The Myth of Positive Thinking

by Karyn L. Beach

As a coach and a trainer, I truly believe that a positive attitude is the key to success. It’s the strong foundation to which sustainable success is built on. We have to be positive thinkers. But when we talk about positive thinking, I think it helps to clarify what is and isn’t positive.

Delusional thinking is not positive thinking. Positive thinkers looks at the facts and the issues and take it all into account as they devise a plan for overcoming obstacles. Delusional thinking ignores the reality and the facts and insist on keeping everything rosy when it is not.

When a positive thinker encounters a major obstacle like cancer, they belief they will beat it. However, they also investigate traditional and experimental treatments. They look at the research, they get other professional opinions and they proceed accordingly.

A delusional thinker thinks that the cancer will just magically disappear. If they can believe enough, it just might work. After all, they are being positive!

Positive thinking will not prevent problems. It is not a guarantee for an effortless cake walk. A lot of people assume that if they are positive enough, things will just magically fall in the place. They visualize their positive thoughts going before them and make the rocky roads smooth, filling the potholes along the way. Not true.

Positive thinkers have problems. What is different is the approach. They don’t assume the position of helplessness, apathy or frustration. They respond proactively, looking for other options, possibilities and opportunities. Positive thinkers are human. They have bad days and bad moods. But they don’t dwell in those moments. They are able to move on and up quickly. They rebound.

Finally, Positive thinking means absolutely nothing if it is not followed by positive action. You can think all you want about a yummy Chinese Chicken Salad but if you want to eat that salad, you will have to make it, go get it or get someone else to make it or go get it. You have to act. Thinking about it alone will not make it so and it doesn’t matter how positive your thoughts are.

Positive Thinking – Proactive Action = Dreaming

Go ahead and be a Positive Thinker!
But be more than positive.
Be real!
Be proactive!
And take action!

Karyn L. Beach is a success coach and corporate trainer who publishes the Lose the Excuses newsletter and blog.

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