• Is Optimism A Benefit Or A Hindrance To Success?

    By The W10 Team

    Are we “Too optimistic about being optimistic?”

    A group of people take a test, half are given positive reinforcement immediately before the test and half were given negative reinforcement before the test. Who does better? Social media is flooded with optimism regarding fitness and getting into shape but what does optimism actually do. A group of psychologists performed a number of studies recently, looking into the effectiveness of optimism and they found that people may be “too optimistic about optimism”.

    The studies found that optimism, whilst improving persistence, has no effect directly on success. People will often prescribe themselves a healthy dose of optimism and relate it to success but unfortunately this is unjustified. Being optimistic may do wonders for motivation or persistence at a task. As a result this may inevitably lead to an increased ability to succeed. However, it doesn't directly mean success.

    The research wanted to highlight that optimism may be beneficial in some cases, however is it the best pill to take? Optimism is in the shadows of Competence and Ability. You're more likely to succeed if your attention is drawn to ways to increase your accuracy or expertise.

    The research used an analogy of Pandora’s box to help distinguish the point. Is optimism a tool to help us get through a test or is it in fact a hindrance from actually focusing on passing it.

    “In the Greek Legend of Pandora’s Box, by opening the box, Pandora releases great evil into the world: Death, envy, hate, greed and illness. At the bottom of the box, the very last thing to emerge is hope. Perhaps the optimism of hope sustains us through all the challenges, travails, humiliations, disappointments, and frustrations of life. Readers of the Pandora legend, however, disagree about whether the hope that Pandora drew last from the box was the blessing that allows us to endure all the rest, or whether hope’s temptation to disregard reality makes it, in fact, another curse”.

    There is something to be “optimistic” about. The researchers advised, the two indicators that directly relate to success and greater performance are your actual ability to succeed and your attention to accuracy. The irony of this is, that by doing so any optimism you may experience is now warranted.

    The conclusion - a group of people take a test, half are given positive reinforcement immediately before the test and half were given negative reinforcement before the test. Who does better?

    The people that are best prepared for the test do best!


You Might Also Like

Quick Browse
    • Eating healthy not losing weight

      Working out, eating well but not losing weight?


      Here’s why. So we’re well into the New Year now, and after December’s festivities you’re back into the swing of things with your training and healthy eating. You’ve done the dreaded weigh in and calculated your BMR (basal metabolic rate - the amount of calories your body needs to function at rest). From this you’ve

      Read More
    • How to get the most out of your sleep for weight loss

      7 things you can do to get the most out of your sleep


      Unless you’ve been living in a cave (in which case you wouldn’t be reading this), you’ll know that sleep is important. Most of us are probably guilty of not getting enough shut-eye and although it will vary from person to person on how much sleep we require (for most it’s 8 hours) we all need

      Read More
    • train around Lower back pain

      How To Train Around Lower Back Pain


      “In the United Kingdom, low back pain was identified as the most common cause of disability in young adults: with more than 100 million work days lost per year.” – World Health Organisation The first thing we want to point out here is that we are absolutely not trying to advise people on how to

      Read More
    • Summer bodies made in winter

      Telegraph Feature: Summer bodies are made in the winter


      "Don't save your beach-body programme for the six-week summer bootcamp dash, make it easy on yourself and start now" says our fitness blogger, W10 Founder - Jean-Claude Vacassin. It might seem a little premature to be talking about summer bodies in early January, what with the cold and dark mornings and the baggy jumper season

      Read More
    • Superfoods inhibit fat loss goals

      Are superfoods actually inhibiting your fat loss goals?


      The superfood craze: why “super” foods may not always be the best choice. Superfoods are buzzwords in health circles right now. From Buddha bowls, to raw energy balls to goji berries, it seems that everyone is jumping on the health food train. With their 100% natural, whole food tag line they must be super, right?

      Read More
    • W10 5-day fitness retreat: Ibiza 2018


      Event: Training Places - Ibiza Date: Saturday 1st September 2018 - Friday 6th September 2018 https://youtu.be/Yb2_WydS-8w Taking W10 Fitness to new places... After an incredible trip to Ibiza earlier this year, we’re excited to announce that we are going to be running the fitness retreat again in September 2018. Set on the hills of s’Estanyol near

      Read More

Start Your 30 Day Trial Today

If you’re ready to make a change, you can start now. Register online and book your first session today.

Start Today

Set up in 2009 by founder Jean-Claude Vacassin (a regular health and fitness contributor to the Daily Telegraph) the W10 Performance gym is located in West London at 202-208 Kensal Road, London W10 5BN. W10’s Gym memberships offer personal training, nutrition advice, yoga, boxing, HITT and other functional fitness classes. They also have physio and sports massage practitioners onsite. They are proud to offer a high level of fitness to residents and local workers in Kensal Rise, Kensal Green, Queens Park, Willesden, Kilburn, Harlesden, Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, Kensington and Westbourne Park areas.


Find us The Basement, 202-208 Kensal Road, London W10 5BN

Call us on 020 3489 5428