Or is it?
How do you view the proverbial half glass of water: half empty or half full? Regardless of your perspective, you still have half a glass of water. And, if you’re parched, that half glass of water will have the same impact on your thirst regardless of your perspective. Your perspective simply doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make the drink any more or less thirst-quenching.
What does matter, however, is the action you take…or don’t take…as a result of your perspective. Do you pick up the glass and drink? Or do you waste your time complaining that it’s only half full…and then waste more time opining about the benefits of a full glass and the limitations of a half-empty glass?
You can make the best of the circumstances in which you find yourself, using the resources at hand, or you can waste time complaining while you do nothing and wait for things to get better or for more resources to be made available. While the strategy of inaction occasionally works (sometimes, things do get better without your contribution), it’s unpredictable; sometimes, things get worse.
How things ultimately work out is more of a function of action than perspective. And therein lies the rub.
People with “half-empty” perspectives typically have half-empty beliefs. That is, they can’t imagine successful or optimal outcomes. And without the ability to envision successful outcomes, their motivation to take the necessary actions to achieve them is dampened—often considerably. So, they go through the motions, not expecting to accomplish much…and they don’t.
So, if you have a “half-empty” perspective, how do you discard your limiting beliefs, imagine more successful outcomes, and then take the necessary actions that would lead to them?
To simultaneously abandon your existing beliefs, blindly adopt new beliefs, and then execute a series of actions based on those new beliefs is asking too much of yourself. It’s unrealistic. You can, however, adopt an open-minded position: temporarily suspend your disbeliefs about the possibility of accomplishing more successful outcomes and make a good-faith commitment to implementing the actions that would lead to those outcomes. In other words, you can act as if you did believe in greater possibilities…if only temporarily.
Temporarily setting aside your limiting beliefs and then acting “as if” won’t guarantee success. But, it will set the stage for a process by which success can be accomplished. Sometimes you will succeed quickly; other times it will take longer. Sometimes you will get close to success; other times you may only make meager advances. But regardless of how far along the intended outcome path you get, or how long it takes for you to get there, you will be farther along than you would have been had you been guided by your (temporarily set aside) limiting beliefs.
And making any headway—even meager advances—adds credence to the possibility of the outcomes, weakens the limiting beliefs, and provides motivation to continue the journey.
When you’re thirsty, a full glass of water may be what you’re looking for, but two half-filled glasses will do just fine.