The Power of Mindset: Positive Thinking vs. Thinking Positively

positive thinking versus thinking positivelyWe hear a lot about cultivating a positive mindset and we often hear about the importance of positive thinking, but there is a subtle yet significant difference between positive thinking and thinking positively. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between these two approaches and delve into their respective implications for our overall mental well-being and success.

Positive Thinking: The Surface Level Approach

Positive thinking, as commonly understood, refers to the practice of deliberately focusing on positive thoughts and beliefs, while deliberately disregarding or dismissing negative ones. It involves maintaining an optimistic outlook, regardless of the circumstances or challenges we face. Positive thinking often entails affirmations, visualization, and creating a mental atmosphere that exudes positivity. While this approach has its benefits, it tends to focus primarily on the thoughts themselves, rather than deeper underlying factors.

Thinking Positively: A Mindset Transformation

Thinking positively, on the other hand, goes beyond the surface level of thoughts and extends into a broader mindset transformation. It involves adopting an overall positive perspective on life, embracing challenges as opportunities for growth, and cultivating resilience in the face of adversity. Thinking positively encompasses a deep-rooted belief that our thoughts shape our reality, and that by harnessing the power of our mind, we can navigate life’s ups and downs with grace and determination. Thinking positively is at the root of Mindfulness and can become a habit of the mind.

Key Differences:

1. Authenticity: Positive thinking can sometimes fall into the realm of wishful thinking or denial, where we force ourselves to see only the positive aspects while ignoring the realities of a situation. Thinking positively, however, allows us to acknowledge and accept the full spectrum of experiences, both positive and negative, without losing sight of our ability to respond in a constructive and empowered manner.

2. Emotional Intelligence: Positive thinking often focuses solely on maintaining a positive mindset, while thinking positively incorporates emotional intelligence. By acknowledging and processing our emotions, both positive and negative, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and others. This emotional awareness enables us to respond with empathy, compassion, and authenticity, fostering more meaningful connections and personal growth with ourselves and others.

3. Growth Mindset: Positive thinking may inadvertently foster complacency, as it can lead to a belief that merely thinking positively will attract positive outcomes without taking meaningful action. Thinking positively, however, aligns with a growth mindset – an understanding that challenges and setbacks are opportunities for learning and development. It encourages us to take proactive steps, embrace change, and persist in the pursuit of our goals.

4. Resilience and Adaptability: Positive thinking often focuses on maintaining a happy state of mind, but thinking positively emphasizes resilience and adaptability. When we think positively, we are better equipped to bounce back from setbacks, adjust our plans, and find alternative solutions. This ability to adapt in the face of challenges contributes to long-term success and overall mental well-being.


While positive thinking and thinking positively may seem similar on the surface, the difference lies in the mindset shift that thinking positively encompasses. While positive thinking has its merits in terms of fostering optimism and hope, thinking positively takes a more holistic approach by embracing authenticity, emotional intelligence, growth mindset, resilience, and adaptability. By developing and adopting a mindset of positive thinking and thinking positively, we unlock the potential to transform our lives, overcome obstacles, and cultivate lasting happiness and success.

What do you do to increase your own mental health?

Photo by Johan Godínez on Unsplash