Why You Need Both A Positive & Negative Mindset

One of the profound insights that I have learned through my recent meditation practice is that we need aspects of both a positive and negative mindset.

You know how batteries produce energy by having both a positive and a negative? Mindset works in the same way. If you want to achieve true personal transformation, you need to embrace both positive and negative thoughts. 

Now I know that might sound counterintuitive. Everyone these days is all about having a positive mindset.

 But being entirely, one hundred percent positive is not going to get you anywhere. And I’d like to explain why.

After you read this, you will understand why positivity isnt all its jacked up to be. And youll know how to achieve personal transformation by having both a positive and negative mindset.

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Why You Need Both A Positive And Negative Mindset 

To create true energy and personal change you need both positivity and negativity.

To explain why, let’s take a look at what it means to have a positive or negative mindset. I will also explain why neither positivity nor negativity will get you anywhere by themselves.

Positive Mindsets Aren’t As Good As You Think 

Having a positive mindset means that we think positive thoughts, believe in our ability to accomplish things, and are goal oriented. It basically means focusing on the good instead of the bad. And you can get this type of mindset by using meditations for happiness and positivity.

A positive mindset influences every part of our lives. In work, for instance, you will be focused on personal advancement, and you will feel confident in your ability to accomplish things.

It also extends to our social lives. If you have a positive mindset you will see the good in people rather than the bad.

Even your overall view of the world will be positive. You’ll choose to see the good in humanity.

As a result of all this positivity, you will likely feel happy. But if you’re too positive, you wont get anywhere and you might fall into avoidable traps.

You see, being entirely positive doesn’t work. 

Research from Gabriele Oettingen (professor of psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg,) published in the New York Times shows that when we imagine ourselves easily accomplishing our goals we are actually less likely to achieve those goals. 

The problem is two-fold. Firstly, when you think you have already accomplished something, your mind genuinely believes that you have achieved that very thing. If you imagine you’ve lost weight, your mind thinks, “Great. I’ve already lost weight, so I don’t need to worry about that anymore”.

Secondly, forcing yourself to always think positively also prevents you from acknowledging any obstacles you might face on your way to success. And that’s a shame because you need to be aware of obstacles in order to prepare yourself to overcome them.

And so, while thinking positive thoughts about life might temporarily make you feel good, it really isn’t going to help you in the long run.

A negative mindset isn’t as bad as you think

Most people seem to think that a negative mindset is a bad thing. I can understand why. Negative thoughts make you feel stressed and they make life seem harder.

However, negativity also plays an important role. Negativity serves to warn us of potential pitfalls and dangers. And that is vital, because we need to be aware of potential problems in order to avoid them or overcome them.

Again, let’s go back to weight loss. Your negativity tells you, “I can’t lose weight because I have too much stress in my life and there are temptations everywhere”. Okay. So our negative thoughts are making us aware of the problems. Negativity is warning us. And because we have been warned, we can now prepare. In our weight loss example we would prepare by reducing stress in our lives and by removing temptations. This is precisely why you should NOT stop negative thoughts. 

The problem with negative mindsets is that they can also totally stop our motivation. If we truly believe that we cant accomplish something, we won’t bother trying at all. 

And so, negativity doesn’t work either.

Embrace both a positive and negative mindset 

So far we have seen why neither a positive nor negative mindset is ideal.

A positive mindset might feel good for a little while, but being too positive is ironically demotivating and also prevents us from acknowledging obstacles in our way. An issue, because we need to be aware of obstacles in order to prepare for them, avoid them, or overcome them.

A negative mindset feels bad and can be demotivating, but it also plays an important role. It warns us of pitfalls and obstacles so we can overcome them.

We need to embrace both positive and negative mindsets. 

Yes, believe that you can accomplish your goals, but also acknowledge the hurdles in your way so you can overcome them. That is the best mindset for success.

This, incidentally, is precisely the mindset you will get if you do my meditation for motivation and positivity.

By Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University. "My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation" - Paul Harrison

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