminded of your successes by those around you whom you deem important.

You may notice that all this involves being in the moment.  Be in charge of your environment so that each moment is geared to be a successful outcome. You’re not merely putting in the effort to enhance your future.  You’re actually succeeding in the moment to enhance your future.  In modeling, you’re doing what you see in the present moment, not rehearsing what you will do for the future.  It’s the Awareness Factor of success in the moment.  It’s not what you SHOULD be doing; it’s what you ARE doing.

One Response to “An Optimistic Mind-set for Greater Accomplishments”

  1. Johann Lohrmann says:

    Thank you, Dr. Ryback for the reminder of how important it is to move with purpose and with thought.

    Being in the moment also means putting yourself out there and embracing the outcome.

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