Does Positive Thinking Really Work?

If you have been to some motivational seminars, heard some audio books or read some self improvement books, you would be familiar with positive thinking, or saying positive affirmations. You would feel good after thinking or saying positive affirmations.


After chanting the positive affirmation, in the seminars you feel that you can conquer anything in the world. Nothing is impossible. You can achieve anything you want. Nothing is going to stop you. Your adrenaline is pumping in speed. This is the time for change and extraordinary results.


7 days after the seminar, what happened?

Did you go back to your old self? Did your life go back to normal?

You may continue chanting those positive affirmations daily, but nothing is changing. You don’t have better results, you still procrastinate like you used to. Your life goes back to the old way. That seminar becomes another seminar.


I’m not an anti-seminar goer. I started my business running seminars. I encourage you to attend seminars to get educated on those success concepts. I myself got value from attending seminars. They worked for you to a certain extent. All I’m saying is there are some things deeper than just positive thoughts.


Why Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work All The Time


Most positive affirmations or Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) technology get you to produce positive thoughts so that you feel good, and place yourself into action mode. However, I feel that this is inadequate in achieving your desired results.


This NLP method  states that when you change your state, you change your energy. If your being is disrupted while you are in the midst of a task, and you have to get on with the task quickly, this is a good way to temporarily shift your state so that you can complete the task. However, the disruption still remains there, it doesn’t go away. It will surface again to trigger you some other time.


What you are doing to yourself is burying the emotions and disempowering thoughts with positive affirmation. You are pretending that they are not there. The truth is they are there, buried underneath. As long as you don’t clear them, they will disrupt your life over and over again.


When you are angry, by chanting a thousand positive affirmation about being happy is not going to help. That anger lingers in you, waiting for another opportunity to erupt. Doing this for a long period of time will make you an angry person. The healthier way is to release that anger, before planting positive thoughts.


Sometimes positive thoughts are like Panadol. It’ll keep the pain away for a while, but it’ll never get to the root of the issue.


Where Is The Root?


The root is your context to life. Some may call it belief. These beliefs shape the way you look at the world, thus determining your actions around handling issues. Even though chanting positive thoughts may support you temporarily, it doesn’t shift your context or belief. Your belief remains unchanged, therefore nothing has changed.


A friend used to talk about making more money and becoming a millionaire. I’m glad that she has this great dream. Having that positive thought, and saying “I am a millionaire” out loud is an awesome positive affirmation.


Then something was exposed.


One day we were discussing the topic of  happy vs rich. She started saying that “the rich are not happy”. If she were to choose, she would choose to be happy rather than rich. I asked her how about choosing both. Her response was it’s alright not to be rich, as long as she’s happy. And she’s contented with what she has now.


What do you think about this? Yup, she can never be rich.


This is an example of context vs positive thinking. Your context will always win. When it comes to crunch time, your context will drive your action.


Positive affirmation is great for temporary fix. It’ll get you to feel good for a while. For long term cure, get to your context to shift your result once and for all.

4 thoughts on “Does Positive Thinking Really Work?

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