The Positive Thinking Lie

Positive thinking is an excellent practice, it’s vitally important within self-growth, but it does have its limits.

Positive thinking helps you move away from hindering negative thinking models and helps you to move forward when you are at an impasse in life.


There is much confusion over what positive thinking is *big sigh*. Far too many people think it’s about thinking constant happy thoughts… that’s nice but won’t always help you. Positive thinking is rational thinking. The negative thinking is irrational. The danger with irrational thoughts is that people veer towards unpleasant behaviour, taking things personally and over-generalisation. All make for not-so-nice displays of yourself and your behaviour (no judgments here, we’ve all been badly behaved at some stage).

Positive (rational) thinking will most certainly lead to positive outcomes for your day because you will create opportunities and notice more.

The Grumps

There are always people in life who are virtually impossible to convert to positive thinkers, they become trapped in this irrational, negative cycle of thought and belief that they won’t even make the effort to try it out. It’s frustrating to watch those people suffer all because they don’t ‘believe’ in science.


So why does this confusion over ‘positive thinking’ matter? Well, it has to be real. Let me give you an extreme example to highlight the danger:

There is an earthquake, the ground around you is literally caving in and you’ve got this idea that positive thinking means you have to sit and say over and over in your mind “Everything is ok, everything will sort itself out” but you don’t take action.

Ok, it’s a really extreme example but I want to highlight why rational is better than fake happy. The best way in that situation would be to think rationally (the real positive thinking) and find a way out quickly to safety.

Positive thinking requires rational action as well in some cases. The other danger of misunderstood positive thinking is this quite common scenario:

A woman in her 30’s has been watching lots of motivational videos on YouTube and what she has taken away from it all is that her negative thought patterns are the issue so she spends the next few days or weeks forcing herself to think only happy thoughts. During this period she has suppressed all negative emotions and not properly felt and dealt with them, leading to unhealthy behaviours as a result of these bottled up emotions.

You must always express and respect your negative emotions. They are as real and valid as the positive ones. You cannot resolve an issue by burying your head in the sand, and you cannot fix your mindset by burying negative emotions under positive ones.

Let’s look at changes you can make to your self-talk


Positive thinking is about thinking rationally and being real and true to yourself. Things may not be great right now but you resolve to make the best of it knowing that this is just one day and the next will be different yet again. Negative thinking is irrational thoughts like “I’m going to feel terrible the rest of my life”. That is the difference, that is the misunderstanding and that is why the positive thinking that you know is a lie.

If you have a negative mindset and want to change your life why not join one of my classes, courses or workshops.

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