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Forums / Staying well / The reality of ill directed positivity

Topic: The reality of ill directed positivity

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9744 posts
    20 April 2021

    Many readers here will recall the turning point in my life in 1983, when I attended a motivation speech that instantly changed my negative life to a positive one.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/30-minutes-can-change-your-life

    In the following 28 years I've utilised that new found strength to enhance my life. Most situations that confront me I can overcome. However, it has a few drawbacks and I'd like to share them with you.

    • Being positive is not always a solution. Eg we can approach a situation that makes us anxious, like family or relationship conflict however being motivated will not replace counselling. We can be anxious about the invoice we'll receive from a mechanic about our broken down car, positive frame of mind cannot lower the amount to pay. (Positivity is best directed at what can be achieved like overtime or a second job)
    • Positivity can be a means to sugar coat. The best example I can recall is a salesman I know. When he broke his record for cars sold in one month he was determined to break that record the next month. The pandemic caused him to not achieve that goal. He told himself he failed and wasnt positive enough. (Positivity is best used in a realistic way that's within your control)
    • Positivity in some isnt obvious. When motivated some of us can ooze it, display it. Others are calm achievers that dont mention it. For them action speaks louder than words. (Positivity can be hidden)
    • Charity begins at home. Some people, eager to help others in their community, neglect their own welfare at home. While helping the down and out is a good thing that doesnt mean we should prioritize our objectives. (Fulfil home needs first)
    • Mental illness needs measured effort. For some of us depression can be debilitating. Using motivation at a time when you cannot be motivated can be more damaging as you feel more of a failure when you dont succeed. (timing of motivation can be beneficial) https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/depression/depression-and-the-timing-of-motivation

    Being positive is great, it transforms you and makes you feel worthwhile and happier. Using it for some challenges can be a waste of time as it is glossing over the solutions. Use it wisely, realistically and never give up....it can be an amazing tool.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/being-positive-what's-the-secret-

    TonyWK

  2. Sean S
    Sean S avatar
    41 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hey Tony,

    What an interesting topic!

    You're definitely right to point out some of the dangers of positivity if it isn't harnessed well.

    I would add to your list, expanding on your point that 'positivity can be a means to sugarcoat': willful blindness. It is possible to conjure up a positive attitude towards something that really shouldn't be treated as such. Positive illusions can actually prevent pragmatic action or change in some cases. It can also be a means of repression (by erroneously forcing a positive view).

    When I got into mindfulness, for example, 90% of it had a wonderful impact on my life, but that 10% that wasn't great was exaggerated optimism, occasional repression (like rather than getting angry, trying to embody compassion) and willful blindness.

    Sometimes we have to confront the ugly, nasty aspects of reality; that can even be a pathway to healing. In learning assertiveness, I had to actually discard some positive views so that I could grapple more effectively with the darker aspects of human nature. I was so optimistic and positive that I was basically blind to the little hierarchical, power-driven behaviors that underlie many peoples behavior. To become assertive I had to first descend into the muck, so to speak.

    But I absolutely agree with you that over-all being positive, and thinking positively, is powerful and good. The good far out weighs the bad!

    Thanks for making such an intriguing post :)

    Sean

  3. CMF
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    CMF avatar
    9139 posts
    22 April 2021 in reply to white knight

    Despite challenges I have in my personal life I do try to be positive and express gratitude.

    It does work, it changes your perspective on things.

    Cmf x

  4. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9744 posts
    26 April 2021 in reply to Sean S

    Hi Sean

    Oh yes, you hit the nail on the head.

    " To become assertive I had to first descend into the muck, so to speak.
    But I absolutely agree with you that over-all being positive, and thinking positively, is powerful and good. The good far out weighs the bad!"

    Regardless of the minor pitfalls in being positive with everything in life, like being more realistic, the "Good outweighs the bad"

    Spot on mate

    TonyWK

  5. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9744 posts
    26 April 2021 in reply to CMF

    Hi CMF, you are still here after all this time. A great contributer.

    that's all that matters. We can be our own motivator even to the point where our positivity is the best impacter on our lives.

    TonyWK

  6. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9744 posts
    18 December 2021 in reply to white knight

    Hi

    This is a thread that is relevant to some posts on another topic that might assist others like Dools.

    TonyWK

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