“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
This blog is called The Positivity Blog, one of my books is called The Power of Positivity and I have spent quite a bit of time on writing articles about positive thinking.
So yeah, I am kinda big on positive thinking. It can be very, very useful. Learning to think in a more positive way on a consistent basis can change just about any part of your life radically. The difference can be especially jarring if you are coming from being stuck in a negative mindset for some time.
But there are some things to keep in mind while thinking in positive way. A few traps that you may wind up in from time to time.
The bubble of positivity.
This is when you lie in your bed going “LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!”. Whilst your bed is on fire.
This is what one may call mindless positivity. So be positive, but use common sense.
Don’t use positivity to repress and stop thinking about real, practical challenges in your life. If you are having real problems with money, relationships, work etc. don’t repress them with positive thinking until everything spirals out of control and comes crashing down on you like 30 story building. It’s always better to try and deal with a problem in the early stages.
Creating a negativity backlash and giving up.
If you’re so positive that you aren’t even in this reality anymore then that may not be so helpful. You may for instance plan for and believe that you will lose 30 pounds in a month.
Now, setting optimistic goals can be a great thing. But setting goals that are totally unrealistic can create a backlash when you don’t reach them as planned. Your positive energy and enthusiasm may turn into disappointment and negativity.
Positivity and enthusiasm are wonderful things. But you need to experiment and learn to balance them with a dose of realism to be able to achieve what you want. Otherwise you may wind up very disappointed and give up altogether. Even though you would probably have lost those pounds in a few more months time if you had just continued.
Confusing positivity with trying to please everyone.
Positivity isn’t about being nice and trying to please everyone. Or accepting everything that people do to you.
Being nice is wonderful thing. But letting people walk all over you and accepting it with a smile and a positive attitude won’t help you.
We do to a large extent choose how we want to be treated. How you expect people to treat you can have a big effect on how you allow yourself to act and how people around you view and treat you. If you start creating a role for yourself where you always let people do what they want to you then you may create some pretty destructive and negative things.
- You may create an identity for yourself where you get used to always taking whatever anyone doles out. You create a kind of victim identity where you may look happy on the outside but don’t feel so good on the inside. But since you have gotten used to it after a while you may accept it and think that: this is just who I am.
- You may create a concept in the minds of the people around you that it’s OK to treat you this way. Either because you seem so positive despite what they are doing so they think it’s OK. Or just because you aren’t saying no and some people may take advantage of that.
Look, you can’t please everyone. I think both Eleanor Roosevelt and Buddha have mentioned something along the lines that whatever you do there will always be people who don’t like what you are doing. And that’s OK. That’s normal.
Going around trying to please everyone at your own expense isn’t healthy though. Or even a realistic thing to attempt. It eats away at you both mentally and physically.
So be nice. Be positive. But make sure you set your own standards, rules and limits too. And remember that you might as well do what you want because there will always be critics.
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