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Are you an optimist, pessimist or realist?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

Dangers during the covid crisis and how to overcome them

A recent 18 year long study which has just been published by De Meza & Dawson 2020 looked at mental wellbeing of individuals and measured their levels of optimism, pessimism and realism relating to mental well being. They looked at the study participant's long-term sense of well-being and happiness, based on self-reported life satisfaction and psychological distress questionnaires.

They found that the realists had by far the most satisfying sense of well being and lower stress. With the optimists, having a 13.5% reduction in well being and pessimists a huge 21.8% reduction.

The optimists were often disappointed when outcomes were not met. The pessimists would often have a focus on impending doom. Realists however had the highest level of long term happiness.

In a press release from the University of Bath in the UK the Researchers stated:

"Optimists will see themselves as less susceptible to the risk of Covid-19 than others and are therefore less likely to take appropriate precautionary measures. Pessimists, on the other hand, may be tempted to never leave their houses or send their children to school again. Neither strategy seems like a suitable recipe for well-being. Realists take measured risks based on our scientific understanding of the disease".

So how does this relate to coaching?

Where someone is heavily weighted in one direction or the other coaching can help.

When someone is pessimistic and stressed, they are more likely to have reduced performance and potentially make mistakes. When someone is overly optimistic, they may not hit their targets.

Coaching someone for performance or if they simply wants to improve their sense of well being is an option. Looking at the ACTUAL situation, right at that moment and focusing on what is realistically possible, can help create an improved sense of well being, reduced stress and improved performance.

To talk about how coaching can help you click HERE

Caroline Langston is the Founder of Successful Consultants Ltd, an executive, personal and career development coaching company in Hong Kong, with her partner Patrick Bennett founding the practice in New York. She is also the Founder of a nonprofit providing free information and coaching to people who are unemployed. Caroline is dedicated to coaching people for success and happiness in their careers and lives. She is a Certified Professional Coach at International Coaching Federation standards. Certified Team Coach and is also degree qualified with further certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming at Master Practitioner and Coach level.


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