The Dangers of Positive Thinking

Just a couple of weeks ago, I spent a day with a dozen “old-timers” clients with whom I’ve been working for years. Early on in the discussion, as we chatted about how psychology and quantum physics proves that you get what you expect, so that, if you expect something different, something different does, indeed, happen, one of the group mentioned that he tries to ensure that, each morning, he starts the day in a positive state of mind.

We started talking about how many motivational experts claim great benefits for the technique of self-affirmation. You know the kind of thing. You leap out of bed in the morning, admire yourself in the mirror and tell yourself “I am a wonderful person – I am powerful and successful – I am calm, cool under pressure, a great motivator – to myself and others. Today is a fabulous day – my best day yet”.

And, then, you leave the house only to discover that it’s pouring rain, your car won’t start, you end up dead late for work, soaked, miserable, stressed out, to be met by a boss who tells you that you’re good for nothing and that, if you don’t pull yourself together, you need to start looking for something else to do.

As I pointed out to my friend, if I think positive thoughts, I set myself up for disappointment. A lot of positive thinking people try to fool themselves into the idea that only good things can happen them – and you and I know that that is simply not true. A lot of positive thinking is just that – thinking. And thinking generally takes place in your conscious mind – you know, the part of your mind that has 50,000 random thoughts every day, the part of your mind that plays no active part in dictating how you behave and react, how you life your everyday life.

Research indicates that affirmation, in the conscious mind, does work – but it takes forever for the constant conscious thoughts to drip, drip, drip into the subconscious. Far better to ensure that, each morning, you start the day in a clear state of mind. It only takes five minutes – a short mental exercise – to set yourself on the right road for the day ahead.

In a clear state of mind, you slip past the distraction of the conscious mind and gain direct access to your subconscious – the part of your mind that does dictate how you act and behave, the part of the inner you that literally creates your daily life. Then, you’re in the state of mind to ensure that you take advantage of all the opportunities today will throw in your direction.

I’m not saying that you can stop it pouring rain. I’m also not saying that, if your car is broken down, that your state of mind will start your car – although Stanford University has more than once proved that state of mind affects apparently inanimate objects – from kettles to computers. So, actually, I am saying that you can start your car.

But, even if your car doesn’t start, you might meet and chat to someone on the bus or train that you wouldn’t have otherwise met – some stranger that could change the course of your life. Sure, weren’t all our closest ‘nearests and dearests’ strangers at one point in our lives. And, if you’re feeling miserable, wet and stressed out because you’re going to be late for work – if you’ve disappointed yourself because your positive thinking came to nothing – you’ll be in no mood to even meet a fellow passenger’s eye.

And, if your boss does tell you what he thinks of you – in a clear state of mind, you might just take the action that you should have taken long before. You’ll only react, feel victimised, depressed, if you’ve started the day thinking – yes, thinking – that today is your best day yet!

All my clients know – because when they stop to reflect on it they realise just how many benefits they’ve seen – that a clear state of mind is the only state of mind worth having. Cultivate your clear state of mind every day – it will lead you onwards and upwards.