I’ve come to discover there can be some negative connotations towards positive thinking, that it is naive and is for those who want to escape realism. However, I believe there are two interpretations of positive thinking: one relating to good fortune and hoping for something good to come/go your way, and the other relating to motivation, hard-work and self-encouragement that you can or will do something.
I believe the first interpretation should only be used in regards to staying positive when something is out of your control and you need to remain hopeful to stay sane. For example, hoping for a friend or relative to get over an illness. There may be nothing you can physically or mentally do to help, except hope for the best. A degree of realism should always remain, but most people need to comfort themselves in this way as part of the process of going through something rough.
I am however, more concerned about the latter interpretation of positive thinking – relating directly to motivation. Motivation is something I think can be easily lost, whether it be from not having enough self-worth, listening to negative reactions from people in regards to your goals, or just plain laziness – a polar opposite of motivation (motivation is more than just thinking, it has to be doing). It can be a shame that brilliant people, aims, goals, and ideas are shunned and motivation lost when they believe they can’t do something or lower their expectations of what is ‘realistic’. It is better to try and fail, rather than not try at all. A person cannot grow if they have nothing to learn from and experiences to evolve from. It is here I come to the specific point of this post in relation to being deterred from achieving or trying something you want to. It will always come down to “when there’s a will, there’s a way”, no matter what anyone around you says or how you currently feel. As long as you understand you may have to work damn hard to achieve it, whether it be physical labour or mentally testing and growing your knowledge, you can use positive thinking to encourage and feed your motivation.