Skip to main content

Optimist or Pessimist?

I could bitch for hours about the disgusting heat wave we are having in Canada right now, but after seeing and hearing about what folks in Somalia are facing right now because of drought, it just doesn't seem right.

What a peverse world we live in, huh? Here in North America we face a growing obesity epidemic because of our over consumption of calories and our insufficient energy expenditure. Half a world away millions of people are facing starvation.

Of course, this is a global problem that goes beyond individual life choices. It involves politics, economics and culture

Will things ever change for the better? I am not sure. How do you feel?

Are you generally an optimist or a pessimist?

I am probably more often a pessimist, which is typical of somone like me who tends to be an anxious worrier.

Like many anxious folks, I tend to hold common dysfunctional beliefs about my worry like: preparing for the worst possible outcome will (1) prevent it from actually happening, and (2) it will protect me from pain and disappointment if it does happen.

Really, our thoughts are not this powerful. If they were, we could just think positively and only positive things would happen to us, right?

We discuss this stuff in our therapy sessions at the fertility clinic a lot. Couples facing infertility often cope differently, with men being more hopeful, and women being more cautious and pessimistic. The women try to prepare themselves for the worst by expecting the worst, but then they worry that their worry and negative thinking will actually negatively affect the outcome of their fertility treatments and/or pregnancy.

But research shows this not to be the case. No matter how negatively you think, this does not lessen the pain of failure and loss. Nor does negative thinking affect outcomes of fertility treatments or pregnancy.

Nevertheless, this may be different in other areas of life, such as how we perform or success at a given task. In fact, there is an abundance of literature that shows that self-efficacy beliefs (beliefs in one's ability to accomplish a given task) are significantly related to health behaviour change.

For example, if you embark on a quest to lose weight, quit smoking or start exercising, but do not actually have a lot of confidence to reach the goal, you are much less likely to reach the goal. If, however, you begin this quest with confidence that you will be successful, you are significantly more likely to actually be successful.

I am trying to keep all of this research in mind right about now. I have started worrying about what I am going to do when I finish school. Here are my what-ifs:

What if I try to start my own counselling practice and can't get any clients?

What if, because I can't get any clients I have to look for a counselling job but I can't get one because I have so little experience?

What if so much time goes by that I have not had an income that I have to settle by taking another research job?

What if I end up being stuck back in the research industry and the past two year (time and financial) investment was all for nothing?

What if I am miserable in this research job but end up stuck there for the rest of my working life?

What underlies all of these worries is my lack of confidence/pessimism about my ability to go out on my own and build my own counselling practice. But I am trying to reign in my fears and insecurities since torturing myself will not lessen the suffering I will experience should the worst case scenario actually occur, nor is it likely to help my chances of actually reaching my goal. So please excuse me while I go get a drink of water...and fill it up half full. As I gulp it down, I will keep repeating this mantra: I CAN DO IT!


Popular posts from this blog

Blackfly Coolers: Product Review

Summer is over! Well, at least if you're a student. Officially it doesn't end for a few weeks, and it certainly still feels like summer. Yeah, I hate it. This f*cking hot, humid weather needs to end NOW! We made the most of our last weekend of the summer with our annual trip to the CNE on Friday, with a crowd of friends. It wasn't unbearably lot, thank goodness, and the girls and their friends had a blast on the rides.  Saturday I had to work, and Sunday was errand day. Monday we took the girls berry/apple/pear picking but didn't last long due to the heat. I organized the house to prepare for the construction workers starting back up yesterday, while Adam took the girls for a swim in our neighbourhood pool.

Yesterday was the first day of school. Grade 2 and Grade 5. Yep, the girls are growing up.  We are fortunate that the girls don't have much anxiety about school, they are so much more confident than I ever was as a kid! But now, in the midst of our reno chaos, …

Live Clean

I have been committed to living a healthy life through nutrition and fitness for over 20 years now.

It took me a lot longer to pay attention to what I was cleaning the house with and what I was putting ON my body as opposed to IN it.

When I got pregnant with Big A I started reading about the toxins in a lot of commercial cleaning products and switched to the all-natural, eco-friendly stuff. When I became pregnant with Little A, I switched to all-natural, eco-friendly personal care products.

I am all for being environmentally friendly for the good of the planet, but to be honest, what really motivates me to make these types of changes is concern for my family's health.

You may remember I mentioned giving up my favorite perfume a while back because it apparently is full of nasty chemicals. I switched to the "Red Tea" scent made my Roots, which is supposed to be somewhat "natural". This was only after a number of trial and errors. I first found a woman in …

Panang Curry

When we go out for Thai food, one of my favorite things to order is the panang curry. But there is no doubt when this dish is made in a restaurant, it packs a hefty wallop of fat, sodium and calories.

My version is lightened up, but still rich and flavourful and it is super simple to make.

Traditionally, panang curry is made with either beef or chicken, but I made it vegetarian, using dried seiten (wheat gluten) I got at T&T a few weeks ago. If you are not sensitive to gluten, this is a great source of vegetarian protein. If you cannot find it dried, you can get it prepared at most health food stores. Alternatively, you can use tofu, or the more traditional chicken or beef options.

This dish also doesn't usually have much vegetable matter in it, but I love how yummy veggies taste when simmered in this sauce, and it makes this a healthy one-pot meal. Use whatever veggies you prefer or have on hand.

Protein of choice (2 cups seiten or 1 lb organic tofu, boneless skinless ch…