So, I'm a few weeks in to my challenge and what has changed?
I've actually been surprised by how much of a differance trying to be more optimistic has made. I hoped of course that it would when I first set out on this challenge, otherwise I wouldn't have done it, but what has surprised me is the amount of benefit I have recieved from really not changing much at all.
At the moment I don't really feel like an optimist. I'm still the same negative self doubting person that I ever was. However I'm now more mindful about behaving more optimistically and at least paying lip service to the notion of being more optimistic.
For example I'm becoming more optimistic at work and this has helped me with one of my main work difficulties which I like to call 'Outlook tasks depression syndrome'. I'm sure many of you have experianced this. You boot up your computer and look at your task list for the day and you realise that it is both incredibly long and full of many annoying, awkward and difficult things. You'd like to switch off your computer and have a little sleep under you desk but this isn't allowed and jobs are scarce right now. So you reavaluate your list and those jobs that are annoying and which you don't really have to do today get put off to the next day. This provides a temporary high but its a negative spiral as the next day you have twenty annoying things to do instead of ten.
I still suffer from Outlook tasks depression syndrome. On the inside, believe me, I'm making a noise that sounds a bit like uuuugghhghhhahhhhgrrrnnn when I look at my task list. Then however being mindful of my challenge I say to myself 'Hey, you actually like your job, and this task won't be as annoying as it seems. Just get on with it right away.' So with a forced grin I get on with whatever difficult and irritating thing it is I have to do.
To my surprise this has made a huge difference. I really believed that I would have to feel optimistic on the inside before I saw any change but it turns out you can just talk the talk and that seems to be enough to get some results. Getting through all the difficult little tasks at work has given me a sense of empowerment and fulfilment. I apologise for that horribly cheesy and self help book sounding sentence, but it's true. As a result of being at least outwardly optimistic and telling myself that I can complete those awkward little tasks I've got loads done and freed up time to involve myself more in the work stuff that I actually enjoy. I also feel more calm and in control and knowing that my list is in order.
I'm now hoping to apply that attitude to my love life. After a break of some months from the dating scene I've launched myself back into the world of internet match making. Unfortunately the scene is just as ruthless and soul destroying as I remember it. The dating scene is a shelled and war torn landscape of rejection and suffering surrounded by a minefield of self doubt and bad memories. I've only been enlisted again for a week but already this trooper has been hit several times by the 'unacknowledged wink' bullets. This pain has been hightened by the lack of interest shown in my profile despite my uploading several nice new photos and I've been walking wounded, wondering if I'm hideously ugly and unappealing and that I've just never realised it.
Despite this I have been mindful of my 2009 challenge and have decided to be optimistic about the whole thing. It's hard to keep a smile on your face during such a battle but I do so by keeping two things in mind. The first is that inside the horror of the internet dating scene there is the odd fantastically mind blowing comedy moment such as the man I encountered who on his profile boasted that 'I like sex and have no criminal record, in this country' and the 62 year old who was looking for a women between 18 and 25. Ewww.
The second thing is that, hopefully, something good will come out of it and I might just meet the person who is right for me.
It wasn't either of the two I mentioned above, in case you were wondering.
Well that's all for today. Next time I'll be blogging about optimism, realism and health.
Thanks for reading.