You have probably heard about the great power of positive thinking many times. Maybe someone close to you just told you, “Think positively! It will be good!” Perhaps a personal development coach talked about it or you read about it in books that came into your hands. Positive thinkers believe that this is a reliable way to be successful. But is it really? Is positive thinking really that good? Or can it be harmful? Keep reading!
Positive thinking is a topic that has become very popular in recent years. You can find tons of books in bookstores that try to teach you this art and promise that your life will change 180 degrees if you start thinking positively. The biggest enthusiasts claim that thanks to positive thinking, you will achieve everything you dream of – you will find your dream job and achieve success in your professional and social life. In this approach, one could even speak of the ideology of positive thinking – more and more people are beginning to believe in its unlimited power, and they are tempted by the possibility of achieving easy success without any challenges or difficulties.
HOW TO THINK POSITIVELY?
It might seem like there’s nothing simpler than positive thinking. However, it is not that simple at all. Every person has their own baggage of experiences, and they react to specific situations in a specific way. Some people see the world through rose-colored glasses in the most natural way. Others, on the other hand, look at the world through the prism of black glasses and see everything in gloomy colors. It is often unthinkable for them to approach a given situation optimistically because they are not able to perceive the good sides of the situation.
The first approach is characteristic of optimists, while the second is the domain of pessimists. There is scientific evidence that optimists are much more successful in life. They perceive every difficulty or failure as a challenge, so they do not give up and go for their goal. They also believe that all the problems and misfortunes that happen to them are only temporary. They behave completely opposite to pessimists. Thanks to the right attitude, optimists are also less exposed to the risk of depression.
It used to be assumed that some people are just optimists, just like others are pessimists, and that it is an immutable part of human nature. Doctor Martin Seligman offered a new perspective on this situation – as part of his research, he developed a method that can change the attitude towards optimism. It is a long process that requires a change of habits, and it is necessary to learn to look at the world from a completely different perspective.
THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
The power of positive thinking is something many people believe in. Is it okay? It depends on what one understands under this statement. If you assume that just thinking positively will make all your dreams come true, you are only hurting yourself. Positive thinking can do a lot of damage.
It is not enough to think positively, visualize your successes, or create a perfect version of yourself in your mind to make it all come true. To truly achieve this goal, you need to start working on it.
On the other hand, positive thinking can actually have a certain power – just a slightly different one. It can help increase self-confidence or allow you to look at the world from a completely different perspective. It is true that an optimist has an easier time in life – is less prone to depression and is not like a pessimist – prone to falling into a learned helplessness scheme.
POSITIVE THINKING AND PSYCHOLOGY
Optimism is a good and desirable thing, but it cannot be used at all costs. Some people even go so far as to claim that illness is simply the culmination of negative thinking and that positive thinking is enough to heal – this theory was created by Joseph Murphy. In fact, there are studies that show that a person with the right attitude has a chance of healing or living longer, but we must not go so far as to reduce illness to physical symptoms of negative thinking and base treatment solely on positive thinking.
In recent years, psychology has begun to question the positive thinking movement – especially the one that came from various self-help books and motivational seminars and training.
In this approach, psychologists point out that any motivational technique based on positive thinking can be turned against the person. Affirmation, or repeating statements like “I am beautiful” to a person who suffers from low self-esteem, can immediately cause internal opposition and increase complexes.
Even setting goals can lead to a situation where it is only important to achieve them at all costs.
POSITIVE THINKING: HELPFUL OR HARMFUL?
In recent years, it has really become a fashionable and sought-after topic – there are many guides that teach what positive thinking is. Can it be harmful?
The fact is that positive thinking can be helpful and motivating. Thanks to this, you can change your approach to the world, raise your self-confidence, feel more motivated, or improve your relationships with people.
Positive thinking is also realistic thinking about what we can actually achieve and what our chances of success are. It is also the ability to look at our strengths and weaknesses and choose goals based on a realistic chance of success, rather than where we have no potential.
It is worthwhile to view the world with optimism, but rose-colored glasses combined with a lack of willingness to take concrete actions will not lead you to anything good, but can worsen your situation or your way of thinking about yourself and the people around you.