Even if you are at the glass-half-empty end of the spectrum, there is still hope for you. It is never too late to change your thoughts. After all, your thoughts shape your reality.

Not everyone is a pessimist; sometimes, we just have bad days. Here are a few telltale signs that will let you know if you are pessimistic or not.

  • You always think, “what if it doesn’t work out” rather than “what if it does?”
  • You don’t get shocked when things go wrong.
  • You easily give up.
  • You find it difficult to forgive.
  • You get annoyed by optimists.
  • You engage in negative self-talk.

Below are five ways you can stop being pessimistic.

  1. Replace every negative thought with a positive one. Next time you catch yourself thinking negatively, stop and replace it with a positive idea. Try to find the silver lining and, if you can’t, imagine a completely irrelevant positive thought.
  2. Make a gratitude list. Focusing on the things you have rather than what you lack, creates abundance in your life—taking the little things for granted sows the seeds of pessimism. Every day, write down five things that you are thankful for, which will keep your focus on all the good in your life.
  3. Stop seeing setbacks as failures. Try to see setbacks for what they are: lessons to help you grow, a slight delay in your plan. Learn from them and do better next time.
  4. Do good things for others. If you’re so pessimistic, negative, or cynical, try to change the stuff that irritates you. If you want more kindness, compliment someone. If you want more appreciation, pay for a veteran’s gas or meal. If you want people to be more polite, hold the door open for people and tell them good morning. Doing these good things for others will change your reality.
  5. Find an outlet to release your negativity. Negative thoughts automatically and often unconsciously get channeled into your actions, even when you don’t intend for it. Channel this negative energy into something else like exercising, painting, or listening to heavy metal music.