You’ve heard it all before: “Stay positive!” “Don’t let negative thoughts bring you down!” “Focus on the good or else you’ll create more bad!”
Yikes. What a drag.
In my experience, this intense focus on forcing positive thinking accomplishes two things: we become more fearful of our thinking and subsequently we have to work harder at controlling it.
I spent many years of my life in this space. Convinced that if I could find and hold the “right” positive thinking and avoid the “wrong” negative thinking – I’d be living the life I wanted. I’d have wonderful relationships, career, healthy body – you name it – it all hinged on my ability to steer my thinking in the right direction.
Turns out this is an exhausting way to live. Forcing positive thinking is a huge waste of time and energy – and it doesn’t work.
Fortunately, in the last several years I’ve discovered a far more productive alternative to positive thinking that has been remarkably transformative in my life and the lives of others.
Let me explain.
Forcing Positive Thinking Wastes Time and Energy
Constantly attempting to control thought is one of the quickest paths to short-circuiting your creativity, productivity and well-being.
Controlling thought slows you down by speeding up your mind. You create more thinking as you endlessly scan for “negative” thoughts and pursue the “right” thoughts. You end up stuck in a maze of thinking, feeling overwhelmed and unable to focus. Your stress and anxiety increases.
In an innocent attempt to feel better you try to get away from your thinking. Maybe you procrastinate through distraction – playing games, watching TV, or overworking. Maybe you turn toward food, drinks, drugs, shopping, etc. to avoid your thinking. To give yourself a break.
Can you see how your productivity, creativity, and well-being is directly connected to how you relate to and attempt to control your thinking?
A Productive Alternative to Positive Thinking
What I share in my programs is not how to change thoughts. It is not how to locate all the negative thoughts or limiting beliefs and turn them into positive ones.
What people begin to see for themselves is that what flows through our minds doesn’t – in fact can’t – be controlled.
And that is perfectly OK. Our thinking is actually neutral – we are the ones that give it meaning in the moment. And as we see the nature of thought more and more we give our thinking less and less meaning.
When we let our thinking flow – without taking it so seriously – it floats on. Like the clouds. It isn’t anything we have to manage – just like we don’t have to manage when we blink. It is a part of the process.
The system is designed for thought to move through us.
Seeing the role that thought plays in your life actually allows you to create more distance from it. You no longer have to waste your time and energy attempting to grip it, monitor it, or fix it.
You naturally step back from thinking so hard and end up far more often in present moment. Right here. Right now.
Without having to “try” to be present. You are just here.
And the beautiful thing about right now – is that it is where your insights, intuition, wisdom, productive actions, creativity, and innate well-being live.
This is where positive thinking occurs to you – without your having to force your way into it.
What I’ve noticed over the years is that I worry far less about my thinking than I ever used to. This leaves me more naturally in a space of productivity and creativity. I am coming from a place of gratitude and enthusiasm for life – I am not working hard to be there or keep myself there. I am more open to listening to the wisdom found in that deeper, more insightful space.
This space is with you always. You’ve spent much more time here than you might realize. Step back from thought. Look in this direction. Listen to your deeper wisdom. A whole new world awaits.
If you are interested in being more productive and creative by quieting the mind and becoming more present using your natural strengths and resources – I’d highly recommend that we set up a call to connect. Click here to get started today.