Believe it or not, how you perceive your future has a lot to do with what it brings your way. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? If something goes wrong, do you blame the world or do you hold yourself responsible — perhaps even too responsible? Take this quick and see. Then, figure out how to shape things to come to your liking.
1. You accidentally run a red light. Then, just as you think you’ve gotten away with it, you notice the photo flash go off. When the ticket comes in the mail (complete with your picture behind the wheel), it’s over $400. You think…
- Since when is Big Brother part of democracy?
- Ugh. Better be more careful when driving.
- The world is conspiring against me.
- I’ll go to traffic court — at least there I can explain the situation to an actual person.
2. You’re single and it’s Friday night. You’ve got plans to hit the town with some friends and you’re hoping to meet someone, but …
- There’s no way I could be that lucky.
- Even if I’m flying solo all night, I’ll have a blast.
- What are the chances when I’m the least attractive one of us?
- I know I have to be willing to talk to people to make that happen.
3. A department meeting goes awry at work and something you did is called into question. Your reaction?
- Obviously somebody is trying to throw me under the bus.
- It could’ve been worse — I could’ve gotten fired.
- I can’t do anything right.
- How can I improve my performance in the future?
4. A relative is grilling you about your love life (or something equally disconcerting) at a holiday party. After they push the issue for a while, you snap a little. Then you …
- Stomp off thinking that if everybody would just mind their own business, I wouldn’t be forced to put them in their places.
- Apologize for snapping and tell myself that your my life is going to get better and I shouldn’t feel so insecure about it.
- Sulk, feeling as if I’m the worst person in the world. With a temper like, that no wonder I can’t meet someone.
- Tell them they’re right, then decide that it’s time to take control of the situation. What am I doing to meet someone anyway?
5. Your dream job/relationship/physique is…
- Pure fantasy. Everybody doesn’t get to live the fairytale.
- A possibility. Now if I can just figure out how to get there …
- Beyond my grasp. I’m too old/in debt/stupid/fill-in-the-blank to start over.
- On its way to becoming reality.
Mostly A: Stalled and stalling
When it comes to being future-forward, you have one problem — you’re stuck in the mud of the past. Odds are you don’t like it very much there, but you use your belief that nothing will ever change as an excuse to forego setting goals or going after them. Rather than telling yourself that dreams are for other people and the world is conspiring against you, take responsibility for yourself. You may tell yourself that your life isn’t in your hands, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. You aren’t powerless. In fact, you’re the only one who can change your situation. Decide what you want your life to look like and move ahead full-steam in pursuit of it. A small shift in consciousness may be just what you need to turn the tides in your direction.
Mostly B: Hope floats you forward
You’re an optimist by nature and this serves you well. In fact, you’ve probably found that your positive attitude has propelled you to achieve many (if not most) of the things you’ve set out to do in life. The only risk you run with this attitude, is that you’ll sit back and rest on your laurels rather than putting in the hard work required to make your deepest dreams come to fruition. So, rather than just thinking you can or you will or you’re lucky (and supported by the universe, which you are), put a little elbow grease behind your intentions. You may be surprised at how much faster you get where you’re going — or how much more likely it is that you’ll arrive at your desired destination.
Mostly C: Taking blame instead of taking charge
It may sound strange, but you’re kind of a reverse narcissist. In other words, you think everything bad that happens is somehow your fault — and you actually expect bad things to happen. Then, whether it’s for other people’s misfortunes or your own, you take the blame even when you had nothing to do with the situation. Now you may have the world’s best intentions (after all, you’re probably a people-pleaser), but until you start trying to please yourself, nothing is going to change. If your constant message to the universe is “I’m sorry” or “I should’ve done …” you’re missing out on the lessons of what’s actually happening. Stop aiming for everything to be so perfect — you’re only setting yourself up to be let down by life’s inevitable dark spots. Instead, be grateful for what you have and eliminate the idea of “how things should be” from your consciousness. Trust that they’re exactly as they belong and that you have the power to impact your destiny — starting with seeing it in a whole new light.
Mostly D: Proactive and producing
Not only do you expect that good things lie ahead, you’re willing to do the work to help ensure they happen. Generally, a constructive person who isn’t afraid to take on a challenge, you aren’t afraid to get down and dirty in pursuit of your desired outcomes. So what if you’re not achieving your goals? The trouble with this personality type lies only in being unwilling to reassess your plans and change course on occasion. While your stick-to-it-iveness will often see your dreams through to fruition, frustration will strike when you’re giving your all and getting nowhere. Learn to be a little more flexible and you may discover new and improved pursuits. In the meantime, keep up the good work — your confidence (and kindness) are something everyone should strive for.