If someone displays these 11 traits, they’re a genuine optimist

We all know that person. The one with a pep in their step and seemingly nothing can bring them down.

Do you want to be more like them? Are you tired of negative thoughts and worrying about minor things, but also about your future?

Let me show you the traits of genuinely optimistic people and how you can become one.

1) They have a positive, can-do attitude

Having a positive mindset is something many people struggle with. Heck, even I have to realign my thoughts occasionally. If I don’t, my mind will wander into negative thinking and misanthropy.

Genuine optimists have done one of two things. They have trained their minds to have a can-do attitude or they were simply born with it.

Thinking positively comes naturally to them, and they probably don’t even think twice about how or why it happens.

Either way, nothing is stopping you from being a bottom-line positive person. Simply learn to acknowledge sad thoughts and find a way to disperse them.

It will be a bit easier each time until the negativity stops coming up entirely, and you subconsciously become an optimist.

2) They are proactive

Speaking of a can-do attitude and mindset, genuine optimists are often go-getters. They tend to be surprisingly enterprising.

That’s easy when you think now that each new idea you have could turn into gold. Genuine optimists find it easier to start new business ventures even if they have little or no money to do so.

Look, I know first-hand how hard it can be to become an entrepreneur. It’s a constant rollercoaster of emotions that can kick you off the ride at any corner.

If I weren’t proactive and kept going, I would be in a mountain of debt by now and no way out.

3) They embrace new ideas

One way of being more proactive is to embrace new ideas. How do you do that? You think out of the box and meet new people.

Optimists find it easier to strike up a conversation with strangers, even if they are secretly introverts.

In fact, most successful business people and celebrities are massive introverts. This doesn’t stop them from going after even their craziest ideas if they think they are right.

My next point is directly connected to this.

4) They don’t seek the validation of others

Constantly seeking approval and validation from others (even strangers) is tiring and creates a huge dent in our minds.

Not only are validation seekers less confident, but they are also more cynical and have a doomer mindset.

I have to raise my hand here and tell you I’m not impervious to this behavior. It’s hard to be free from the shackles of other people and stop thinking about what they think about me.

The total opposites are people who know what they’re worth. As they say, a wolf doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of sheep.

This leads me to my next point…

5) They believe in themselves

I can think of two great examples off the top of my head of how important it is to believe in yourself.

The first one is Oprah Winfrey. I know this shows how old I am, but until Oprah came along, there was really almost no one like her on TV.

She always states how her confidence and self-belief have been vital to her success. She has often talked about the significance of believing in yourself and pursuing your passions and has encouraged others to do the same.

Here’s a (relatively) newer example. Serena Williams is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. She’s known for her fierce competitiveness and athleticism, among other things.

But she has also faced numerous challenges throughout her career, including injuries, setbacks, and criticism from others.

Despite all that, she remained confident on and off the court and is now known also as a businesswoman, entrepreneur, and a great mother.

6) They are resilient

youre wise beyond your years If someone displays these 11 traits, they're a genuine optimist

I’ll continue with sports jargon for a little bit, so bear with me.

You think that it’s easy to hit the tennis ball a couple of hours per day? I mean, I wouldn’t blame you; professional tennis players do make it look incredibly easy, don’t they?

But what you don’t see are the hours of literal blood, sweat, and tears that go behind it in a pursuit to be the best in the world.

Most athletes are known for being incredibly optimistic and resilient. There’s just no other way around it. You must believe in yourself and your abilities and develop a thick skin.

7) They are compassionate toward others

Being optimistic and having compassion toward others simply go hand in hand. You can’t always look on the bright side if you don’t bring others with you on this journey. 

Optimists can see the good in people and situations, even when it isn’t immediately apparent.

Many also genuinely love animals and tend to volunteer in animal shelters or in soup kitchens, for example.  

By the way, when you open your eyes to some of the bad things in life, you also tend to be more grateful for what you have. This brings us to…

8) They are grateful for the good things in their life

As I just mentioned, to be more thankful for the good things in your life, you often have to see the bad sides of it, too.

We all know there’s no shortage of those in today’s world and how easy it is to think that the world is going downhill fast. 

One easy way to be more grateful is to write down your thoughts and the things you cherish in life.

I started doing this a couple of months ago, and I can tell you, it’s a real life changer. Every chance I get, I encourage others to start journaling too, but unfortunately, it’s still often dismissed. 

Journaling, not only helps you be grateful for what you already have, but it also helps you with the next point.

9) They enjoy small things

Many genuine optimists don’t have a problem disconnecting and just being present in the moment.

While everyone else is constantly glued to their smartphones, these people can stop and smell the roses or look at the sky and appreciate the sun and the clouds.

Let me raise my hand again and confess that I’m definitely a smartphone addict and that I have to resist the urge to always pick up the phone.

I know you can relate to this and find it tough to enjoy a TV show or movie without looking at Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.

So, let’s work together and find a way to enjoy the small things in life.

10) They have a good sense of humor

What’s the one thing both men and women find the most attractive in the opposite sex? Humor, of course.

The ability to make other people laugh is something you arguably can’t learn. You have to have some talent for it.

What you can do is learn how to find joy and laughter in life’s ups and downs. Being able to see the lighter side of things can help you reduce stress and increase resilience which I already mentioned.

11) They have hope for the future

And lastly, you can’t be a genuine optimist if you don’t have sincere hope for the future. Not only your future but the future of humanity.

Recession, wars, and now even AI all bring anxieties about the near future, let alone a distant one.

I’d be lying if I said that I’m not worried about my family’s future and the world. Still, I am hopeful and genuinely think that the people will prevail and that we will deal with climate change, AI going rogue, and all the other things they throw at us!


So, there you have it – the most common behaviors that can indicate someone is a genuine optimist.

One way to be more optimistic and enjoy life is to get yourself off the couch. We have an article showing you how to go from super lazy to insanely determined in no time.

Did you like my article? Like me on Facebook to see more articles like this in your feed.

Picture of Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.