Fun fact 5: Optimists bounce back from failure faster than pessimists

How optimistic are you? Your answer to this question matters if you want to be well equipped to deal with failure. Optimists who take failure in their stride – believing the future will be positive despite setbacks – have higher levels of resilience. Indeed, optimism plays a key role in how quickly you can bounce back from adversity. A series of positive psychology studies prove this.

One study in 2001 showed that optimism among football players led to better performance and more wins. A 2006 also found a direct link between optimism and success rates for sports team. Players who looked for learning opportunities in their failures were more motivated to improve themselves. This positivity became contagious, rippling through the entire team. Thus, players focused on building their skills and set themselves up for the next win.


Subscribe to our mailing list and receive fornightly tips and videos:


These results are not only relevant in the sports field. There is ample evidence that optimistic thinking patterns support development in any field. This is why learned optimism techniques are so popular with positive psychology trainers and savvy HR practitioners.


About the author of this fun fact:

Eleanor is a master trainer and facilitator.  She specialises in positive psychology, helping leaders and HR practitioners build flourishing organisations. She is known as a creative, dynamic facilitator with a flair for helping ‘positive deviants’ excel at work. Eleanor is the author of the Positive Psychology Toolkit for HR and L&D practitioners. She runs a range of practitioner retreats and workshops for trainers and facilitators.