Being optimistic enables you to deal with challenges more readily, decrease pain, and attain new heights of achievement. The benefit of living a life where you see the glass half full has clear benefits. Optimists have more marital bliss, superior health, and even make more money.
Now, the bad part. Positive thinking programs have taken the world by storm in the past ten years in particular. Here’s a word of warning about the ones that may undermine your sense and sensibility and be a breeding ground for a downfall or at the least negative outcomes.
Magical Thinking And Day Dreaming
Becoming a proponent of positive thinking, and embracing optimism are always great, right? Not necessarily. The reality is that some programs teach that if you believe it can happen, then it will. Well, levitating your body into taking flight is not possible, as you do not have wings. If it were possible, do you think people would you airplanes, cars, trains, boats, etc. to get around the planet?
This is a pitfall known as exaggerated positive thinking. It is equally as bad or harmful as negative thinking. It basically comes down to overestimating or overshooting the impact your life changes may have on your real life. Exercising will improve your health, but jumping off a cliff when you cannot fly will not.
It can lead to disappointment, grief, and become a depressant, rather than being a life-affirming statement of your ability to manage your life. Another pitfall occurs in relation to expectations. Romanticizing outcomes is a detriment if you determine that making yourself stronger and leaner will make all your problems go away.
That would be unrealistic. Embracing unrealistic and romanticized notions of real life makes it tough to maintain and manage goals. In other words, it can have an opposite effect of bringing in negative thinking because you will obviously still experience problems whether you are super fit or not.
This other caveat of positive thinking may seem bizarre. Though, research has shown being too positive about a the likelihood of success decreases motivation for achieving the very goal you set out to meet.
This all leads back to some confusion between having a healthy optimism and just embracing delusional and magical thinking. If you just believe it enough, it will happen is magical thinking. It cannot prevent the tragedies of life from striking.
If you know that your industry is flailing and on its last legs, thinking positively will not make more jobs show up. It is a good thing to be able to read information that you are receiving from the world so that you may make adjustments to change your life accordingly. Otherwise, you could find yourself out of work, living hand to mouth underemployed and working three jobs.
One way that positive thinking would help this individual is in this manner. If they acknowledge and accept their industry is changing, they may keep hope alive in finding new work by reminding themselves that there are plenty of people working in other industries. It is a point of hope and optimism that is based in reality. It is that if others are working in other industries, then so too can they.
They Go Hand In Hand
Positive thinking has a partner, which you might refer to as positive action. Actions that support your goals will make them reality faster. For one, your subconscious will read your actions as a way of meeting the goals, making it a stronger belief that you can have reality the way you picture it, within reason.
For instance, if you are just starting better health habits, affirming your vitality and good health is a start. Eating healthy supports your internal statements about your health.
It is one thing to declare that you will do well on a test. It is another to pay attention in class, read your books, and maybe even study. The positive thinking helps you to actualize the work that you do into creating good results.
Another Bump And Bumble
Another issue people seem to have when they start working on their mindset is overconfidence. It is not the same as magical thinking. It is actually overestimating your abilities. This hampers results because you may not have sufficient skill or exposure to a topic to be as successful as you like yet.
Likewise, it impedes your actions. If you believe you are already there, then you might skip over practicing your craft, or not bother with building necessary skills. This might be how a job interview ends up going bad. Later on when friends tell you need to think more optimistically about your job interview and job test, you know that it is ineffective.
Be Optimistic And Realistic
Put in the proper effort to meet your goals. Rather than getting entrapped in the stress of I am the best, just aim for personal excellence in meeting goals. After all, you cannot control how well or badly everyone else does on a job interview test. Anticipate problems you may encounter rather than deluding yourself into thinking there are no challenges ever.
Balance is important. Whether the outcome is good or bad, choose to stay positive. Life may not turn out as you plan it, and loving yourself involves being able to accept that. Take action in line with your positive thinking to give yourself a chance to make good outcomes a reality.