How to Be More Optimistic

Never mind those “glass half-full” maxims (which, let’s be honest, can have the opposite effect). To help direct your feet to the sunny side of the street, you need some smart strategies. Five experts, including a clown and an executive coach, offer their brightest ideas.


Photo by Leif Parsons

1. Read Your Résumé

Calling to mind your accomplishments can make you more hopeful. Why? They’re a reminder that good things have happened in the past and are likely to do so again down the road. So take a step back and pay attention to how you appear to others. Peruse a list of your professional achievements, such as your résumé. Read over written compliments you’ve received, like references or performance reviews. Or pull out old awards. (Yes, it’s OK to go as far back as high school.)

Rebecca Rapple is the owner of the Resume Revolution, a job-search branding, marketing, and sales company based in Portland, Oregon, which she founded during the height of the recession (itself an act of optimism).

2. Keep Affirmations at Your Fingertips

Post upbeat reminders online: Create a board on featuring inspirational photographs or posters. (Think neat interiors, happy children, and you-can-do-it expressions.) Encourage your friends and family members to comment on them to provide you with even more positive support. Looking at cheerful pictures can give you a lift—and often that’s all you need to get into an optimistic mind-set.

Collette Ellis is an executive coach and the founder of InStep Consulting. She is also the author of Focus on Your Vision ($3 for Kindle edition, She lives in Brooklyn.