It is now scientifically proven that self-development and personal growth are vital ingredients to living a more rewarding life.
So why is it that some people decide not to take this path?
Today let’s explore myth number 1 about personal development that:
Self-Improvement is All about Positive Thinking.
There is no doubt that the power of positive thinking can make a difference, just some people overemphasise what it can achieve. Real change occurs with positive thinking when it is supplemented by positive action. Basically, sitting around and thinking about what it is you want to achieve isn’t going to happen on its own. You need to get up and do something.
Positive psychology is a science and a practice and it is not about overlooking the realities of negative experience, life’s ups and downs or about promoting ‘happyology’.
When self-development is done correctly, it is about getting important awareness, analysis and strategies to help people control positive emotions, build resilience and manage negative emotions and experience, which in turn increases well-being levels and value in general.
Positive psychology originates from humanistic psychology and the study of human health, and it evolved to better appreciate what is right with people not just what is wrong. It is designed to go hand in hand with the treatment and prevention of mental illness by pinpointing and celebrating what makes life meaningful, productive and rewarding.
Martin Seligman when he launched Positive Psychology as a discipline in 1998 to the American Psychological Association (APA) stated:
“Psychology is not just about illness or health; it is about work, education, insight, love, growth, and play. And in this quest for what is best, Positive Psychology does not rely on wishful thinking, self-deception or hand-waving; instead it tries to adapt what is best in the scientific method to the unique problems that human behaviour presents in all its complexity.”
One reason that people may be skeptical about positive development is the way we label and judge emotions. Emotions are not necessarily good or bad- its’ the behaviours that stem from these emotions that can be viewed as good or bad depending on the situation.
Emotions are simply feedback about what is going on within us, to other people or in the world. They give us information to help us think and act with a little more wisdom.
The way we do this best is to educate others in how positive, neutral or negative emotions can influence outcomes and situations. Positive emotions encourage tolerance, creativity, goal achievement, flexibility and learning knowledge. Neutral and less positive emotions help people assess risks, focus, and correct mistakes and create plans of action.
So give yourself the best chance of success by using proven tools and strategies in your well-being toolbox that will increase the length and power of your positive emotions and decrease the power and length of our negative emotions.