Does telling people to think positively actually work?

If you have to tell yourself or someone else to think positively, here is why you might be wasting your time.

Life isn’t so simple that you can snap your fingers and woo — I’m positive now! Demanding others think positively is not too different from telling someone to get their diploma before going to college. There is no “think positive” button out there. There are no shortcuts to go from thinking negatively to positively as fast as you might want it to happen. Believe me, I have been trying to get my husband to think positively for years.

For any significant change to occur such as one’s way of thinking, there is a process to getting there. You can’t put the cart before the horse. To travel from Miami to New York, you must pass all the states in between. Healing thought patterns works the same way. It’s a process.

Negative thinking is not a problem. It is a SYMPTOM of a problem — not the actual problem. Just like cavities are not a problem; they are a result of poor eating habits which is the real problem. Take away the poor eating habits, you can prevent future cavities, for example. We don’t mask symptoms if we are sincere about authentic and deep healing. The ROOT needs to be addressed whether you know what the root is or not. If we think negatively, it is a symptom of a problem that goes all the way back to an old forgotten wound. That wound needs healing. Healing stops the old program from spinning. This is why it is so hard to change our own thinking or the thinking of others unless we heal the original wound that caused it in the first place.

Positive thinking, gratefulness, compassion, love and forgiveness are all byproducts of doing the gruelling nose-to-the-grindstone blood, sweat, and tears work of both healing physically and emotionally. Not too many want to hear they actually have to WORK to heal, but that’s the truth. Ask the caterpillar how it becomes a butterfly. It’s a painful and difficult process.

This journey isn’t for people who want to run from or bury pain; it’s for those who have the strength and the courage to FACE it and for who choose to FEEL it.

You can keep telling people to think positively, but you are probably shooting in the dark and it could even cause people to feel more shame, more resistance toward themselves, and more self-loathing. And again, it just doesn’t work. Most of us already dislike ourselves and the more we do, the more we might hold on to old thinking and behavioral patterns. Problems aren’t solved until we learn to ACCEPT who we are and learn to love ourselves in THAT PLACE — even if it’s toxic.

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate; it oppresses. I am the oppressor of the person I condemn – not his friend and fellow sufferer. If we wish to help another being, we must be able to accept him as he is and he can do this in reality only when he has seen and accepted himself as he is. And so acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the acid test of one’s whole outlook on life.” –Carl Jung

I have been trying to get my husband to think positively for years. It hasn’t worked. And it probably won’t work for you either. The only power of real change we have is over ourselves. If you are triggered by someone else’s negative thinking, it is only because they might be reflecting back the unconscious negative energy you have within — that once you do your own healing, you might find that you are no longer affected by negative external energy and may even stop attracting it into your own world. Your external world is basically representative of the world you carry inside of YOU. So, if you want others to be positive, you need to work on yourself FIRST.

In conclusion, healing in my opinion is about addressing the roots and eliminating them as opposed to masking the symptoms.

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