A Survival Guide For Uncertain Times Week #3: Give up Positive Thinking

American optimism and positive economic sentiment in the United States of America as a national government hope metaphor as a wiper clearing the gray dark wet clouds with 3D illustration elements.

It is the end of week three of Donald Trump’s presidential term, and this week my Survival Guide will address the pitfalls of positive thinking. I have spoken to many people who didn’t vote for Donald Trump and are now struggling with his daily tweets, executive orders and Cabinet appointments. I find that many of the people I spoke to are either completely negative about Trump’s Presidency or are trying to stay positive and failing miserably.

When you are completely comfortable with uncertainty, a positive outlook comes naturally. You are not rattled by new events or tweets and can sustain faith that life will work out one way or another. It doesn’t mean you are not concerned or active in your community, you just tend not to worry so much about the future. Most people, though, have some degree of fear of the unknown, and turn either to negative or to positive thinking to help themselves feel certain, while deep down they are really afraid. The problem is that the certainty we seek doesn’t exist. The more we try to lock into any perspective, the more pain and chaos we feel.

A person feeling negativity towards the Trump administration will feel pain most of the time because they are always projecting that whatever is occurring today cannot get better or that bad things are sure to happen in the future. The person Continue reading…

Why Is It So Difficult To Be A Positive Thinker?

A happy cartoon man with Positive thinking concept is on the paper.

I have spent most of my life trying to to be a positive thinker. Each morning, I’d wake up and try to put a positive spin on everything in front of me.  However, often times before I even got out the door, something unexpected happened and I would be thrown off course. It could have been as simple as spilling my coffee and I would start to feel the day was not going my way.  Still, I would take a deep breath and try to return to my positive thoughts; but as the day went on it became harder to hold onto this positive outlook. Sure, good things would happen to me each day, but also unexpected events would happen that I perceived as bad or “life not working out.”

As I started working as an attorney at a large law firm, life became more complicated and so did my struggle with positive thinking. I would still try to start each day with positive thoughts but it became more apparent that I couldn’t control the events around me. If a partner at the law firm did not like my legal memorandum or the firm lost a longstanding client, I projected what each event might mean for my job in the future. I worried that I might get fired or not get a raise. Sure, these were only possibilities, but these thoughts consumed me each day. My fear of the unknown and “what could happen tomorrow” seemed to have a more powerful effect over me than my positive thoughts. Ultimately, at the end of most days, I felt negative and fearful of what the future might bring.

Nevertheless, as the years passed, I persevered and continued my journey of trying to be a positive thinker. When I came across Norman Vincent Peale’s, The Power Of Positive Thinking, I was so re-inspired that I tried even harder to be a committed Continue reading…