Episode 24: 8 Ways To Avoid Toxic Positivity By Displaying Hopeful Optimism

Episode 24 Show Notes


Hopeful Optimism

  • Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
  • Optimism and pessimism are mindsets — ways of thinking and seeing things. Optimists see the positive side of things. They expect things to turn out well. They believe they have the skill and ability to make good things happen.

Toxic Positivity 

  • Toxic positivity is the belief that your teachers should maintain a positive mindset no matter how difficult (or even dire) the situation.
  •  (Picture the captain of the Titanic screaming, “Everything’s fine! Positive vibes only!” as the ship slips beneath the surface.)
  • Toxic positivity disregards the valid, negative emotions of your teachers while taking positivity to an over generalized extreme. 


The 8 Ways to Avoid Toxic Positivity By Displaying Hopeful Optimism 

  1. Accurately assess the current situation
  2. Acknowledge the current situation 
  3. Paint the picture of a different future
  4. "We are going to get through this"
  5. Set the example
  6. Perform a "belief transplant"
  7. Validate your teacher’s feelings 
  8. Get to work


Big Takeaways


8 Ways  to Avoid Toxic Positivity By Displaying Hopeful Optimism 


1 Accurately assess the current situation (As hard as it is, remove the emotion and accurately assess the situation)


2 Acknowledge the current situation (DON’T BE Captain of Titanic, everything is fine!)


3 Paint the picture of a different future (Use vivid language to paint a picture of what the future looks like after this situation)


4 "We are going to get through this" (you want your teachers to believe that you are going to courageously and effectively lead them through this)


5 Set the example (you need to display confidence and skill and a mindset that the current situation is temporary and manageable)


6 Perform a "belief transplant" (Replace their current belief with a different belief. One that is rooted in Hopeful optimism)


7 Validate your teacher’s feelings (Empathy)


8 Get to work (It is going to be hard)

Call to Action

  • Accurately Assess and Acknowledge the situation
  • You lose credibility when you are out of touch about how bad things are.


CLICK HERE for LinkedIn Article

CLICK HERE for Psychology Today article


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If you implement any of these strategies at your school, I would love to hear from you! Send me a quick note at [email protected] and tell me about it. I can answer your questions and I’m also good at giving pep talks when you get stuck!


CLICK HERE for a bunch of free resources, including Plug & Play PD's (video webinars with guided notes) for you to use with your teachers, Top Lists of Leadership Books, Productivity Books, TED Talks and much more!


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