Examples of Optimism

, Staff Editor
Updated November 7, 2020
Hang in there positive words
    Hang in there positive words
    Astakhova / iStock / Getty Image Plus

Optimism is looking at the positive aspects of things. It is also a hopeful anticipation that future events will be favorable. Basically, it is seeing and expecting the best in all things. Use these examples of optimism to help you see the bright side of things.

Optimism Every Day

Here are examples of optimism in everyday situations:

  • My work day started off really stressful, but I believed it could only get better.
  • Even though she couldn’t visit her friends because of the pandemic, she was happy she got to spend more quality time with her husband.
  • I was sad when my grandmother died, but I was also happy she wasn’t suffering anymore from her illness.
  • My soccer game was cancelled due to inclement weather. Instead of being upset about it, I enjoyed having the day off.
  • The phone rings and Albert answers it; he expects good news every time the phone rings.
  • J K Rowling had 12 rejections of Harry Potter before someone accepted it and published it, but she never stopped submitting it and believed it was great.
  • When checking the mail, Betsy expects something wonderful from a friend.
  • Jim, who became paralyzed from the waist down, doesn’t imagine all the things he can no longer do. Instead, he is happy he still has use of his hands and can continue to do many things.
  • Marie performs poorly on a test but decides to focus on knowing she’ll do better on the next one.
  • When it appeared that the charity would have to close its doors because of a shortage of donations, the volunteers never thought about shutting down. Instead, they knew they could raise the money to keep it open.
  • When shipwrecked on a deserted island, the crew never stopped believing they would be rescued.
  • After getting fired, Johnny and his wife celebrated his finally breaking free of that job knowing he’d get a better position soon.
  • Instead of being dejected when her scholarship application was denied, Kristen focused on the other applications she had submitted. She knew one would come through for her.

Optimism in Idioms

Here are examples of optimism in idioms and popular phrases:

  • See the glass as half full instead of half empty.
  • When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
  • Every cloud has a silver lining.
  • Hope against hope.
  • Things have a way of working out for the best.
  • There is light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Keep your chin up.
  • Hang in there.
  • There are plenty of fish in the sea.
  • When one door closes, another one opens.
  • See the world through rose-colored glasses.
  • Count your blessings.
  • Everything's coming up roses.

Quotes on Optimism

Here are examples of inspirational quotes about optimism:

  • “Those who wish to sing always find a song.” - Swedish proverb
  • “The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran
  • “You see things; and you say ‘why?’ But I dream of things that never were, and I say ‘Why not?’”- George Bernard Shaw
  • “No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.” - Hal Borland
  • “We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.” - Vince Lombardi
  • “The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser - in case you thought optimism was dead.” - Robert Brault
  • “Optimism doesn't wait on facts. It deals with prospects. Pessimism is a waste of time.” - Norman Cousins
  • “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” - Lucille Ball
  • “Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push. A smile. A world of optimism and hope. A 'you can do it' when things are tough.” - Richard M. DeVos
  • “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” - Helen Keller
  • “Be careful what you water your dreams with...Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.” - Lao Tzu

Types of Optimism

Not all optimists are the same. Explore the different types of optimism to see which best fits your style.

  • Dispositional optimism, or “big optimism”, is the worldwide expectation that more good than bad will happen in the future.
  • Unrealistic optimism is when positive expectations and the actual evidence don’t match.
  • Comparative optimism is expecting good things for yourself as compared to another person.
  • Situational optimism is the expectation of a good outcome in a specific situation.
  • Strategic optimism involves denying risks because you believe you have control.
  • Realistic optimism involves keeping a positive outlook within the constraints of this world.

Look on the Bright Side

Examples of optimism illustrate what it means to think positive and see the bright side, even during dark times. Maybe these optimism examples can help you to look on the positive side in your own life. What are you feeling optimistic about today?