Faith in our ability to overcome fear, doubt, and setbacks.
How many times have we been told to “think positive ”? How many times are we made to feel wrong and even guilty for trying to be anything other than being positive? The singular focus on constantly thinking positively (“positive vibes only”), over any other emotion, has exhausted people and even led to the coining of the term “toxic positivity”. People would rather accept that they are lost, negative, unhappy, or depressed rather than pretend to be happy.
But, before you discard the notion of thinking positive as just another fad, think about the deeper meaning of why people emphasize positivity in the first place. Positive thinking stems from the fact that if you think positive, you attract positive results. But, in reality, positive results aren’t just consequences of pure thought, they are consequences of us relentlessly and tirelessly taking action to get those results, despite facing challenges. Positive thinking, without actions to reach a goal we define as “positive” for us, is relying on sheer luck to suddenly work in our favor. And if we have to be completely honest, that barely happens.
Positive thinking, isn’t, ironically, about “thinking positive”, it is recognizing that no matter how bad things get, you are strong, courageous, and smart enough to reach your goals. It is about having a deep sense of faith in one’s abilities to overcome any hurdles come what may.
Do we have strength, courage, and intelligence to overcome anything? The evidence to figuring this out lies in analyzing our pasts and thinking about situations where we’ve hit rock bottom; scenarios that we thought were the worst that could happen, until one day we realized that the heartbreak, loss or pain that has affected us does not hurt as much as it did before. The “rock-bottom” situation has left us stronger, because we overcame all odds against us, wiser, because we learned from it and will be using those lessons in our future scenarios, and courageous because we can now face similar situations head-on.
To remove doubt in your abilities to overcome anything, all you have to do is collect evidence from the past where you have emerged out of a tough situation and remind yourself in the present that you can overcome any situation, i.e., build faith in yourself.
This realization doesn’t mean that you don’t feel any negative emotions. Feeling negative emotions is a rite of passage for our holistic growth as emotionally fulfilled human beings. This means that whenever someone asks you to be or think positive, remember that they, without realizing, are eluding to your ability to overcome any difficult situation.
A little about me…
I write on an odd range of topics: from mental health, self-care to politics, travel and comedy (and all the weird shades of interests in between). They call me a researcher in my day job.
Some of my thoughts:
- Have You Ever Felt Lost, Despite Having it All?
- Three Things to NOT expect out of Meditation
- Mental Health in the Lockdown: Tips on How to Stay Sane