Is “Thinking Positive” a Scam!
This is a subject that really hits home for me, as I grew up being taught about the benefits of positive thinking. I felt I had been wired up so my default is to think positive no matter what. Now, as much as there were good intentions behind this teaching I discovered there is a whole lot more to it than that! This is where the scam part comes in - not acknowledging the negative feelings we may be having and just throwing positive ones on top to cover them up. Unfortunately that just doesn’t work!
There are so many teachings out there that tell you by thinking positive and doing positive affirmations you will change your life and attract to you the things that you want. You can spend your lifetime “thinking positive” and still for some reason you remain in the same loop of repeat experiences getting more frustrated and bewildered as to why things aren’t manifesting the way you have it outlined on your vision board! This inevitably leads to self-doubt, anxiety and negative self talk regarding your failure to be in control of what manifests in your life. Eventually you come to the conclusion that thinking positive is a scam and doesn’t work and you would be right!
There is more to this whole “thinking positive” trap. I call it a trap because we are so busy and worried all the time that we are not thinking positively that we become afraid of our negative thoughts, and so we stuff them down and try harder. It can be an endless cycle we are repeating over and over again. We generally don’t stop to think where are these negative thoughts coming from in the first place? We have all these good intentions of trying to make a better life for ourselves by trying to rewire our brains through positive thinking alone, however our efforts usually fall short.
The thing is if you really do want to have a positive outlook and create purposefully then we have to go deeper than trying to override the voices in our head. We have to look at the emotions behind the negative thoughts and the beliefs they are attached to.
The negative emotions or thoughts we have are based on the beliefs and programs we carry. These beliefs and programs have been created over our lifetime by other people’s beliefs and programs. For example, like I said earlier, I was taught, (with good intentions) by my parents that it was important to think positively, so that’s what I did. I was the person that no matter what I was feeling I would do my best to override it with a positive thought. I didn’t realize how counter productive that was until much later in life when I took a Mindfulness Meditation course. As part of the course I had to fill out a series of questions then go over them with the facilitator of the course. He pointed out to me that I put a positive spin on everything and as nice as that may be I wasn’t actually allowing myself or giving myself permission to acknowledge or look at my “darker side” where my fears and insecurities lived. So on the surface I appeared happy and positive, however underneath and in the background there were limiting beliefs and programs still running that were impeding my personal growth.
We have our emotional guidance system for a reason as it alerts us when we are not in alignment with our authentic self. These emotions come up so we can see them and release them, which is done by first acknowledging their existence. We have to give ourselves permission to feel them fully and instead of judging them. We have to thank and love them for the role they played and allow them to move on. If when we have these emotions and we attempt to cover them up with positive thoughts it just pushes them down further and eventually it not only becomes really uncomfortable, those same emotions will also just keep coming up over and over again until you allow your self to accept them and let them go. This is not always easy as it can feel like an endless process, however you have to remember these beliefs and programs have been in place a long time so it requires a commitment. It also requires a level of personal awareness so that when negative emotions come up you don’t go into your default of either stuffing them down or to the other extreme of allowing them to take over. When we are consciously working toward releasing beliefs and programs by allowing the emotions to be felt and accepted this doesn’t mean we permit them to take over to the point where we are wallowing in self-pity. We need to approach it from a higher-self point of view in understanding they exist, but also understanding they do not define who we are. We need to take more of an observer view of non-judgment and genuine interest for releasing what ever is showing up to be released.
When an emotion is triggered the first action to take is asking your self what’s the belief behind this emotion. When you ask your authentic self (not your ego mind) if the belief is actually true the answer will always be no. You then give permission for that emotion to come up to be acknowledged and released. As you do this process in whatever way works for you, you will notice that positive thinking isn’t something you try to do, it will be a natural by product that occurs as we release the beliefs we are holding on to!
Utilizing positive thinking can be very useful when holding an intention for a positive outcome while also doing the work required to clear a path to releasing the obstacles (beliefs) that block our personal growth.