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Top 15 Symbols of Optimism With Meanings

Top 15 Symbols of Optimism With Meanings

Positivity and optimism are driving factors to help us keep going in life. Through changing times, symbols of positivity have remained steady. These symbols are derived from natural elements, animals, birds, and flowers. Keeping optimistic during trying times is the key to living a successful life. 

Let’s consider the top 15 symbols of optimism below:

1. Rainbow

Cloudy rainbow over a Field.
Cloudy rainbow over a Field
Image by realsmarthome from

The rainbow means positivity and optimism. It has also been used a lot during the Covid pandemic, relaying “Keep calm and carry on” messages. Optimism means you hope the outcome of a specific endeavor will be positive. A rainbow is a multicolored spectrum of light and usually appears after heavy rainfall. 

Since rainbows generally appear after thunder, when things are dark in your life, hope emerges in a rainbow, bringing positivity. In 2020 hope for a new vaccine amid the pandemic was like a rainbow coming out from the gloom of the pandemic. Therefore, the rainbow symbolizes hope, promise, luck, and new beginnings. [1] [2] 

2. Hummingbird

A hummingbird.
A hummingbird
Image by Domenic Hoffmann from Pixabay

This tiny bird is full of energy and can travel to far-off places despite its size. It symbolizes courage and optimism, Independence, and eliminating negativity. The hummingbird, as a totem, is considered resilient. It has a playful and optimistic outlook. 

The hummingbird also has the power to lift your mood and make you joyful. When you face challenges in life, the hummingbird helps you find your way with optimism. The people of this totem can accomplish the impossible and keep going on joyfully. [3]

3. Pink Hyacinth

Pink Hyacinth.
Pink Hyacinth
Anita Mazur, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hyacinth flower is an indoor plant and is regularly given as gifts on special occasions. It has a captivating scent and a gorgeous appearance. Pink Hyacinth is also a practical token of affection. If you take care of this flowering plant, it will not only beautify your house this spring, but it can even bring in fragrance the next year too. 

Hence these plants are long-lasting. This plant’s message is to find time for playfulness and endless happiness. It also teaches you not to be occupied with things that are not important. So, this flower gives us hope and a bright vision for tomorrow. [4] [5]

4. Chrysanthemum

Yellow Chrysanthemum.
Yellow Chrysanthemum
Image Courtesy:

When you receive a bouquet of chrysanthemums from a loved one, it means you have been given the message of hope, energy, and rebirth. It also symbolizes friendship and trust, and it is a way to express love for your best friend.

These flowers are also a symbol of positive energy and optimism and are a great way to cheer anyone. It expresses the message that may your day be happier and less stressed. The name of this flower comes from the Greek word Chrysos which means gold.

This is the perfect representation of beauty and value. The name “gold flower” was adopted by the Japanese and the Chinese. In America, it symbolizes joy and happiness. [6]

5. Delphinium

Close up photograph of Delphinium.
jamesdemers by Pixabay

This flower is a symbol of success, protection, enjoyment, new opportunities, and happiness. You can give this flower as a gift to a person who is going for new business opportunities as a token to wish them success.

Similarly, if you wish to be protected from the calamities of life, this is the flower to give. If someone is depressed, you can also present this flower to brighten their day and make them more optimistic. This flower also symbolizes new opportunities and chances.

Delphiniums are meadow flowers, and their name has been derived from a Greek word used for dolphin. [7]

6. Elpis

Elpis is symbolic of hope in Ancient Greece. She was shown as a young woman who had flowers in her hands. She was the last item that came from Pandora’s box and was the hope after all kinds of miseries and calamities that came out of the box.

Hesiod’s poem ‘Works and Days’ mentions this myth in which Pandora inflicts toil and sickness to humanity. So, Hesiod says in his poem that the earth and the sea are filled with evils. But one item that did not escape the box was hope.

The message of this symbol is that no matter how bad the situation is, there is always hope that things will get better. [8]

7. Lotus Flower

Red lotus flower.
Red lotus flower
Image Courtesy:

The water lily or lotus held an important place in ancient Egypt. It carried the message of rebirth and rejuvenation. The lotus is a flower that closes at night and opens up during the day, thus showing a yellow circle and its beautiful shining yellow petals. This resembled the rising sun, and because of this, it was used as a symbol of hope, optimism, and new beginnings. 

This flower was primarily found in Egypt, the middle Egypt, and Amarna. The legend of this flower says that when the blossom of this flower opened, the sun god Atum walked out as a child and each evening would return to be protected by its petals.

It is also said that Cleopatra would take a lotus bath every day, and she would use its perfume to scent the sails and curtains of her royal ship. [9]

8. Spes

Spes Carvings.
Spes Carvings
Dirk Godlinski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spes was the goddess of hope in ancient Roman religion. Her temple was supposed to be near the Praenestine Gate and was built by Aulus Atilius. Spes was associated with hope, and it was believed her power came from higher gods.

She is represented as a beautiful woman with a long rope, holding her skirt with one hand and carrying a closed flower bud ready to be opened in her hand. She would wear garlands of flowers and have ears of corn and poppy heads to symbolize a good harvest. She was also represented with Cornu copiae, the horn of plenty. [10] [11]

9. Shining Lights

Diwali Festival.
Diwali Festival
Khokarahman, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In November, Hindus celebrate Diwali, also called the festival of lights. They burn lanterns that symbolize wisdom and victory of good over evil. In December, Jews also have a festival of lights called Hanukkah. Similarly, the Christian community put on bright lights on Christmas.

The symbol of bright lights symbolizes hearts that can overcome darkness. Bright lights also imply hope and brighter days. Even on dark days, love enables us to find light, hope, and life. Small Diwali lanterns, the candles from the menorah, and Christmas lights all offer comfort and peace. They give us hope for the future. [12]

10. Candle

Photo by Hakan Erenler from Pexels

This is a symbol that is used almost everywhere in the world. It means that there is light during dark times in life. It is also a holy symbol depicting the spirit of truth.

If used in death, it symbolizes the light in the next world and depicts Christ as light. It also symbolizes the purification of the spirit and is also used to ward off evil spirits.

Hanukkah is the festival of light, and a candle is lit for eight nights. On Halloween, candles are burned from eleven to midnight. If a candle goes out, it’s not a good sign. If it keeps burning till the end, it is believed you will attain freedom from witchcraft for a year. [13]

11. Dove

Flying white dove.
Flying white dove
Image courtesy:

This bird represents hope and optimism. An anecdote from biblical stories states a dove returns with an olive tree leaf implying hope for all the humans and animals aboard Noah’s Ark. 

Those who have a dove totem are people who are calm and not anxious. They have a great way to soothe others around them and restore faith in people who experience difficulties. They give a feeling of hope and optimism to other people. [14]

12. Olive Branch

Olive branch.
Olive branch
Marzena P. Via Pixabay

The white pigeon carrying an olive branch is a universal symbol of hope. It is depicted in Noah’s time and gives hope and optimism to everyone. The olive branch also has nutritional value too.

In Christianity, it represents the faith of the righteous, and for the church, it is a Holy Fruit. It is one of the oldest symbols globally and one of the most significant ones in the Mediterranean. It has been connected with our society since ancient times. [15]

13. Seagulls

Image by Johnnys_pic from Pixabay 

Seagulls have been associated with hope, survival, and prosperity. When you see a seagull, it means that land, food, and hope for survival are there. This sight of seagulls mainly carried a lot of meaning to ship passengers and its crew as they would know land is near.

This symbol comforts us and implies that after any calamities which might look like a storm, there is hope. One feels this as they see seagulls. So one has to remain patient and calm during turbulent times. [16]

14. Fireflies

Fireflies at Linggu Temple.
Fireflies at Linggu Temple
蘇一品, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Fireflies have a glowing light; that’s why they are considered symbols of hope for the future. This means that there is positivity after darkness.

It is also considered a spiritual symbol that establishes a sense of hope and calmness in life. If there is an obstacle, this symbol gives us the message to not despair and be optimistic during trying times. [17]

15. Butterflies

Blue Butterflies.
Blue Butterflies
Image by Stergo from Pixabay

This symbol gives hope because a butterfly goes through many transformations in its life. This symbolizes that no matter how difficult the times are still, there is a hope that things will get better. Just as a caterpillar goes through rebirth and comes out as a beautiful butterfly, similarly, the butterfly implies hope for change and a new beginning. [18]


Optimism is always a great concept to hold on to. Which of these Top 15 Symbols of Optimism were you already aware of? Let us know in the comments section below.



Header image courtesy: Drew Hays drew_hays, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons