A person's beliefs determine to a great extent whether they will be optimistic or pessimistic. People who have a healthy belief system with a few limiting beliefs usually manage to be optimistic.
If many good things happen to a person, this person is more likely to be an optimist than a pessimist. A person's past experience can strongly affect their future outlook about life. See also why some people are very pessimistic.
Not all optimistic people are highly confident but self-confidence still plays an important rule in making a person optimistic. The more confident a person is, the more likely they are to become optimistic because of believing that they can change their lives to the better.
Many people gain their optimism from their spiritual beliefs whether they are religious beliefs or different type of beliefs. The stronger the spiritual beliefs of a person, the more optimistic that person is likely to be.
A person's current mood highly affects their degree of either optimism or pessimism. If a person has been happy for some time, they are more likely to be optimistic than a person who has been feeling down or depressed. See what causes depression.
Forwards thinkers are the ones who think in terms of the future and who are occupied with growth. Forward thinkers are more likely to be optimistic than backward thinkers who obsess about the past and try to maintain the status quo.
Some people suggest that the manifestation of certain genes can either make a person a pessimist or an optimist. The manifestation of those genes, however, can only happen if certain environmental conditions were present such as bad past experiences.
According to one theory, those who are better able to handle stressful situations are more likely to be optimistic than those who find those situations intolerable. As an event becomes mentally taxing for a person, they can easily think negatively about it.
According to one theory, the children who were raised by healthy, non-anxious parents, are more likely to become optimists. The other children are very likely to replicate the behavior of their anxious parents and so think negatively all the time.
When a person feels in control and more capable, they are very likely to become optimistic. Helplessness, on the other hand, which may result from lack of life skills, can lead to pessimism. See what causes helplessness.
According to some psychologists, optimism can be a learned behavior. If a person was raised by parents who taught them how to become optimistic, they will probably be optimistic people.
A study has shown that pessimists have a cognitive bias that forces them to look at the negative side and to give it high importance. Optimists, on the other hand, don't have this negative bias, and as a result, they manage to maintain their positive outlook.