The Danger of Negative ThinkingDon’t ever, ever let anyone tell you that thinking positive will solve all your problems. It will help. It will keep your chin up when things get difficult. And it may well be the one thing that gives you the confidence to chase your dreams.

But it doesn’t fix everything. You still need to put a lot of effort into achieving your goals.

And if you’re the kind of person who needs to focus on those obstacles and remember how much of a challenge they are for you to be able to face them with proper preparation, then that’s where your focus needs to be. If you’re the kind of person who gets too easily relaxed when you only ever think positive, then do take some time out to remember what the consequences will be if you fail and use that as your motivation.

It’s important to know these things. It’s important to keep in mind the risks you run when taking on big challenges.

At least, if you attempt to coast through something difficult, you’ll eventually get a smack in the face from reality that’ll push you into making the necessary effort. But – infinitely worse than getting so positive you don’t feel the need to try – is thinking so negatively that you don’t see the point.

If you let the obstacles loom so large in your mind that they start to block your view of the rewards beyond them, all you’ll achieve is an increasingly severe depression.

It’s not being unrealistic to envision yourself achieving all the things you want to achieve.

Unless your ultimate dream is to run a successful unicorn ranch. Some things just can’t be done.

But when you have a reachable goal ahead of you, it’s not worth getting caught up in fear of failure. Once you start working towards it, you will find that all the things you were worried about beforehand don’t seem so bad in the flesh.

But you’ll only get there if you can take that first step.

Getting so worried by what could potentially go wrong is the one of the most damaging things you can do to yourself. Your future depends on you using the hypotheticals to your advantage. You have the ability to rationalise your situation. You are capable of complex forethought. You need to use your predictions to prepare for the challenges you may face, to be ready to handle anything that stands in your way.

If, instead, you let yourself get beaten down before you even face them, you may as well not have goals in the first place.

Knowing the risks you face when taking on a new challenge is thinking realistically. Being aware that bad things can happen and are often likely is being prepared for the bad things. You may have to accept that some of the problems in your way as unavoidable. That is still not necessarily a bad thing.

You only end up thinking negatively when you assume that these things are impossible to overcome.

Thinking positive might not fix everything, but at least it gives you some motivation to get things done.

Thinking negative, on the other hand, will only ever hold you back.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.