Pitfalls Of Positive Thinking

by Doris Helge, Ph.D. © 2013

Birth canals are small, uncomfortable passageways that simultaneously produce almost indescribable joy and pain. We are always giving birth to new aspects of ourselves. We walk down frightening paths only to discover new layers of confidence. Our nagging self-doubts are also flawlessly designed. Once we know how to mine the gold nuggets hidden in these dark tunnels, we give birth to heightened degrees of self-love and personal empowerment.

pitfalls of positive thinking

When an uncomfortable feeling such as anger, fear, or sadness rears its head, most of us want to numb, disguise, or deny it. This approach is usually about as successful as trying to transport an open wheelbarrow of vibrant, loudly croaking bullfrogs down a muddy path by a pond.

The negative feelings we ignore will continue to demand our attention. When we don’t heed their call the first time, our painful feelings seem to scream. Unpleasant situations magnify in scope so we can gain the personal growth available from them. Minor irritants inflame us like a match that torches a bonfire.

Running from painful emotions can also place our physical health at risk.  When we repress negative emotions, we stifle the flow of energy through our bodies. We inadvertently suppress our immune system because we perceive events as more stressful than they really are. We feel confused and disconnected from the people we love.

Whether we’re avoiding anger or love, the price of our unwillingness to be honest about our feelings can be quite high. On the other hand, allowing life to touch us has tremendous benefits.


Positive psychology is often confused with the use of positive thinking and affirmations. When we rush toward a positive conclusion without gaining the wisdom available from an unpleasant event or emotion, we unintentionally set ourselves up to repeat a negative experience. You’ve known people who walked away from an unpleasant job or relationship and later repeated the scenario.

When we struggle to put on a happy face or try the fake it ’til you make it approach, even if we gain a brief respite from uneasy feelings, we find ourselves struggling to maintain a façade. Buried feelings never die. They resurface, usually at a very inconvenient time. Then we repeat the same uncomfortable emotions and difficult challenges.

When we strain to “release” or “let go of” painful experiences or emotions, we’ve labeled emotions like anger, sadness, and fear as negative or toxic. Many people don’t understand that pain and pleasure exist side by side in our brains. Anger cuddles next to peace, love, and happiness. Fear is nestled next to confidence.  Sadness snuggles up to joy. You can see that suppressing a negative emotion can stifle our ability to experience the opposite positive emotions we love.

Consider the example of anger, which is passion for ourselves. We’re sending a message like, “I deserve better” or “I want more out of life.” When we embrace anger by experiencing it, safely and without judgment, more self-love appears. Once we express our irritations constructively, we usually discover that we’ve angry with ourselves because we’ve positioned ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. When we stop blaming other people, our compassion for them increases and forgiveness is spontaneous.

Most parents love their children too much to try to protect them from painful learning experiences. Wise parents shield their children from unnecessary pain or danger by teaching them how to be physically safe and develop decision-making skills. However, parents with foresight know that efforts to guard their children from any pain would cheat them out of developing their abilities to meet life on its own terms. They would grow up as shallow adults totally unprepared to solve problems or empower themselves by meeting new challenges. The same is true for us as adults.

Discover the hidden gifts of negative experiences and emotions. Then you’ll never feel like a victim to the unpleasant feelings and life experiences that are poised to become provocative tools for the healthy personal power and self-love you crave.

Explore how you can safely use every negative emotion to create healthier relationships and a more fulfilling, successful work life. Once you know how to use anger in a healthy way, you’ll open a magical door to greater self-respect and rich, rewarding relationships. Learn to feel the sweet memories that are hidden within your deepest grief. Studies that chemically analyzed tears indicated that teardrops cleanse stress hormones. That’s why we feel less fatigued after crying. Our sobs are an innate gift because tears assist the body in washing away toxins.

Learn why you should be celebrating your self-doubts and fears. These negative emotions are like the first robins of spring. They are announcing the imminent arrival of a bright new future and bold new layers of confidence.


Asking for help when you feel stuck is a sign of high self-esteem. You’re saying to yourself, “I’m ready to create a life that includes everything I want, including excellent compensation for work I love to do, rewarding relationships and vibrant health.” Would you like assistance from a compassionate coach recently named “One of America’s Top Ten Coaches” so you can overcome the blocks to your happiness and success?

Visit http://CoachingByDoris.com now. Claim free ebooks and videos so you can conquer your inner critic, discover happiness at work and turn painful experiences into personal empowerment. Doris Helge, Ph.D., “The Joy Coach,” is author of #1 Bestselling Books, including “Conquer Your Inner Critic,” “Transforming Pain Into Power,” and “Joy on the Job.”

© 2013. Permission to reprint this article is granted if the article is in tact, with proper credit given. All reprints must state, “Reprinted with permission by Doris Helge, Ph.D. Originally published in “Transforming Pain Into Power.”




Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave A Reply (No comments so far)


No comments yet

Conquer Your Inner Critic

Are you ready to give your inner critic a new job description?

Click here to learn how to Conquer Your Inner Critic today!

Transform Pain Into Power

Discover proven, practical strategies that have worked for tens of thousands!

Click here to learn how to transform your pain into power today!

Joy On The Job

You deserve happiness at work!

Click here to discover the secrets of happiness when you're working, no matter how you earn a living!


110-page illustrated ebook and SIX mp3s!

Click here to discover more & get your sample chapters & audio!

Follow Doris

Coach Cafe Radio

What’s Coaching?