RIP: The constructive pessimist

March 1, 2021

It's hard to explain, but everything just feels different.

The person I was six months ago is hardly recognizable, and I haven't had this much energy since high school. A renewed vigor. The foreign feeling of optimism.

As long as I can remember, I've been a pessimistic person, and I've worn that pessimism proudly on my sleeve. I convinced myself that, in a world severely lacking in critical and alternative thought, my pessimism served a valuable purpose, even going so far as to call it constructive pessimism.

In a lot of ways, this constructive pessimism is what has fueled me. The discontent I feel with everything I do drives me to improve. It keeps me grounded and prevents me from approaching things with an unrealistic expectation of success or good fortune.

But the more I've reflected on this mindset, the more I've realized how toxic it can be. Immediately assuming a position of "This is going to fail, so what can I do to mitigate the inevitable disaster it creates?" with everything I engage in might be constructive in the technical sense, but none of that matters if the process makes me feel awful along the way.

So I've decided to change. Success is the new default.

Making good shit takes rigor, and failure is going to happen, but I'm done with beating myself down relentlessly before I even get started on something.

From now on, I am no longer a constructive pessimist.

I am a cautious optimist.