There’s a lot of talk about the power of positive thinking and if you’re dealing with something difficult it can be tempting to think that’s the solution. But if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know it’s not that simple. Like negative thinking, positive thinking brings its own problems. Here, I’ll reveal an alternative I use with clients that could help you with something you facing right now. Watch the video or see below for the notes.
Next week is National Storytelling week. Stories are important to us humans as we have a need to make sense of allof our experience. If we don’t, were hiding from or suppressing the truth of our feelings. Positive thinking (like negative thinking) is neither real or true as it only describes part of our experience. And both have their own problems.
The Dangers of Negative Thinking
1) It can lower your self esteem
2) Increase your anxiety and
3) Increase your risk of becoming depressed.
The Dangers of Positive Thinking
1) It can suppress the full range of your emotions.
2) Increase your frustration
3) Increase feelings of guilt or shame (for not being happy or positive all the time).
4) This too can increase anxiety and lower your mood and self esteem.
The Alternative: Telling the REAL, FULL story
In counselling, I’m interested in hearing all the parts of my clients experience. Because sharing that with someone helps us accept it for ourselves. And it validates us too. Its like “You feel that too? So do I! Guess it makes us human”.
Dont Get Stuck
Remember not to get stuck in any one part of your experience but balance the two. Think of a time you tried to change something and it was harder than you thought.
If you were overwhelmed by guilt or hopelessness and gave up, that was getting stuck in negative thinking and only seeing part of the picture.
Or, if you only focused only on the positive you may have missed some improvements you needed to make to succeed. Or you lost some of your resilience for life, believing it should have been easier than it was and feeling guilty or embarrassed that you didn’t do it perfectly.
By balancing the positive intention of changing something, with the struggle and difficulty of doing it, increases your chances of success.
So, in the spirit of National Storytelling week, find one person you trust and tell them about something you’re going through. Share the highs and the lows and bond over the fact were all human! And then make sure to set an intention of where you want to go from here.
If anyone you know could benefit from this video please share it. And if you need help, get in touch.