I'm talking about that feeling of hoping that something will happen, despite that thing possibly causing a negative effect—in spite of that negative effect, even.

Context: I'm a software developer. When I write code, part of me wants to look back at it a year later and cringe at how terrible it is, as it's a mark of progress. The general wisdom in the field is that if you look back at old code and you're still extremely pleased with it, odds are you're not progressing as much as you could or should be. The cringe you feel is not a great feeling, but ultimately your higher faculties know it's a good thing.


  • I've seen "hoping and dreading", but I'm not sure there's a one-word answer. – Jacob Mattison Apr 26 '16 at 13:57
  • Omen: anything perceived or happening that is believed to portend a good or evil event or circumstance in the future; or Forebode: …**2**. to have a strong inner feeling or notion of (a future misfortune, evil, catastrophe, etc.); have a presentiment of. More synonyms – JosefZ Apr 29 '16 at 0:05

The short idiom "Cautious optimism" comes to mind. I know it is two words, but it I believe it encompasses the feeling you want to describe.

Here is the definition given by the following link.

"A feeling of general confidence regarding a situation and/or its outcome coupled with a readiness for possible difficulties or failure."


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