Franciscan Spirit Blog

Confessions of a Recovering Pessimist

Worry Less | Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a glass-is-half-empty kind of person. Actually, I’m more like a glass-is-half-empty and that half is probably going to spill and leave you with nothing. Yep, that’s me—the Eeyore to the world’s Winnie the Pooh. The last 15 months of COVID uncertainty haven’t helped that disposition either.

I don’t like being this way. I want to look at the bright side of things, but my default disposition is to worry a lot and be negative. I like to blame my parents for my genetics. So the idea of ever being able to shed my inner Eeyore and look at the world from a new perspective seemed impossible. After all, my go-to attitude has always been that if I expect the worst and it doesn’t happen, I’m pleasantly surprised. If I am hopeful and it goes horribly wrong, it makes it all the more disheartening. Trying new foods? I could do that. Watching movies I haven’t seen? Easy. Changing my outlook on life? I’m not so sure.

How could I change that which is so deeply ingrained in me? In light of COVID-19 and the turmoil it has brought to our lives, I promised myself that it was going to be about trying new things and changing the way I viewed both myself and the world around me.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I was going to be fighting against my very instincts—the ones that said this was a stupid idea and that I would fail miserably. But guess what? I didn’t. For instance, when I was convinced that I would get swept during my races, I crossed the finish lines and collected the same medals as the elite runners. Sure, it might not have always been pretty, but I did it. I actually did it.

With each challenge, I began tapping into my inner Winnie the Pooh without even realizing it. And this is why I needed to take this journey in the first place. I wanted to prove to myself that I was capable of stepping out of my own way and making a change. I was focusing too much on the outward challenges without realizing they were working on me inwardly at the same time.

Am I all sunshine and giggles all the time? No—genetics are hard to fight. But I’m trying to look on the bright side. And through the process, I’m trying to become a glass-is-half-full kind of girl.

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