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  • Eileen McDargh

Can You Be Too Optimistic?

How can you talk about resilience without also talking about optimism?”

Can You Be Too Optimistic?

Great question and a valid point. Except for one thing. Reality. According to Ronald Siegel, an assistant professor of psychology, part-time, at Harvard Medical School and medical editor of the Harvard Special Health Report, Positive Psychology, assuming either an optimistic or pessimistic view of a situation is to ignore reality. For example, Covid-19 is real and one would be foolhardy to either think you are going to get it and die or that you will never get it and so can ignore all precautions.


I prefer to focus on intelligent optimism. To begin with, consider all options that are available to you:

  1. Where is your point of control? Resilient people find multiple ways of responding to a situation. You might not like all the options, but you DO have them. If you feel stuck, ask a friend to help you brainstorm as many options as possible.

  2. When have you faced a difficult situation in the past and you got through it? What helped you get through it? What internal strength and wisdom did you discover about yourself? It’s still there, inside you.

  3. Remember to live in the present moment. When your brain races to either the worse possible outcome or skips into a field of proverbial flowers like a cockeyed optimist, you’ve missed TODAY. The future doesn’t exist.

  4. What gives meaning to your life? When you lose your WHY, you lose your way. Clarity about WHY you are on this earth offers an anchor for whatever happens around you.

If you can’t figure out your WHY, your purpose, I can help. I can take you through a process to help identify that WHY. Send me an e-mail eileen@eileenmcdargh.com and we’ll talk.