I have been in training to be an eternal optimist my whole life.
I grew up with a dad who sang songs no matter how boring/mundane the task was (brushing our teeth, trying on new shoes, and even walking to the bus stop) and I never heard my mom say anything negative or even disheartening. It’s like my parents started showing me from a young age that life is a lot more fun when you’re an optimist. Without even knowing it, I adopted this mindset and applied it to every part of my life. I had a stupid science project, but it’s great that I now understand how cells work! My braces cut open my entire mouth open, but my smile will be so worth it! I wasn’t picked for the softball team, but now I can sit on the bench and cheer on my friends! No matter what happened, I saw the good.
I didn’t realize that my mindset was different until I went to college. As I met a stranger that I would be living with, sat next to other freshman in Humanities, and went through the cafeteria line, all I heard was people complaining. I can remember journaling and writing “Everyone here seems to think life is bad at college, but I love it. I can drink chocolate milk with every meal.” Ah, the innocence of 18 year old Hannah.
As I graduated with my social work degree, married my high school sweetheart, and ventured into the professional world of social work, my optimism continued to grow and I stood out even more. Sitting across from my clients, I didn’t see a hopeless poor single mom with a felony, I saw a strong woman who no one had believed in. When I lead group therapy, I didn’t see the addictions and the scary tattoos, I saw hope in their eyes and how their children’s future could be different with the changes they made today. My optimism changed the way I saw everyone, and like gasoline in a car, it filled me with an unending love for people around me.
I don’t know if you realize this, but people are attracted to optimism. As a 21 year old, I was given responsibility and leadership positions I didn’t deserve. Instead of the same people who had been running meetings for years, I was asked to step up. Instead of the old ideas they had used forever, they listened to me. Did I know how to solve the problem of poverty & change my community? No, but I had hope that it was possible. I was an eternal optimist.
Since then, my never-ending optimism has gotten me through every job change, life struggle, and relationship. It’s like my own version of Tinkerbell, sitting in my pocket and ready to bop any problem on the head. But as my optimist has grown with me as an adult, it began to take a new form.
In 2013, I started working for Authentic Intimacy and was asked to build a national community, initiative, and marketing strategy around this brand new ministry that taught on sexuality. As a social worker with no marketing training, my optimism may have lead to overconfidence. But with God’s sweet guidance, I stood four years later looking at thousands of women attending conferences, 26,000 monthly podcast downloads, and 5 successful book launches.
Working with Authentic Intimacy gave me a taste of something I loved- Helping other people view brands, people, and initiatives with that same optimism I believed in through great marketing. I learned how to shoot great videos and pictures, I created marketing plans for friends and brands I was connected to, and I even began to build websites. And as I began to grow in my passion for marketing, people began to hire me.
So, it’s now official. My philosophy of Eternal Optimist isn’t just a phrase, it’s now my brand and my business. It’s my life’s greatest honors to work with brands, authors, and strong women I believe in to help other people see how awesome they are. In the months since my business has launched, I’ve fallen even more in love with marketing, and I don’t expect that love to do anything but grow these next few years.
The Eternal Optimist