Is Positive thinking always helpful? 5 Pitfalls you never knew to having a positive attitude

5 Pitfalls of positive thinking
What are the limitations of Positive thinking? Learn the Pros and Cons


Just be a bit more positive and things will change for you. You will achieve the stars and the moon in the sky. That's what it can be made to be by some people. Well, for some it is a better approach to approaching issues. I am talking about Positivity and Positive thinking. But one thing I learned from years of studying and learning, a lot of ideas have its limitations. In this article, I shall be exploring these negatives of Positivity,i.e. Positive Thinking. One of the best books I was asked to read was The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. (I think for a lot of us thinking negative was like normal.) I must confess it has helped me. I was recommended by a friend's mother. The book has a lot of good ideas on how to be more positive.

But here are some ideas I believe could be limitations to Positive thinking.

List of Negatives of Positive Thinking

Ignoring the obvious

I think positive thinking can be really good, it is solution-oriented. It believes in seeing opportunities where others tend to see lack or no options. But there are limitations, one must not supplant rational thinking for make-belief (it mostly doesn't help) and can be harmful to oneself and others. So putting on a critical hat on should help us be more realistic and show us the inherent risk. I know it exposes us to a kind of uncertainty and ambiguity, but that thread of uncertainty called risk is present in any decision we make. So if positive thinking sees the cup half full, it won't magically produce the other half.

Ignoring risk can be quite risky most of the times. Calculated risks can prevent unwanted situations. I would recommend a great book to help you think clearly by Rolf Dobelli. The book is called The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli. This book introduces powerful concepts in a beautiful manner. Very Interesting and helpful book. So, Clear thinking and being open to ideas must accompany positivity.

Magical Thinking

Positive thinking should not be used as some kind of force or energy. It would be wrong to think that just being positive can change the course of things. I don't think most proponents claim that positive thinking changes reality. So pretending it attracts things etc., that it would be inherently wrong, at least a practical and rational level.

Our thinking must be tempered with either evidence or experience, If not both. Please check this article on Psychology today that explores Magical Thinking in more depth, click here. Magical thinking can push towards bad choices and couple with Positive thinking, it could result in self-deception.

Self Deception

Self-deception is another negative of being overly positive. Rather than a negative its mostly stretching positive thinking beyond the purpose, it was intended for. Positive thinking has really helped me and benefitted me a lot, So using it for the right purpose is very important.

Self-deception may be beneficial, but there are surely disadvantages. That is important to be aware of, it could result in ignoring important issues and can also result in self-harm ( in case there are any health issues involved). So care and temperance are vitally important. For more reading on this topic do check this book on deception for an in-depth view, Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception by Daniel Goleman. For more reading, check this article on Self Deception.

A wrong view of Reality

I think the most important thing is not having the right evaluation of reality. Some episodes in our lives can be really difficult and coping may be important. But it is important to live up to the right view of things. (that's my personal take...I know it can be painful) Critical thinking can really help.

Check this tutorial on critical thinking by Tutorialspoint, click here. Here is the wiki on Critical thinking, click here. I believe that a lack of critical thinking can create a lot of problems and thinking errors. I am not saying that all of us should go and become philosophers, but just learning a bit more can be interesting and fun. 

Some side effects you must consider...

Bad Thinking Habits:

It's my personal opinion that bad habit leads to bad consequences. Right thinking is an essential component of better living. So also over positivity, It should be tempered with critical thinking and some amount of realistic thinking too. All this is quite a mental exercise, but that's a good way to a better life.

Pointers to help on Practice Effective positivity:

Some quick pointers to Practice Effective positivity. Firstly eliminate magical thinking and false expectations. Secondly, understand that thinking is a choice and you are in control of your thoughts. It would be wrong to just be lead. Lastly, Be positive but do not mistake it for a silver bullet.

Conclusion

Positive thinking is a great approach to enhancing ourselves and our lives. Like many good ideas, it can be misused and should not be. Healthy rationalism and critical thinking can help us make better decisions.

I hope you liked this article. Please comment and share it, thank you.

Further Reading:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/creativity-and-personal-mastery/201004/why-positive-thinking-is-bad-you

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/O-zone/the-negatives-of-positive-thinking/

https://greatist.com/happiness/positive-thinking-negative-benefits

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950

https://greatist.com/happiness/positive-thinking-negative-benefits

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