Rudá Iandé reveals the dark side of “positive thinking”

“Focus on the power of your thoughts and you will transform your reality.”

Thousands of books, workshops and self-help gurus repeat the same mantra: “change your thoughts, change your life.” If only the mythical “law of attraction” worked for even half the people who tried it! We’d need a bigger Hollywood for all the positive thinking stars, thousands of new private islands for the positive thinking millionaires, and entire industries propped up by the success of positive thinking CEOs. There wouldn’t be enough resources on the planet to fulfill the dreams of a new generation of magicians in possession of “The Secret.”



shaman dark side of positive thinking

Positive thinking is like the New Age version of believing in Santa Claus. All you have to do is make a list of what you want, imagine that it’s on its way, and then sit and wait for the universe to deliver it to your doorstep. Positive thinking claims to give you the keys to manifest your desired future by imagining that it’s already arrived. By doing that, you attract whatever you want from the universal matrix. Stay 100% positive for long enough, and your new reality will simply materialize from your thoughts.

There are just two problems here: 1) it’s exhausting, and 2) it’s ineffective.



Positive thinking teaches you to ignore your true feelings

What positive thinking actually does is teach you how to hypnotize yourself into ignoring your true feelings. It creates a kind of tunnel vision. You begin to lock your consciousness into a bubble in which you exist only as your “higher self,” always smiling, full of love and happiness, magnetic and unstoppable. Living inside this bubble might feel good in the short-term, but in time the bubble will burst. That’s because every time you force yourself to be positive, negativity grows within. You can deny or repress the negative thoughts and emotions, but they don’t go away.

dark side of positive thinking



Life is full of challenges, and facing these challenges every day triggers all kinds of thoughts and emotions, including anger, sadness and fear. Trying to avoid what you consider negative and sticking only with the positive is a huge mistake. When you deny your true feelings, you’re telling a part of yourself, “You’re bad. You’re shadow. You’re not supposed to be here.” You build a wall in the mind and your psyche becomes split. When you draw the line between what’s acceptable within yourself and what’s not, 50 percent of who you are is being rejected. You’re constantly running away from your shadow. It’s an exhausting journey that leads to sickness, depression and anxiety.

We try so hard to be happy, and the harder we try, more frustrated we become. Frustration plus exhaustion is a formula for depression. People become frustrated because they can’t meet the archetype of success they’ve been sold by Hollywood. They’re exhausted from fighting against their real selves, and they’re depressed because they’re not aligned with their true nature.

You end up at war with yourself

You can spend your life engaged in a civil war with yourself. The other approach is to recognize that you’re a human being with every potential within, and learn to embrace the full spectrum of your humanity. Stop dividing your thoughts and emotions into “positive” and “negative.” Who decides what’s positive and negative, anyway? Where do you draw the line between good and bad within yourself? In our inner worlds, it’s not always so clear. Even the most challenging emotions have an important function in life. Grief can bring compassion, anger can fuel you to overcome your limits, and insecurity can become a catalyst for growth, but only if you give them space inside of yourself. Instead of fighting against your own nature, you can use life’s challenges for your progress.

dark side of positive thinking

People come to me full of fears that they’re desperate to “heal” and “get rid of” in order to become more successful. They think of success as a kind of oasis where they can finally rest safe from the imaginary monster of failure that constantly chases after them. But that oasis turns out to be a mirage that disappears as soon as you get close to it.

My advice for these people is to do the opposite of positive thinking. I invite them to imagine the worst-case scenario, to really explore what would happen if their deepest fears came true. When they do this, the fear stops being a monster. They realize that even if they fail over and over, they’d be able to stand up and try again. They’d learn from their experiences. They’d become wiser and more capable of accomplishing their dreams the next time around. No longer driven by a sense of deficiency, they can enjoy life and allow their creativity to blossom. They realize that the power they were giving to their fears can be consciously used to build the reality they want.



Embrace the contrast of life

I believe in the contrast in life. When you embrace the full spectrum of who you are — including the sadness, anger, insecurity and fear — all the energy you used to fight against yourself becomes available for living and creating. There’s the same amount of energy in the “positive” as there is in what you call negative or shadow. Emotions are pure life force, and you can only access the full power of your consciousness when you allow the wholeness of your emotions to come through. Yes, there will be pain, sadness and anger, just as there will be love, joy and enthusiasm. These emotions will find their natural balance, and this balance is much healthier than dividing into good and bad.

We humans are dream beings. We can accomplish many of our dreams in a lifetime, but we won’t be able to achieve them all. More important than the life goals we accomplish before we reach the grave is how we’re living right now. With some consciousness and a sense of humor, we can embrace the wholeness of our being and live a life with soul. Beyond our concepts of “positive” and “negative,” there is the beauty, the mystery and the magic of our true being, deserving to be honored and celebrated. It’s available for each of us in this very moment.

JOIN OUT OF THE BOX: Out of the Box

Out of the Box is a blissful cyber-shamanic journey of self-exploration for developing your personal power and reframing your reality. It’s delivered as an online workshop by Rudá Iandé. Find out more here.

Rudá Iandé is a shaman and life coach. He’s the founder of Primal Source and works as a personal development coach for private clients and corporate teams to overcome self-limiting beliefs and harness creativity, personal power and mindfulness. This article was originally published on The Huffington Post.

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Comments

  1. Minister Anthony Durjan

    I have to agree with Patrick Phelps, commentary. The view of the author of the thought that Positive thinking, does not serve our highest good, comes short, because we are using a Spiritual consctruct to attain a material satisfaction and desire, while ignoring the Law of that Spiritual construct. The way Positive thinking is being taught and applied by those so called wisdom teachers, is a path that is birthed out of a self serving desire, one that is selfish and places the individual in the center spot, where the Universe revolves around them. But the Universe and the Power that operates it, does not revolve around us, rather when we select to become a partner in the revolving process of the Universal principles and recognice the Universal Law of Cause and Effect, we will be able to attract that which will enhance our Life experience. The first rule of understanding, is if I want to experience Good, I must become an instrument of Good to others, whatever I want for myself, I must first be willing to desire the same for others. That is why this rule was captioned as the Golden Rule of the Universe. “Do FIRST unto others as you would have others do unto you”. When we come to the impact of this consciousness, and begin to apply it, with Faith, Patience, Strength and Love, the Forces of the Universe will appear to be working in our favor, But it is only because you have applied the Universal Law of Cause and Effect, that you able to have what you send forth return to you in the manner of Increasing returns. Once you apply the Principles, the results are assured. The struggle, is not to grow weary in a world that is highly populated with souls that are functioning all around you, in ignorance of these highly rewarding principles, In other words be careful of all the negative thoughts and negative energy vibrations, that will forever try to trip you up in your thinking, just like this article written by ” Ruda Iande”.

  2. Nooitjie

    I am very knew to the concepts mentioned above (+- a year now), in fact I am pleased that I am only learning now, or attracted to it now or else I believe it wouldn’t be as effective. I realized however that living in a state of negative biased against everyone and everything added to an increment of a depressed state of mind. Where I work I am surrounded by heavily negative people, and until I recently realized that they’re affecting my own thinking patterns, I had become just as negative. I have had to deny what they magnify to truly be aware of the life I desire and the life I know I deserve. Call it anything but I believe it works. Whatever circumstance may arise, my perception about it was what has assisted me to pull through it, so I don’t want to embrace the negative contrast, I only want to see the benefits that every situation has, some take a few moments while others take a whole week to adjust to, but I believe as a South African girl child from an ‘ordinary family’, that I can be as extraordinary as I want to be based on focusing on expanding on the possibilities of a positive and fulfilling life. I was told once that positive thinking means nothing if you aren’t going to put in the work to sustain it , much like the saying “faith without works is dead”. Whatever you believe you are, you are.

  3. Shawgi

    Life is full of ‘positives’ and ‘negatives’ . Birth and death are examples . It is part of life enjoy both . Nice article

  4. Patrick Phelps

    I’m afraid your whole understanding of “positive thinking” as it relates to “the law of attraction” is completely wrong. As with any method of thinking, there are those who attempt to truncate the process in an effort to “get there quicker”. In other words, the path that Rudá Iandé has chosen can also be dissected and truncated, made into another path, and marketed by those who have no real idea what the path is all about in the first place.

    This idea of attaching positive thinking to the law of attraction is like trying to attach the heat from the sun to the heat produced by a campfire. Just because they are both hot does not mean they are in the same “family” so to speak. The basic premise of positive thinking is, “I think I can! I think I can!”, whereas the Law of Attraction embraces the concept that whether positive or negative, a person will attract into his/her life that which they habitually and predominantly think. Big difference between the two.

    Although many might hang on every word that Rudá Iandé speaks, I find it disturbing that he, in his enlightened state, feels it necessary to deviate from his path in order to assail schools of thought he obviously knows nothing about.

  5. MARILOU CAGAMPANG

    Nice article. Have to work on my fears… now!

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