Years ago, when I first started to dive more into personal development, I read just about every self-help and growth book. I am a researcher by nature and love learning as much as I can.
Early on, I learned that you need to rewire your thoughts to change your life. By upgrading your thoughts, you upgrade your life.
My next question was, how do I do this?
According to MANY self-help books, the key to changing your thoughts is through thinking positively.
Have you ever tried positive thinking?
I know I have.
I remember when I was a police officer. I was highly motivated to transition out of my career into doing something that I loved that provided more time and financial freedom.
I would wake up early, focus on my meditations, positive thoughts and affirmations. I would set the intention that I would think more positively and change my thoughts to change my life.
This worked great initially, but come 10 am, negative thoughts would creep in, and I would feel like a failure.
I’d try even harder to think positive, and the more I tried, the more negative thoughts would pop up.
This became a frustrating loop!
Just know that this is common. I can see now where I went wrong.
Positive thinking alone is an unwinnable game.
In fact, after doing even more research into personal growth, I can tell you that positive thinking alone not only doesn’t work, it’s the reason why many people are still stuck.
Positive thinking is only one-sided. With positivity comes negativity. They are a pair. The more you aim to be just positive, the more you’ll attract the opposite.
Dr. John Demartini did amazing research work on positive thinking years ago.
He read thousands of the top self-help books and made a list of the top “positive” words used in the books.
He looked up their definition and meditated on them. He created positive affirmations for each word from this list and recited them to himself hundreds of times each day for two years.
He tracked how he was feeling (both the positive and the negatives).
At the end of the two years, he discovered that the positives and negatives cancelled each other out and were equal.
For the number of positive thoughts or feelings he experienced, he experienced the same amount of negative thoughts and feelings.
He also discovered that the more he tried to think positively, the more he would swing the opposite way (negative). So not only did it cancel out, he would swing more in his emotions and be less centred.
He concluded that thinking positive not only was a waste of time, it made you experience more highs and lows and often takes you out of your centre.
So if positive thinking alone doesn’t work, how do you rewire your thoughts so that you can change your reality?
The key is to think LOVING thoughts.
Love is seeing both sides.
Whereas positive thinking is just looking at one side, loving thinking is simultaneously looking at both the good and bad.
This is where you transcend emotions and live through your heart.
This is where the magic happens!
One way to do this is through gratitude. Gratitude is the key to healing.
Gratitude helps you transcend emotions and connect you back to your heart.
I’m not talking about superficial gratitude, i.e. being grateful for someone only supporting your needs.
I’m talking about the true, fulfilling gratitude that occurs when you are able to see the perfection of the situation no matter if it’s supporting or challenging you.
This is mastery level stuff and with the right tools and resources, it can become a natural part of your life and growth journey.
It’s also important to note that when negative thoughts do pop up (which they likely will from time to time), instead of trying to ignore them or suppress them, use them as feedback to help you realign.
Another hack that works great for staying more neutral is to use both sides to your advantage.
When you are feeling down, use positive thinking to get you up. Ask yourself what’s going well etc.
When you are feeling up, ask yourself what are you missing to help bring you back to neutral.
When you are able to live in a state of equilibrium and gratitude, that’s where you are able to transcend your thoughts and emotions and experience the magic that happens when you live from your heart!