Hope for the best; prepare for the worst!

This is probably objectively the best approach one can take towards the dilemma of having expectations. It's a compromise between mindless optimism and unappealing pessimism. As a pessimist myself, this is the attitude I am working towards - cautious optimism.

Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

The idea is you prepare yourself emotionally for the worst outcomes by accepting them or being aware of them as possibilities, but at the same time strive to attain the best outcome and not lose hope of having positive results. This does a number of things. One, it "insures" you for the negative possibilities, but at the same time, you will still come off as a positive person and be generally happy, mainly because that's what you'll be promoting as a whole from the inside. It's just that deep down you're aware of the worst possibilities instead of mindlessly assuming that they aren't possible, which is in most cases is overly optimistic. This also allows you to release the tension of worry inside yourself by accepting negative outcomes as possibilities, so you can then comfortably maintain hope within yourself without fear of things not going your way,

The problem with being overly optimistic is you set yourself up for more severe disappointments. And there is some merit to being realistic. Some people may not be able to just be solely optimistic either as deep down they'll still be fearful of failure or negative outcomes.

But you also don't want to be passively always expecting the worst outcome to take place because then you'll lose motivation, hope, happiness, and come off as bitter and unhappy which can make your life miserable and unfortunately, repel others.

In my opinion, the best compromise is "cautious optimism". Maintain hope for the best outcomes and push yourself to attain them. Some of this has to do with being your own cheerleader, which I discussed in my last myTake: http://www.girlsaskguys.com/guys-behavior/a22467-be-your-biggest-cheerleader-jad-t-jones. And the majority of your thoughts and emotions should be based upon this hope. However, deep down remain aware and more importantly accept the possibility of negative outcomes or any risk involved with whatever you're pursuing, so as to insure yourself emotionally should things not go your way.


Most Helpful Girl

  • i like this. i can relate to this. i always try to use this method to cope in situations. i'll always try to think about every outcome, and prepare myself to be okay with the worst one in case it happens. that way i'm not heartbroken or upset when it does happen. it makes the blow a little easier to deal with haha.
    when im overly optimistic i usually won't stop thinking about that one good thing and i keep talking about it and i'm probably annoying about it! so i like to consider the bad outcomes as well. life is all about balance.


Most Helpful Guy

  • I prefer a different approach, mostly because i find the "hope for the best, prepare for the worst" to be too pesimistic for me.

    Hope for the best.
    Plan for what's realistic to expect.
    Be aware of the worst option, and have a rough and quick backup plan.


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What Girls Said 2

  • i wish i could do this

  • Thank you but ı have no hope

    • Honestly, I feel like that too a lot of the time, especially with a certain specific area of my life.

What Guys Said 3

  • The problem is, when you are aware of the negative incomes you involuntarily become afraid of them and this pushes you to pessimism and hopelessness. Because "hope" covers a big deal of "desire" for whatever you're pursuing and when you don't reach your desires, you simply become unhappy. If you're hopeful, you will fall when something bad happens, no matter how hard you'll have prepared yourself for a negative result.

  • I might have worded it something like this:
    Hope for the best, be flexible.

    Most optimistic people I know are not terribly disappointed when things don't go positively. They just roll with the punches.

  • Thats really cute