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Confessions of a Former Pessimist

· Optimist,Pessimist,Success

I was going to start this post by saying that I'm actually quite the pessimist! But I realized, as I went to type it out, that I can't say that anymore. Not even remotely.

Now, if we had a time machine and I could go back in time 10 years, there was a very different Stephanie wandering around her college campus and life sucked. Everything was out to get me. I lived for brief flashes of life where it wasn't as bad as the rest. I looked forward to curling up in the big chairs in the basement of the library and napping, but with one hand on my bag because someone was sure to steal my stuff and that would be just so typical and there was NO way I could afford to replace everything.
Oh and those people who were always happy and cheerful? They were lying. There was no way anyone was always cheerful with how terrible life was!

Oh and those people who were always happy and cheerful? They were lying. There was no way anyone was always cheerful with how terrible life was!​

Then I met my (now) husband, although back then he was just some guy in the online game I was playing, and he could find the good in any situation. I'd come on and complain about x, y or z...and his interminably cheerful attitude would point out some good point that I'd not seen before in just an earnest, honest way that it never came across as derogatory.
I guess it rubbed off on me.

The more optimistic and cheerful I've gotten over the years, the more I've realized how much more I enjoy life like this, and all that worrying I spent my time in was so much wasted potential. And as I get more cheerful, I am determined to get MORE cheerful!

So for the past 45 days, I've added one exercise to my morning routine.
It's nothing new or groundbreaking, I've been told to try it out repeatedly but never gotten around to it.

It's the gratitude exercise.

Basically, once I'm done journaling for the morning, I write down "I am grateful for _______" and insert whatever I'm grateful for at that moment.

When I started the exercise, it was hard to get to the self-prescribed 10 items every day. I really had to think...I'd end up writing stuff like "My dog" and "my life" and general items that were really more filler items than something I'd feel strike a chord in my chest. Once I'd catch myself doing filler items, I'd end the exercise for the day.

I'd end up writing stuff like "My dog" and "my life" and general items that were really more filler items​

But I kept it up and I've noticed, for the past few days, I've had no trouble blitzing past 10 items and hitting 15, 16, or 19 items that I can write down with all honesty and earnestly in my heart, "I am grateful for ____."

Which is funny because some of those items I wrote down this morning are people that I was REALLY pissed at yesterday. But somehow between yesterday and today, it hit me how much that person taught me, and helped me grow and expand. And all the sudden, that anger just vanished and I am truly, in my heart, grateful for that person being who they are that allowed me the opportunity to grow.

It's weird honestly! I've never experienced that.

I've had grudges before (who hasn't?). I'd been mad at people before (who hasn't?). I've never gone from really being angry with them one day, to that anger just vanishing overnight and actually being grateful for them playing a role in my life.

But somehow between yesterday and today, it hit me how much that person taught me, and helped me grow and expand. ​

Let's be honest, there are some people from my childhood that I don't think I could write down "I'm grateful for" in front of their name and mean it with as much sincerity as I meant this morning.

So I guess I still have room to grow too. But if life is a process, and it's about what happens as we go through it together, I guess learning is a great place to be.

(Note: This was originally a post on LinkedIn but I exceeded the character limit, so I moved it to my blog. It was written hastily - pardon punctuation issues!)

Stephanie is a self-prescribed recovering pessimist. She writes from her "cozy-corner" in the mornings while sparkling sunlight plays across the chocolate brown of the chaise lounge and her computer screen as it streams in through the blinds. She isn't sure why she decided to write an author bio after this blog, or why she's referring to herself in the 3rd person, but it seemed like a fun thing to do and would love for you to check out more of her blogs on personal growth, sales, choices and success right here at www.TheStephanieScheller.com

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