The biggest mistake people do when positive thinking

mistake positive thinking


Positive thinking is one of those popular terms that seem to pop up in at least one conversation a day. But what is positive thinking? How can it help you? Why does FEEL4 insist that you remain positive whenever you use the four steps? Does this mean you have to be happy 100% of the time or else you are failing the methodology?

The definition of positive thinking varies. Some believe it is simply about focusing on happy things which will make you feel better. Some believe it is a self taught mental attitude to always see the best out of a situation. All of these are correct and yet there is an elephant in the room which thwarts many who try and use positive thinking in every part of their life.
The elephant's name is Sadness
What has sadness got to do with positive thinking? The answer is it has everything to do with it. They are partners, you cannot have sadness without happiness (you wouldn't know the difference).

Think of this like a lake with a sunny sky above it. Think of the sunny sky as representing positivity and the water beneath as representing sadness.

If I was to say throughout your life you must never ever touch the water, no matter how hot you feel and thirsty you get you must never ever touch the water. What would you think about most whilst you are feeling the sun's hot rays upon your skin day after day?

Yes, you would be thinking about the water, how cool it would feel, how it would quench your thirst.

And how would you feel if you ever did touch the water? Guilty, disappointed in yourself, right?

Well this is exactly the same mistake people make when trying to embed positive thinking into their life. They set out trying to always be optimistically happy 24/7 but when their mind starts to wonder to sad thoughts, possibly due to life events beyond their control, they feel like their journey into positivity has failed them. In effect they are creating a mental discord in their own mind.

So what is the answer to healthy positive thinking?

Let's look at a random example.

Random Example

You have just gone into work feeling positive about the day ahead. You arrive to be approached by a friend who says that they have just been diagnosed with cancer.

Such sad and emotional news immediately flies in the face of your positive plan for the day and makes you feel sad.

A newbie's approach to positive thinking would be to fight such sadness with an immediate positive angle such as "At least you are alive now and maybe a cure can be found". This isn't wrong and is encouraged but it is crucial you also invite sadness into your psyche when it is warranted.

Rejecting the sadness will only cause friction within your subconscious as feeling sad immediately about such news is natural. It is expected. You do not have to place a positive spin on the news immediately.

Because you are a caring person you also want to keep chatting to your friend about the news and obviously the discussion that ensues is not a happy one, by lunch time you are feeling very low. Have you failed in your mission to positively think about every situation?

No, it is okay to feel sad occasionally, especially when news to do with cancer is received. The power of positive thinking comes in when you have had your time to process what has happened and you decide to compartmentalise it and focus on what positive things you can think about and act on.
So the answer is to be a positive thinker you must also be able to let your mind wander to sad thoughts if it needs to.

The critical difference to those who stay depressed and start letting the events colour their life negatively is simply the choice they make once they have had time to process the sad thoughts.

If you choose to think positively about what good things you can do and focus on then this is what sets you apart from most others.

In the case of your friend, you could create a FEEL4 path for the two of you to follow. The beauty of using FEEL4 is you already know that the rules around taking the steps encourage positive thinking and taking good actions. So your path will be able to bring a happier outlook for even your friend's sad situation. The four steps challenge you to always think and act in a positive and good way.

Therefore you and your friend might want to focus on something as simple as:
  • Focusing on not talking about cancer and playing tennis for one day a week
  • Focusing on raising money to help with finding a cure
  • Focusing on everything beneficial that can be done for the family that will be left behind
  • Focusing on building Lego or solving puzzles.......
Coming up with your focus is all about brainstorming what positive angles you can see and make the most of. 

If you can always choose to think positively at critical points in any life experience then you will be amongst the world's most powerful and successful positive thinkers.


Author: Cn

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