Never Fall into the Trap of Positive Thinking

Rintu BasuPersonal Development6 Comments

Positive thinking is a dangerous trap. Many people that espouse twee little motivational sound bites have no idea of of the damage they are causing to themselves and others.

There is Only Feedback

failAnyone that says Feedback is a Gift will never be invited round to my house for Christmas. I don’t really have a problem with positive thinking…I have a problem with people that don’t actually know what it means. It is easier to illustrate through an example.

Let’s take a typical motivational phrase that I hear a lot:

There is no Failure only Feedback

What this is about is reframing the idea of failure. Normally people think of failure as a bad thing, they feel bad about failing and it is associated with finality and giving up. Feedback is about getting information and using it to correct your approach so you are constantly correcting as you head for success.

Where is the harm in any of that?

This is all fine if this was what people did. But the reality is what people generally do is replace the label. They take all the bad feelings, negativity and bad associations they have with failure and change the label to feedback. So now they have all the same things but they just call it feedback instead.

A Different Approach to Get the Result

My version of positive thinking is to have some clearer thought about what the labels actually mean. For example I think failure is a good word to use. Sometimes I fail at things. I fail to get things done on time or on budget. Sometimes I over extend myself and I fail to keep some of the promises I make.

The only difference is that I recognise failure as part of life, part of the journey towards success. Think on it this way all growth, development and real success comes from stepping outside of your comfort zone. If you are operating outside of your comfort zone stumbling through failure points is inevitable, desirable and an important part of success.

So every time you fail you should let out a huge cheer and leap up and down in excitement because you are one huge step closer to success.

Reframe the Labels

Can you see what we did there? Instead of relabeling the feelings we reframed the labels. If you do either properly the results are the same. Feedback that keeps you moving in the right direction would have the same results as my reframe for failure. But what I see is more about just calling failure feedback and not doing anything about the thoughts and feelings that are associated with the words.

So What is Positive Thinking?

When you realise that the words we use are just labels to describe a set of internal representations you have a huge amount of power over your critical thinking.

Once you realise that those labels are filters through which we experience our world you can start to shape and change your experience just through how you use those filters.

And once you understand how that works you can do the same with anyone else.

This is what the Advanced Persuasion Patterns course is really about. Click through and find out more here:


6 Comments on “Never Fall into the Trap of Positive Thinking”

  1. Rintu Basu

    Today I received an email that relates to this article so I thought I would post it up here:

    Hi Rintu,

    Being in the “New Age movement” through Reiki I hear so often about “You create your own reality”.

    Between you and me, I often found that the way that was said (intonation) it sounded more often offensive and accusing than not.

    “You need to think different and your reality will change” was another phrase I heard so often and, when asked about the how and what I never received an answer.

    It seemed that the persons using these kind of phrases never understood what they said at all, let alone that they could handle their own situations.

    The 8 lessons I received from you so far made it clear to me how to change my thinking, and yes, I am human and tend to fall back in old ways of thinking.

    But I am training myself, 10 minutes sessions several times a day. So there’s hope, light at the end of the tunnel, let’s just hope it is not the headlight of a train coming my way (grin).

    Just wanted you to know I am grateful for what you teach,

    A determined student

    1. Troy Axiom

      I am one of those people that uses the Axiom “Your Focus Determines Your Reality”…..For me, this is one of the truest statements you can find on this planet….If you think about it….when we focus on something,That “thing” then will show up in your Reality…Yes we are on this Planet or in this Reality…So that part is already created for us…How we respond and interact with this Reality is what you Create…. Again this is from my frame of Reference or opinion if you will….I Hope that helps…

      Best Wishes

      Axiom Infinity

      1. Rintu Basu

        Thanks Troy and I agree with you. How you respond (and inaction is a response) determines what you get. That response is based on your thoughts. Cheers Rintu

  2. CathDaley

    Hi Rintu, great article and I totally agree with you about how people misuse the idea of no failure only feedback. I have learned to fail faster and it’s what I now teach my clients to be happy with.
    Thanks for your post which I will definitely lass on!
    Kind regards,
    Cath Daley

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