Today I want to go into more depth on positive thinking – and what it can and cannot do. It might be easier to start with what it cannot do. You can find many out there who believe their is a “law of attraction“. By thinking and believing (or manifesting an intention as I’ve heard it called) you will attract into your life whatever you desire.
This is a totally irrational belief, which defies science and logic. Many will cite anecdotal examples of how this has worked for them – how their thinking (and manifesting) gained them a promotion, or suddenly brought money into their life.
Belief will change how you act and perform. If you start trying to “attract” a promotion, by seeing yourself in that role and repeating affirmations that confirm that, you change your internal beliefs and values. You may then start applying yourself more to your job. This change in you will affect how others react – if you stop indulging in idle gossip every time they pass your desk, it will become clear to those around you that you are applying yourself more fully to your work. In turn, that may lead to promotion.
That is different to the “law of attraction” view, that by thinking of success or promotion, you are somehow transmitting those thoughts and “attracting” success or promotion.
In other words your positive thinking can act externally, as well as internally.
In the same way that people believe in a “law of attraction”, as I reviewed in my last post What do you Believe, irrational thinking, superstition and a total lack of logic comes up repeatedly in many walks of life, especially health care. Often these come back to being able to harness “external” forces – or somehow “externally” influence the “internal”.
For something “external” to change us “internally”, it comes back to our internal beliefs about what is happening:-
“A placebo is an inactive pill, liquid, or powder that has no treatment value. In clinical trials, experimental treatments are often compared with placebos to assess the treatment’s effectiveness. In some studies, the participants in the control group will receive a placebo instead of an active drug or treatment. No sick participant receives a placebo if there is a known beneficial treatment.” Mayo Clinic
There is scientific evidence that people can affect the course of an illness and the efficacy of medications by their thinking and beliefs. The use of placebos in trials has shown that the placebo (for example a “dummy” antidepressant) can have positive benefits, even though it has no active ingredients.
I will look more at internal beliefs in the next post.