Which one are you?
“When I run up against a weight-loss challenge, I usually expect the best.”
“If something can go wrong for me during the weight-loss process, it will.”
What we are talking about here is the difference between being optimistic and being pessimistic. Now you might think that having an optimistic outlook or a pessimistic view is just the way you are. You were born this way, or you got to be this way. In other words, you believe that being optimistic or being pessimistic is a stable personality trait. This might be so. It may be who you are in large measure, but it doesn’t have to be the whole truth. There can be variations in your expectations of outcomes depending upon different factors. For example, the threat of weight-loss failure can make the optimist in you resort to pessimistic thinking. Times of personal transition, when you are taking a break from old ways, are also times when you might more easily change your outlook.
What if you’re pessimistic, and your pessimistic outlook has been wreaking havoc with your goal to reduce your weight? Can you make yourself become optimistic? The answer is yes. There are a number of things you can do to get out from under that pessimistic umbrella.
First of all, you can work on your negative thinking. You can reduce it, even eliminate it. Cognitive psychology has invented lots of good techniques for dealing with thinking negatively. Then too, there are skills you can learn to increase your constructive thinking. One such skill is reframing. This is where you take your negative pessimistic thinking about a situation and actively try to see the situation in a new light—in a different frame of reference.
You should know that optimists fare a lot better than pessimists when it comes to dealing with weight-loss challenges. So part of making sure you do your best when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off is having an outlook that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.