The power of positive thinking? Really?

I just watched a short video on the BBC website talking about how positive thinking can actually have a negative effect. He says that the problem with positive thinking is that if something goes wrong, we feel like we’ve failed.

Here’s the link, it’s worth a watch: https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p07c6sb6/the-downsides-of-positive-thinking

This video got me thinking about this idea and my own life. How much of my sense of failure is actually caused by this? I’d hazard a guess and say at least some.

Now, I’m not an overly positive person. I’m a realist most of the time, but my thoughts definitely stray to the pessimistic side more than I’d care to admit.

Take my whole job search – everyone keeps telling me to stay positive, it will happen. Sure, eventually I’ll find a job, but I feel like every position that I apply for and either don’t hear back or do get a very polite fuck you very much email, part of me feels like I’ve failed yet again.

That idea that you have to always think positively is so pervasive any more. Hell, I’m in my mid-30s and I’ve heard it since I was a kid. How much of this sense of failure – when there really isn’t a failure, exactly – contributes to so many of our mental illnesses? (Honestly though? If one more person tells me I need to be more positive when I’m depressed I’m going to do something drastic. Just you wait until I have the energy to do so.) I love my family, but they are very much of this mindset and it kind of drives me crazy. They sometimes seem to think that if I think positively then good things will happen.

No. Just no. Good things happen, yes. But so do bad. And ambivalent. That’s just how life is. You thinking something will happen or happen a certain way doesn’t make it happen. If that were the case we’d all be billionaires, or astronauts, or married to Chris Evans. Last I checked I’m a broke, cashier with too many degrees, and married to a wonderful man who is, in fact, not Chris Evans. Not that I’m complaining about the husband part (far from it), but my point still stands.

I hate positive thinking.

In fact, fuck positive thinking. In my experience, nothing good has ever come from it. You can argue that it puts you in the right frame of mind, but honestly? When going into something serious, it just ramps up my anxiety due to the pressure.

I had a whole lot of other things to say, but I have been distracted by the Blues-Bruins Game 6. If I ever remember the rest of this thought I’ll post again.

Until then, friends.

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