What To Do When Positive Thinking Fails
Let’s say that you have something you wish to change in your life and you go searching for an answer; for a solution. More than likely, in your search for creating change, you will find something about positive thinking. Sounds like a good idea. Sounds like a possible solution. The problem is it rarely works.
Positive thinking requires a lot of time and effort and, most of the time, it offers few results. The biggest concern is that most individuals regard positive thinking as a definitive solution to life’s challenges, and this can lead many to believe that they are somehow failing. All too often, when you work really hard at positive thinking and things don’t change like you want them to, you decide that there must be something wrong with you.
But if positive thinking and affirmations have not worked for you, you are not alone. And, there is nothing wrong with you! Instead of trying to create change through the non-stop effort of positive thinking, use these four pragmatic tools to help you out when positive thinking fails you:
1. Release Your Thoughts
Positive thinking is about finding a “better,” happier thought to replace the negative thoughts that are running through your mind. But what if those thoughts aren’t yours to begin with? Science is now backing the idea that 98% of the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we experience don’t actually belong to us. We are all like psychic radios picking up on everyone around us. Is it any wonder positive thinking doesn’t work? You’re trying to fix thoughts, feelings, and emotions that don’t even belong to you.
For the next 3 days, for every thought, feeling and emotion you have, ask, “Who does this belong to?” When you ask the question, if things feel lighter in your world, it was never yours to begin. Knowing this makes it easier to let it go.
2. Change Your Point of View
Positive thinking doesn’t work because what you’re doing is trying to use a positive affirmation to overcome a negative point of view that you already have about yourself. Your point of view creates your reality. If you have negative points of view about yourself and would like a different reality, you’ve got to change your points of view. Working really hard to think positive doesn’t overcome anything. In fact, the more you try to maintain the positive thought, the more aware you are of how the opposite is what’s true for you. Try this instead: Say, “Interesting point of view. I see that point of view” for every point of view that you notice throughout your day. Gradually, your points of view will lose their value and significance, they will stop being “real and true” to you and then they become simply interesting. You now have the ability to choose something else.
3. Four Questions That Can Change Anything
The thing about affirmations is that they are based on decisions and conclusions. You decided what was wrong with you that needed to change; you concluded that a particular positive thought was the answer. Decisions and conclusions stop new possibilities from showing up because your cognitive mind can only recognize what it already knows. To go beyond what your mind already knows, ask questions about everything that you would like to be different:
- What is this?
- What can I do with it?
- Can I change it?
- How can I change it?
These four questions will serve you better than anything in life.
4. Choice Trumps Everything
Most of the modalities that focus on positive thinking and affirmations are all about doing; you have to do this, you have to do that. It’s all about effort and hard work and willpower. No one can do this for long. Rather than the effort and struggle of “doing” recognize that everything in life is a choice. Be empowered to know that YOU know and choose what truly works for you. A bit rusty on choosing? Here’s a tool. Choose in 10-second increments. Here’s how:
You have 10 seconds to live your life. What do you choose? Ok, that 10 seconds is over, now what do you choose? Every 10 seconds. Choose. Choose again. Choose something else. When you begin choosing every 10 seconds, things start to change – quickly. The life you truly desire is possible. It’s not about the effort of positive thinking. It’s about choice and the empowerment of knowing that your choice creates.
The life you truly desire is possible. It’s not about the effort of positive thinking. It’s about choice and the empowerment of knowing that your choice creates.