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Unveiling the True Meaning of ‘Think Positive!’: Why It’s Important to Face the Dark Side

In the previous section we took out the “Believe in yourself!” misinterpretation of the phrase and the true meaning of the sentence. Now let’s look at a close relative of this encouragement, which reads: “Think positive!”

Many people say this nowadays, as it is such a cheerful and optimistic slogan, it fills us with energy almost immediately and brings a smile to our faces. It’s true, let’s think to ourselves, to the side with constant gloom and pessimism, to the side with worries and fears, to the side with disparaging others and ourselves! Let’s think positively and focus only on the good things!

Sounds so good, doesn’t it? So what’s wrong with him?

Well, if we use that phrase correctly, nothing. The problem is using it incorrectly. What it means?

That there are situations when it is (or would be) our task to face the negative side of life: the dark things, painful events, our fears, suffering, real and potential losses, the frailty of our fellow human beings, or with the dark side of ourselves. And this is often an uncomfortable and painful feeling. However, for a healthy spiritual life, it is essential to acknowledge the bright side of life as well as the dark side. As soon as we face these scary things and accept their existence, in that moment we show courage – and in doing so, we steel our self-confidence and take a huge step forward in personality development.

On the other hand, if we don’t want to be aware of the dark things at all and turn our heads away, if we see suffering, we wink at the pain of others, we sweep the uncomfortable feelings under the carpet, and when a negative thought pops up in us, we immediately start yelling that “that’s it, just think positively!” – in other words, we divert our attention so that we don’t have to face negative thoughts – then what we are doing is definitely harmful. This is an escape from reality. And that doesn’t lead to anything good.

But then can we properly use this sentence?

Author: Anikó Nagy (coach and psychologist), Photo: Getty Images

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2023-08-19 16:06:33
#Positive #thinking #doesnt #matter

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