the danger of positive thinking and affirmations

peaceful flight lindsey lewisThis is about the danger of positive thinking and affirmations, and how to identify how it shows up in your life. Plus: what to do instead. Bigger, better, more powerful.

Powerful Thinking

There’s power in truth.

And weakness in lies.

We lie to ourselves when we tell our self something is wonderful, and it really isn’t.

We lie to ourselves when we tell our self that we can do something, when we really believe that we can’t.

And we do it when we attempt to affirm something good about ourselves when we really don’t believe it’s true.

Affirmations are easy. Thinking positive is nice.

But what’s powerful is truth.

Truth is transformational.

Affirmations and positive thinking can weaken us. How strong do you feel when you try to affirm something that you really don’t believe? Compare this to how you feel when you know something without a doubt.

Healing the Wound

Simply trying to be positive or use an affirmation is like putting a bandage on a wound that has bits of glass in it. What we need to do, first off, is get those bits of glass out.

Because although we can say one thing to ourselves, unless we truly believe it, it will never ring true.

Take a look a this.

Beneath a lot of positivity sits fear. We’re afraid of seeing what’s really there, or actually addressing it, so we ricochet off it and apply the bandage of affirmation. We’re afraid to take out the bits of glass.

But without taking them out, the wound never heals. It might even get infected. And then we wonder why, beneath our layer of positivity and affirmations, we feel murky and sad.

5 Steps to Powerful Thinking

Here are some ways to heal the wound before we apply the bandage. And arrive at truths we know, instead of affirmations or positive thinking we’re trying to convince ourselves of.

1. Feel through the pain. Every emotion is like a wave on the surface of your ocean. Be the ocean, not the wave. Just watch it rise up, crest and then pass over you. You–the watcher, the observer, the calm beneath the storm–will remain. The waves will ebb and flow.

2. Do this lots. Do this enough times and eventually the pain and the emotions of the experience will pass. By letting it be there, you can let it go.

3. Forgive yourself. For any part of you that feels guilty about the experience, feel more deeply into what’s beneath the guilt. Breath into every sensation no matter how uncomfortable, and let there be tears. You can handle this. It’s a feeling-state. And it will pass.

4. Ask a question. For every positive thought or affirmation that doesn’t ring true–turn it into a question. ‘I can do this’ becomes: ‘Can I do this?’ List three reasons why you can. Three reasons that affirm the ‘yes.’ In his book To Sell is Human, Daniel Pink shows that doing this leads to actually believing you can, rather than just trying to tell yourself you can.

5. Work it. Do Byron Katie’s The Work on thoughts that case pain or stress. For harder-to-handle thoughts that cause pain or stress, bring in Byron Katie’s The Work. This brilliant process enables the same thing as #4, but in a more comprehensive way.

Now we’re moving from affirmations and positive thinking to powerful thinking. We’re moving to truth.

And that’s crystal clear, and strong as diamonds.

Shine on,


Mar 4, 2014 · Comment

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