When Is Positive Thinking Actually Negative?

And what are the steps you can take to practice healthy, balanced, positive thinking?

If you’re a positive thinker, what does that mean, exactly? Does being positive suggest that you will only entertain positive thoughts? How could you possibly do that? Some people try, unsuccessfully, to do so. The reason for their difficulty in maintaining a so-called positive outlook is obvious.

Each day, an endless number of problems occur, and those problems demand solutions. But to find solutions, you have to consider the problems, e-nail and that seems to bring up a conflict in people whose goal is to be entirely positive. After all, you can’t be aware of the need for a solution unless you’re also aware of the problem. So unless you are avoiding all problems of any kind, you’ll realistically have to think about problems quite often.

If it’s common sense that to find a solution you have to look at the problem, then where did the idea come from that you should only notice the positive? It may come from a uniquely American idealistic tendency. It’s worth exploring how this attitude — that anything is possible if you’re positive enough — became both an asset and a liability that affects would-be positive thinkers everywhere.

This can-do spirit, when utilized appropriately, is associated with the confidence that lets you move forward, in spite of all apparent limitations. This can be a wonderful asset, quartzbanger at least when it gives you the strength to move forward amidst apparently challenging circumstances. Such positive attitudes have helped creative thinkers attempt bold projects that had never been attempted before, and have yielded great inventions, new styles of art, new businesses, and innovations of all kinds.

It’s a shame that this bright side of positive thinking has become so tempting to so many people — they fail to see the limitations that often surface when you’re exclusively seeing only the good aspects of everything.

It’s sobering to consider the shadow side of the can-do spirit. Consider the case of a company like Enron that refused to consider problems that their whistle-blowers were warning about. This can-do spirit, when combined with self-delusion, put the company in serious trouble, Directorylisting because they were so full of their own positive hot air that they considered themselves as beyond the need to listen to the warnings. Instead, they tried to escape into their own positive cloud of arrogant illusory assumptions about reality.

How a cheerful pop song encourages you to be in denial

The willingness to deny problems is strongly expressed in the popular Johnny Mercer lyrics of the Harold Arlen song, markd Accentuate The Positive. It was written after Johnny Mercer attended a sermon by Father Divine, who focused on the idea of eliminating the negative in your thinking, and focusing on the positive instead. In the context of a sermon, such ideas can be helpful and inspiring.

You go to a sermon to be lifted up, inspired, and given hope to face the upcoming week. And to those who were mired in the dark cloud of their own negativity, that message was probably perfect for helping to blow those heavy clouds away. Sermons have a useful purpose, Edirectori and they also have their limitations when their emotionally charged enthusiasm is substituted for clear thinking.

Suppose that you do become entirely positive? Once you become inspired enough to get out of your own dark cloud, what happens when you shift to only letting yourself think happy and hopeful thoughts? There is a serious limitation with trying to cover over problems with exclusively positive thoughts. The happy talk makes you feel better for a moment, but it won’t fix your problems — they’re still there. Unless you start looking at the situation and examining possible solutions, nothing will change.

When you look at the lyrics of the Accentuate The Positive song, the urge towards Denial is made plain, because you are urged to eliminate the negative. Now that seems, at first, to be a suggestion to avoid hopelessness. And ideally, maybe that is what the song is supposed to mean. If the song were suggesting that you can learn to be positive enough to consider creative solutions to your problems, this would be helpful.

Unfortunately, Selecti you can take the lyrics another way — as a suggestion to avoid mentioning or thinking about problems. Many people take the meaning in just this way. Notice that immediately after the suggestion that you accentuate the positive, you are advised to eliminate the negative. Well, how will you interpret that suggestion? Ideally, you would eliminate the tendency to give up — you would rise above hopeless attitudes. Properly understood, you would change your negative habit of thinking, and start looking for reasonable solutions to your situation.

However, many people take this line of the song, about eliminating the negative, as a suggestion to not bother thinking about issues, or dealing with problems at all. Such people tend to say that they are trying to stay positive. That often means that they don’t want to look at problems at all — also known as avoidance and denial. Such unwillingness to actively find solutions through honest assessment, while putting a gloss of positive spin on everything, actually leads to a downward spiral of disempowerment.

How well-intended metaphysical teachings contribute to denial, despair, and disempowerment

Metaphysical teachings seem to have contributed to this tendency towards denial, through simplistic teachings about the power of resonance. You may have heard that everything in the universe functions through resonance, where everything is compared to tuning forks that resonate with each other. Notice how this innocent belief, A2zweblinx attempting to take a principle of physics, and use it as a metaphysical teaching, leads many people into the state of denial.

First, you are told that everything is resonating like a tuning fork. Then you are told that your positive thoughts are resonating with all the positive forces in the universe. And then you are admonished that your negative thoughts will resonate with all the negative forces in the universe.

How will you interpret that understanding? It all starts to sound serious and foreboding, and it brings up an irrational fear about discussing problems at all — after all, they’re negative, aren’t they? When you fear something, you try to avoid it. You may come to believe that looking at problems, Directoristorm or discussing concerns, is somehow amplifying a negative reality that will only make things worse.

Too often, the metaphysical teachings leave you with a modern version of the old-time fear of the devil. Except that now the modern fear is that if you look at a problem, or talk about concerns and issues in the world, that is somehow Negative and Bad, and must therefore be avoided entirely.

If only metaphysical teachings would share the fine points of how to utilize resonance in a balanced empowered way, that would be fine. They generally don’t. Instead they provide the ingredients for fear and denial, where everyone has to agree that everything is fine, and that everything is magically getting better.

This used to be called sweeping things under the rug, and with extremist positive thinking, that lump in the rug gets bigger and bigger.

There are entire groups of metaphysical students who think it reasonable to only respond in conversation with positive agreement. They imagine themselves as contributing to a positive universe, and see every agreement and supportive statement as co-creating an ever-better world. If only it were so simple — you could affirm your way to continual success in life, Web-directori in a positive upward spiral of continually perfect improvement — with never a mention about any problems.

Regrettably, this tendency to cover it over with happy talk leads to the opposite of happiness, because you feel gradually dissociated from reality, and disconnected from useful solutions.

Maybe this reminds you of the old saying, that if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Sounds suspiciously like disempowering denial, doesn’t it? Does anything improve through this avoidance, or does a stuck situation just stay stuck?

The ever-positive style of possibility thinking has spilled into the business world, in which the upbeat, continually positive person is considered as helpful to the business, List2rank and the employee who scrutinizes the problems, or acts as a whistle-blower, is considered as a troublemaker to be shunned. Certainly there is a place for the upbeat personality, but positive spin and the can-do spirit can never replace clear thinking. And let’s look at that phrase — clear thinking — for a moment.


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