Positivity, intention and manifestation
Are Positive Affirmations Good For You? What can you do when positive autosuggestion doesn’t match what’s going on in your life? If you’ve ever searched for motivational hashtags on social media or listened to self-help podcasts or spiritual gurus on YouTube, you’re bound to come across the belief system that revolves around the protest.
It is an esoteric system of personal development that asserts that what you think and speak comes from the power of your faith – faith in the power of the universe to give you what you want and faith in yourself to harness. this power. You may have heard of the law of attraction, secrecy, and other forms of manifestation that permeate the internet.
The problem with manifestation is that the deeper you get into it, the harder it becomes to assess, prove, and verify. Even the so-called manifestation experts admit that they are tapping into another dimension of existence that hardly anyone really understands. No one can clearly explain if it works, how it works and why.
I have touched on manifestation, and I think there is definite value in exercising ownership over your existence. By having positive thoughts and saying positive statements, it is possible that you can generate positive results in your life. However, the manifestation can put you to sleep in problematic headspace. What do you do when you aren’t getting rich, healthy, or successful just thinking you will?
The problem of positive affirmations
What happens to your state of mind when you spend months telling yourself that everything you need is coming to you effortlessly and you keep facing the same issues in life? Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say that Everyone loves you when you can’t call on someone to help you when you need it?
Positive affirmations can backfire when you use them to ignore the darker aspects of your life. They may seem like easy solutions to your problems, but relying on them can be harmful to your mental health, especially when better results don’t show up right away.
There is a place for positive affirmations, but this place should not be an area of ââdenial. You don’t manifest a new reality just by stating it, you stagnate your growth and put your faith in the easiest way out of a problem. This is called wishful thinking.
Related: 7 Ways To Stop Obsessive Thinking!
I have known someone who swears by positive affirmations. My barber was a Vietnam War vet and a tough, versatile guy. He had a steady clientele of young guys who came to his barbershop for cheap hairstyles and full of salty stories about his macho life in the Marines.
Every time I walked through the door and asked, “How are you, Gus?” He would automatically reply: “Better and better every day.” It was kind of like his thing, but one day I noticed he said it with a distant look in his eyes. He didn’t look any better. It looked like a train had run over it.
It turned out that his wife had just been diagnosed with cancer. So I offered my wishes and thoughts and prayers and all that, but it all seemed like an empty gesture. Then I thought of his slogan “Getting better and better every day” and that seemed like a hollow statement too.
What if you don’t get better every day? Do we still have to say positive affirmations, or does it become a lie that does more harm than good? I started to feel like Gus the barber was avoiding the pain of his wife’s condition by hiding behind this positive slogan.
I imagine he would eventually have to get over the pain and admit that he wasn’t feeling better and better, but Gus was an old school guy. I was sure he would bottle it inside and keep spitting that tired old mantra at all of his customers.
There is a harsh truth involved here. Sometimes positive thinking doesn’t work. In fact, that’s the subject of a recent episode of the Men’s Self Help podcast. He talks about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and the courage to heal difficult life situations. If you are having trouble seeing the progress of positive thinking, then you should definitely take a look.
Related: What if positive thinking is failing you?
Something better than the manifestation
In light of what the world has just been through with the global pandemic, it’s hard to imagine my barber Gus saying he’s getting better and better every day. I have to agree with you – it’s okay to admit you’re having a bad time. How else can you make changes in your life?
This is one of the reasons I love Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It deals with the here and now issues that you are facing. Instead of telling yourself that everything is fine or trying to unwrap a decade of past trauma, you start with what you are thinking, feeling and doing right now. Instead of using positive affirmations, you explore simple actions with the help of your CBT therapist that could make a real difference in your immediate situation.
CBT challenges your thoughts. Are you really getting better and better every day? If not, what are some simple and immediate steps you can take to make a positive change. Cognitive behavioral therapy works well with people who listen to manifestation, as CBT deals with your inner speech and the power of your thought patterns.
CBT goes a step further than mere manifestation because it chooses courses of action to create favorable results instead of waiting for the mantra to ring true. It might not be as sexy as commanding the universe to do whatever you want, but it’s evidence-based and scientifically proven to help a lot of people. You might feel a lot better about your future if you don’t leave it in the hands of fate.
Related: 7 ways to fight negative self-talk
If you have found yourself with obsessive negative thoughts or feeling a negative reaction from the failures of the manifestation, then I would like to share with you an amazing CBT resource available on Amazon. It’s a book called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Simple Techniques To Instantly Overcome Depression, Relieve Anxiety, And Rewire Your Brain by Olivia Telford. Its title is bulky, but the book breaks down CBT in a simple way so that you can use it in your everyday life.
Final thoughts on positivity
There is a difference between positive thinking, positive speaking and positive actions. I have found that of the three – positive actions are the most reliable way to create lasting happiness and balance in your life. It is the only one that deals with the concrete world in which we live, the daily material world that surrounds us.
You should be thinking positive thoughts, but don’t use them to hide your pain. You shouldn’t ignore negative aspects of your life or pretend they don’t exist by repeating mantras that have no basis in the facts of your life. You can talk to the mountain if you want, even hope it moves, but you will see more noticeable results as you dig. Nothing moves this mountain like a shovel.
Positive thinking could set the gears in motion. Positive speech could ignite the fire that keeps you going. Yet it will come down to some form of affirmative action that will make all the difference in your life. Keep thinking and speaking in a positive way, but try not to let it rob you of your own objectivity. Look at it as it is as you strive for better results. You will arrive on time.