Positive thought can be credited with reshaping our society and our lives. Unfortunately for those that don’t understand it, there is a lot of misinformation out there. It isn’t easy to buy into the fact that positive thought creates better lives when your thoughts keep returning to a place of negativity.

“There is a magnificent, beautiful, wonderful painting in front of you! It is intricate, detailed, a painstaking labor of devotion and love! The colors are like no other, they swim and leap, they trickle and embellish! And yet you choose to fixate your eyes on the small fly which has landed on it! Why do you do such a thing?”  ~C. JoyBell

Someone who doesn’t have a true understanding of positive thought will either believe wholeheartedly in it or discount it altogether. Like most things, the truth lies somewhere in between. Positive thinking doesn’t make everything better; it helps you to know you can make things better by taking action and making better choices.

Shunning the idea of how powerful positive thought is usually from people who are afraid of the unknown. They want to feel like they are in control and believe that somehow they will be required to give up that control and just blindly believe.

The contrary is true. Positive thinking helps you center your focus and action on things you can change while learning to accept and let go of the things you can’t. It prevents you from dwelling in a space where you can’t affect positive change giving you more time to do the important things.

With so many myths about positive thinking, it is important to understand that it isn’t about looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. Positive thinkers are realistic and have a thorough understanding of what is going on around them. They just choose to look at things differently.

To help see things from the perspective of those who practice a lifestyle around positive thinking, here are five positive thinking myths that you should never believe.

5 positive thinking myths you should never believe:

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1. Positive thinking encourages big dreams that aren’t achievable.

Positive people are more in tune with their goals and the steps needed to get there. They might dream big, but they know how to put in the work to achieve their ultimate goals. Positive people are also able to change course as needed, knowing it is part of life.

2. Positive thinkers close their eyes to the world’s suffering.

On the contrary, positive thinkers work to address the world’s suffering whether on a local or global scale. There is no argument that there are some terrible things happening in the world, but living in a state of misery in an attempt to relate to it doesn’t help anyone. Remaining positive and focusing on solving problems is how positive thinkers address the world’s suffering.

3. Positivity holds victims responsible for their situation.

Acknowledging that limitations and illness exist doesn’t mean the fault lies with the patients and victims of such circumstances. In fact, it is the power of our brains to handle adversity and move forward that is at the heart of positive thinking. It isn’t about blaming the victim, it’s knowing you have the power to give them a helping hand.

4. Positive thinking is just a nicety.

Understanding the influence of our thoughts on our lives has been explored for centuries. There have been hundreds of studies on the effect of positive thinking, and there is substantial proof that positive thinking can potentially change lives for the better. Positive thinking isn’t just something that people do, it has the power to change your view on life, and therefore, life itself.

5. Positive thinking does not shape our reality.

For the past century-and-a-half, roughly since the dawn of what we know to be modern clinical study, our conceptions of the mind have always expanded, and never receded. Our thoughts are far from the only influence on our lives, but we may be just at the beginning of understanding their power.

Being positive all the time might be nice but it isn’t necessarily reality. Like so much in life, attaining goals and showing empathy requires a balanced and moderate approach with a constant positive perspective behind it that neither dwells on the downsides or forces a jump for joy.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Positive thinking gives you the power of believing things can change. Even if the face of adversity, suffering, and general discontent, positive thinkers know they can affect change around them and in turn change lives. They aren’t disappointed because they can’t “change the world” because they are content to change their world, knowing that it will ultimately change the world around them.

How to be positive

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