Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Don't Believe In The Power Of Positive Thinking

I was recently talking with a mom who was inquiring about Coach Your Mind, and if I may be able to help her son. Within two minutes, she asked if I taught "the power of positive thinking."

"Absolutely not!" I answered

(dramatic, nervous pause) 

She looked at me as if I was a crazy person. "What?!!" she questioned, almost angrily.

(another nervous pause)

I don't like the term, power of positive thinking... and never mention it to my students. It just feels overplayed and diluted. When people here it, they actually give a look, as if to say...

"Yeah, yeah - I've heard all that positive thinking stuff before. Give me something new!"

I teach the power of Possible Thinking! Possible Thinking is where we step up to new heights, look down at our old lives, and laugh at the past. When we give-in to the Possible, our minds stop looking for ways to fail, and begin searching for bigger, better, new... Possible.

This has been one of my bigger challenges, growing up. My first reaction used to be about why I couldn't, wouldn't, and never will achieve. Through the incredible experience of learning how to create a new mindset for myself, I realized ways of helping others with this challenge as well. Possible Thinking isn't always easy, and doesn't often come naturally... but with practice, will transform our way of living.

Every time we walk head first into an obstacle, or focus on a passion we wish would materialize, let's create a new habit of asking why it will be Possible. New mindsets are like muscles... they can't improve without constant attention. We have to practice daily if we hope to create a unique, exceptional way of thinking... ultimately leading to a more inspiring way of living.

Being positive is an important quality to have... Thinking Possibilities will open us to opportunities we never dreamed were attainable!


Matty said...

What a great concept. Changing one word really changes the whole dynamic of your thought process. I hadn't considered this.

Possible creates possibilities.

Calli said...

Yes, this is good! The word *positive* is overused but then the word *possible* is not.

I believe in the possibilities... and looking at it as a muscle that needs constant stretching is a great way to look at it!

have a fab weekend, Dayne~

Alice in Wonderland said...

I've never thought about things that way before. You have made a really good point there! All of our lives, we were taught the power of positive thinking, but no one ever mentioned Possible Thinking!
That means that everything is possible if we put positive thoughts into it.
Now I'm going to have to go and lie down for a while while I ponder this dilemma!

Adam said...

What?! You mean we can't just think our way to a better life? AHHHH!

Bendigo said...

You are a great approach...What you posted is some good food for I just need to apply it...

spldbch said...

I'm not much on the positive thinking either. I believe in realistic thinking. Things are never as good nor as bad as we think they are. Let's look at what's realistic. I think that goes along with your concept of "possible" thinking as well. We don't want to set impossible standards for ourselves because then we are destined to fall short.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Possible vs. Positive: A unique battle indeed.

I must counter spldbch a bit here, though. I have a problem with "realistic" too, because who's too say what's realistic for one's future. Realistic is what we say it is (minus saying we can fly off of a building w/out proper equipment). What's a realistic goal? How much is realistic? Those answers are for no one to answer but the person living them.

You may say that it's "unrealistic" for me to earn $2 million this year... whereas I may think $2 mill. is too SMALL a number for me. We need to be careful with this word. Realistic is what we SAY it is.

You also said, "We don't want to set impossible standards for ourselves because then we are destined to fall short."

Ouch... I cringe at this (nothing personal). "Falling short" should never ever ever be a reason to not think about possibilities. When we think and say this, we're just saying we're scared to fail. Again, "impossible" is what we say it is... just as Possible is.

We say, "It IS possible!"

They say, "I don't want to attempt (X) because it may leave me disappointed and feeling like a failure."

Failure defines us... how do we react to that setback? Quit? Think about more, bigger Possibilities?

Bendigo said...

That reminded me of something my dad or grandfather told me can't remember which...

There are 2 absolute truths

The man who believes he can...can
The man who believes he can't....can't

That sorta stuck with me and I think it applies...

Rettakat said...

My husband used to often use the term "possibility thinking". I don't know why I've forgotten it, until I read this post.

As for me, I believe in aiming HIGH... shooting for the moon, as they say. Even if I fall short, I am still among the stars. I like that kind of thinking, instead the kind that is fearful and self-limiting even before I get started.

Thank you for a very thought-provoking post. Though I must say... I still like the term Positive thinking...After all, it's still better than whining, excuses and negative thinking, LOL!!
But you are right, in that it is so over-used, that it has lost it's punch somewhat.


Dayne Gingrich said...

It's so true ~ "Whatever you think... you're right!"

(Awww - - sounds like a future post has appeared)

spldbch said...

I thought you might disagree with the realistic thing -- I actually spent a few minutes thinking about how to say it so as not to sound like I was being negative.

Remember, I'm coming from a position of working with a lot of depressed people. I see a lot of perfectionists. The problem with perfect is that it doesn't exist. So saying "I should be perfect all the time" is setting yourself up to fall short of that goal. None of us are perfect!

I think our points of view are in tune with one another. I didn't mean not to dream big. I just meant don't be too hard on yourself.

Dan Gurney said...

The problem with positive thinking is it's less than half the picture.

Any Taoist knows the whole picture includes both yin and yang.

Possible thinking allows for both yin and yang... and even a third field: neither yin nor yang.

A much more complete view.


Mike DeNeut said...

Everyone should check out my blog.. Leave some comments, and follow or subscribe.. check out the sidebar links!!

You should check out this article!!

Mano said...


You've an incredibly great blog. To become a successful man or woman the fundamental thing would be to have positive thinking. Get pleasure from Sky Rocketing Good results with Turbo charged Positive Affirmations... Grow Positive Thinking So You can Get rid of Strain From the Life, Increase Your Self-Confidence and Program Oneself For Lifetime Achievement!