We could all use a little more optimism, especially in these historically tumultuous times. But how? That little voice whispering doomsday scenarios in our ear can be so loud sometimes (especially when we watch the news). In astrology, a sign’s inclination toward pessimism or optimism is often related to something called “qualities” or “quadruplicities.” This refers to where a zodiac sign falls in relation to the seasons, and signals a sign’s acceptance or resistance to change. So if your sign falls at the start of a new season, like Libra who ushers in autumn, you may embody that same eager, initiating energy.
Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn), born at the beginning of the season, are natural leaders and idea generators. They’re able to channel their supercharged optimism into big dreams for the future, and can often be agents for change. Think of a cardinal sign as the kid who started a lemonade stand in their driveway or the adult who turned their artistic talents into a thriving Etsy shop.
Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius), on the other hand, are born in the middle of the season and can have a lot more difficulty with change. Our fixed friends order the same sandwich every week and take the same path each time they stroll around the block. They tend to operate with an abundance of caution, preferring to build on what is already there rather than trying for something new.
Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces), born at the end of the month, celebrate change and seek out variety and adventure. They’re the friends that agree to plans before you’ve even finished your sentence (even if those plans involve skydiving or camping in the woods), and show up with a completely new hairstyle every time you hang out.
No matter what your sign, we all have both an optimist and a pessimist inside us. By understanding each sign’s quality, we can harness our inner optimist and help understand and fight against our more pessimistic tendencies. And who doesn’t want that? Here’s a personalized plan for each sign to get a little more optimistic, plus an optimism mantra that’ll help to silence the pesky voice telling you everything is terrible.
Nobody would ever accuse Aries of being timid. Known for their high confidence, Aries tend to have a ton of optimism at the start of something, but have a hard time carrying that through to the end. Think: pouring all of their energy into writing daily journal entries, only to run out of creative steam two weeks later. Sometimes, Aries can veer away from optimism into recklessness, but keeping their eyes on the prize can help ward off any last-minute self-sabotage. In order to avoid losing momentum and getting impulsive, Aries can write down everything they're excited about at the start of a new project. That way the fire signs can revisit their most passionate thoughts later down the line when you need some optimism fuel.
Your Optimism Mantra: Find joy in the journey.
Taurus isn’t particularly known for its cheery disposition, so the earth sign can be facing somewhat of an uphill battle when it comes to optimism. Luckily, hard-working, persistent Taurus never shies away from a challenge! The biggest thing for bulls to avoid is falling into a pit of cautiousness. Taurus craves security, so if their date ignores a text, it's easy for Taurus to spiral into the "what ifs." Instead of living in the worst-case scenario when they're dealing with life's uncertainties, a little perspective could be helpful for Taureans. When facing a life change, make a list with three columns that list out the “best,” “worst” and “most likely” outcomes. Seeing them written down can help you realize which worries are over the top, which are worth thinking about and all the wonderful things that could happen if you let yourself go with the flow.
Your Optimism Mantra: Just go with it.
Geminis absolutely love change, so you’ve got a bit of a head start when it comes to the optimism department. Anything that means today is going to be different from yesterday is A-OK by the twins: meeting new friends, cracking open a new book or learning the latst TikTok dance. That said, Geminis’ moods can swing wildly from day-to-day, so it’s important to recognize and manage your pessimistic side when it comes out to play. When it does, Geminis can find themselves acting tense and judgemental, suddenly seeing the worst where they used to see the best. Start taking time to recognize these behaviors and ask yourself, “Is this person really out to get me, or am I just choosing to see the worst in things today?”
Your Optimism Mantra: This too shall pass.
A Cancer’s super sensitivity is their blessing and their curse, so maintaining a more optimistic view will help when your watery tendencies veer into the moody side. When a Cancer is feeling particularly low or pessimistic, they tend to isolate themselves and become uncommunicative. Stewing like this will only make your pessimism worse, so make sure to force yourself to have a little outside time every day—even if it just means walking to your local coffee shop. Also, make sure to have a designated friend that you check- in with emotionally, especially when you feel like holing up in your room and listening to music under a blanket. An outside perspective will help check some of your gloom and doom, and will remind you that talking about your feelings can always help take the edge off.
Your Optimism Mantra: I am in charge of how I feel, and today I am choosing happiness.
Leos have no problem being optimistic about themselves and their future; it’s extending that optimism to others that can be a problem. Leos have an endless capacity for fun and entertainment (see: their booming Youtube channel or broadway level acting skills), but when they feel threatened, they can turn cold-hearted, jealous and aggressive. The world is not out to get you, Leo! And just because someone has more Instagram followers than you, doesn't mean they're going to dull your shine. Keep in mind that a rising tide lifts all boats, and when you feel the green-eyed monster creeping up inside you, remind yourself there’s enough spotlight for everyone.
Your Optimism Mantra: Other people’s successes are not my failures.
Virgo is another sign that has no shortage of optimism when it comes to their own ideas, but needs a little help extending that optimism to those around them. A lack of control can send Virgos into a tornado of fearful thoughts, and their sky-high standards can make it so they never see any project as “good enough” to be finished. When you find yourself in one of these spirals, take a minute to walk away from your work and come back to it later, or bring in a trusted friend to take a look. Fresh eyes might help you see the good over all the things you think need improvement.
Your Optimism Mantra: Finished is better than perfect.
Libras are a naturally optimistic sign, and are known as charming, lovable, hopeless romantics. Where Libras can get into trouble is letting their natural optimism blind them to red flags, leading to major meltdowns when even the smallest things go wrong. You just wanted everyone to be happy, but you need to make sure your needs are met, too. Find a breathing exercise that works for you now so you can breathe through the emotions the next time you find your optimism being challenged. Then pop those rose-colored glasses back on and go back to being the life of the party!
Your Optimism Mantra: Accept the good and the bad.
Scorpios tend to feel things pretty intensely, so that means they’re prone to intense bouts of optimism and pessimism. When their pessimistic side shows up, Scorpios can become secretive and obsessive. Instead of letting go of resentment after a breakup, Scorpios tend to hang on and emotionally replay the betrayal. The next time you find yourself fixated on something in a negative way, turn your thoughts to what some of the positive outcomes could be (think: you forgive, move on and meet someone new). Write them down if you have to. It might feel mechanical at first, but eventually you’ll naturally start thinking more positively.
Your Optimism Mantra: I am the sky. Everything else is just weather.
Congratulations, Sagittarius! You’re the most optimistic sign in the zodiac. But you probably had a feeling that would be the case when you started reading. Ready to conquer life's big questions, Sag searches for greater meaning everywhere. You’re a sucker for motivational speakers, inspirational stories and the slogan “hope and change” is basically about you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t fall victim to pessimistic thinking just like the rest of us, and it can hit you particularly hard as you’re not used to dealing with those types of feelings. These are the times you need a non-Sagittarius friend on speed dial, who can help you work through some of these difficult feelings and restore your sunny, cheerful self!
Your Optimism Mantra: Don’t worry, be happy.
Capricorns are hyper-critical of themselves. And while they're typically the most pessimistic of the zodiac signs, they can grow to see the good in their surroundings. Although Caps are fiercely independent, they should take care not to isolate themselves. When you get into that quiet, scary, “everything is terrible” place, that’s the time to call up a good friend and plan a night out of the house. Not saying you have to go on a Girls Trip-style adventure, but surrounding yourself with people you love and lighthearted conversation can lift you up.
Your Optimism Mantra: I love myself no matter what.
Funny thing about Aquarians: They have no problem dreaming up big, optimistic visions of the future, but they have tons of trouble seeing good in the present. Cynical of this world and the people in it, Aquarians can get lost in existential thought. When you find yourself stuck in what could be, take a little time to make a note of ten things you like about what’s going on right now. Doing a body scan or a quick meditation can also help reconnect you with the present in a positive, optimistic way. Then by focusing on the positive things in your present life, you’ll be even more equipped to make the most of the exciting things that are to come.
Your Optimism Mantra: I am grateful for the present moment and all it offers me.
As a mutable sign, Pisces are generally optimistic people. Where they can run into trouble is when their intense empathy and sensitivity makes them take on the pessimism of others. While Pisces's friends are having a heated argument in the car, Pisces is frantically trying to escape into their imagination to drown out the noise. Pisceans are extremely susceptible to the emotions of others, taking them on as their own as easily as you’d try on a new jacket. When you’re feeling particularly pessimistic, check in with yourself. Is this really you talking? Or is it someone else’s bad attitude you’ve taken on as your own? Once you identify the source of the feelings, you’ll finally be able to work through them.
Your Optimism Mantra: My emotions are mine alone.
With a little work, every sign in the zodiac can live a more fulfilled life, no matter where they fall on the astrological chart. Rather than telling us the future, astrology gives us insight into our own personalities so that we can better have control over them in the present. So go out there and start smiling at people. (Chances are they could use it.)