Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

By: Kristin Martineau | April 5, 2018

We hear all the time about the power of positive thinking, but have you ever tried to have a good attitude about something and it just didn’t make you feel any better?

What are you doing wrong?

The problem with positive thinking is that you are trying to slap on a happy thought that you don’t really believe. Your brain will reject that thought and maybe reinforce the old beliefs even more.
You can’t just pretend a thought and expect to integrate it into your belief system.

For example, if you believe the thought, “I hate my body” your brain will reject it if you try and put “I love my body” in it’s place. It’s too far of a leap for your brain to make right now and it knows you don’t really believe that.

The key to changing your beliefs is to find new thoughts that feel better AND are believable. Your brain would probably accept the thought, “I have a body”. It’s true and it feels much better than “I hate my body”. You can practice replacing the old thought with the new one and make progress toward a new belief system.

The other thing that positive thinking leaves out is the fact that you don’t always want to feel good about something. When I’m working with clients the goal is to help them see if their thoughts are giving them to the results they want. In coaching we don’t try and get rid of all your “negative” feelings.

If your child is getting in trouble at school all the time you probably don’t want to feel happy about that. But feeling anger and despair aren’t helping you operate in an effective way either. Maybe what you want to feel is brave. Bravery doesn’t necessarily feel good, but it will help you take the actions necessary to get your child the help he needs. It takes bravery to confront his teacher, call a meeting on behalf of your child, or speak to the school psychologist. I can help you get from angry to brave in a way that feels genuine and true.

Bring one issue to a free mini session with me. I’ll help you understand your current thinking and show you how to change it.

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