Entrepreneurs: Why Your Irrational Optimism is Necessary

Research confirms what feels intuitive; entrepreneurs are an optimistic group, afflicted with the 'optimism bias,' a tendency to view the glass as half full backed by the belief that negative events are what happens to other people.

This is particularly true, one study found, of serial entrepreneurs, those bootstrapping men and women who we celebrate for persevering in the face of multiple failures. The more times you step up to bat, of course, the greater the likelihood that you'll hit a home run. But most of us aren't wired that way. We strike out, so we decide that maybe baseball isn't for us after all. It's a reasonable, rational response: we learn from our dismal performance, and are no longer as optimistic about our baseball abilities.

Serial entrepreneurs don't react like this, though. Failure appears to leave them as optimistic as ever. An irrational level of optimism may seem extreme, but it can sometimes help to see the world through rose-tinted glasses. Not quite there yet? Here's a collection of ways to stay positive as well as why an aggressively optimistic outlook can lead to great things.

Optimistic thinking can make you a better problem solver.

Negative emotions diminish the brain's capacity to think broadly and find creative solutions. The vise grip of fear and stress and the emotions they generate--anger, blame, panic, resentment, shame--limit thought to a narrow field that obscures options.

So train your brain to think positively.

For most of us, (the chronically optimistic aside) negative feedback registers more strongly than positive encouragement. That's why, when faced with challenges, it’s important to take stock of what’s going well. As corny as it may sound, positive affirmations help.  By repeating them with conviction several times each morning, you are training your brain to believe them and over time, you’ll start to internalize them

The ability to appear confident (even if you feel far from it) is a valuable asset. It's a skill to be able to walk in and act like you know what you’re doing even if you don't. Allowing yourself to build and applaud that skill -- without practicing any intentional harm or deceit -- will help you feel credible even when you’re out of your comfort zone, opening the gates for the real confidence to flood in.

Confidence is king, but it’s hard to build when you’re focused so much on keeping things afloat in your business day to day. Get in touch with Team Wired to discuss our Business Process Outsourcing Solutions and how we can help lift the burden off your shoulders.