Positive Thinking Myths – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 31, 2007

pumpkins.jpgHappy All Hallow’s Eve!

There are two destructive myths circulating around positive thinking today. Unfortunately, these myths are making it difficult for many people to buy into positive thinking as a tool and reap its benefits in their lives.

The first myth is the Kiss the Frog and it Becomes a Prince myth. Fueled by the popularity of a few books, this myth tells people that all they have to do is think happy thoughts and everything they want will manifest in their lives.

People know, instinctively, that this is not true. It leads many people to label all positive thinking as chicanery.

The second, and I find pervasive, myth is that somehow thinking negatively is more “realistic” than thinking positively. I don’t know where this idea comes from, but I wish I’d been there to stamp out the first few sparks before it became the mental forest fire it is today.

This myth claims that the world is an aweful place and thinking positively is unrealistic delusion bound to create heartache. For people who believe that, I have no doubt it is true.

The world is what it is. Thinking positively or negatively about the world does not change the world. It does, however, have a profound effect on a person’s experience of the world.

Positive thinking is not about changing the world it is about transforming ourselves into more capable, caring, compassionate, productive, and successful people. It is about becoming people better able to cope, adapt, and deal with life’s ups and downs. It grants us no immunity from trial or tribulation. Simply put, positive thinking gives us a fighting chance in a world that wants to tell us, “It can’t be done.”

There is a very real price to be paid when we think negatively. Our actions follow our thoughts and when our thoughts lack confidence, conviction, or positivity our interactions with the world will mirror that reality back to us.

All balance is lost and the problem magnified when someone follows this pattern over and over in his or her life. By projecting negative expectations onto the world and getting negative results repeatedly over years, the person’s experience of the world is all negative. The tendency is to think that negativity began “out there” and to react against it.

These people become known as unhappy, miserable, malcontented, criminals, or even terrorists. They believe their unhappiness comes from outside of themselves and so they create negative acts and spread negative energy in the world.

I suppose the debate over the significance of positive thinking will rage on regardless of what I say here. However, there is one truism and there is no escaping it.

Positive thinking is not a cure for all ills, but choosing to think positively will yield better and more consistent results in life than thinking negatively.

Thoughts are free, but the consequences cost. I can’t see any benefit to thinking negatively, though we all do it at times.

My conviction is that we can see the glass as half full without compromising reality.

May you have a peaceful and prosperous Wednesday!

Ray

Published by

Ray Davis

I am the Founder of The Affirmation Spot, author of Annuanki Awakening, and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. My latest books are the Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation (Book 1 of a trilogy) and The Power to Be You: 417 Daily Thoughts and Affirmations for Empowerment. I have written prolifically on the topics of personal development and human potential for many years. By day, I write sales training for Fortune 100 company. I began studying affirmations and positive thinking after a life-threatening illness at 25. My thirst for self-improvement led him to read the writings of Joseph Campbell, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, and many other luminaries in the fields of mythology and motivation. Over time, I have melded these ideas into my own philosophy on self-development. I have written, recorded, and used affirmations and other tools throughout that time to improve my own life and I have a passion for helping other reach for their goals and dreams. Ray holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from University of Kansas. He lives in Framingham, MA with his wife and his black lab, Mia.

4 thoughts on “Positive Thinking Myths – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 31, 2007”

  1. I am not convinced of your definition of Kiss the frog … To me this saying has indicated that things should not be taken visually alone. A frog may look ugly but if you embrace it you get a sense of what else exists behind the visual ugliness. Of course, you may not always like what you find beyond the ugliness but at least you know noe that there is more than meets the eye!

    Your second myth I find much more convincing. There is a school of thought that maintains that all positive thinking is mere ‘Polly-Anna’ism and gives people an unrealistic view of the world.

    I see how the negative, sensationalist, view of the world is conveyed in the media and I think it is understandable how people can come to believe that the negative view is a realistic view. After all, it is through television and newspapers that we obtain most of our news. That news seems to be entirely of disasters, scandal and suffering. Yes, we know these things happen but they are not all that happens in the world!

    I am not inclined, though, to place all the blame upon the media, that would be making them into a simple scapegoat. people do seem to be conditioned in their lives to think negatively. Maybe this helps us to prepare for the worst, should it happen but our expectations often become reality. So, if we expect things to go wrong, then we look and notice when things do go wrong. This then re-inforces our original negative thoughts and we get caught up in a negativity cycle.

    Perhaps one of the biggest challenges to the whole field of self help or personal development has been to convince people that positive thinking is not ‘weird’ but perfectly normal and wholly beneficial.

    Many thanks for this interesting post
    John

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