Do You Fall For The Positivity Trap?

This blog is about the good things in life, about feeling them, experiencing them and getting a blast out of life with them. Yet there comes a time when too much of a good thing could be a bad thing. Do you tend to fall for the Positivity Trap?

Mentally answer the following questions:

  • 1) You set great goals and you will put in 120% of your energy to achieve your goals!  – Yes/No
  • 2) You believe fervently that even with limited resources, nothing is impossible! – Yes/No
  • 3) You constantly feel a great deal of control and enjoy being in control. – Yes/No

If you answered Yes to most of these questions, you could be at risk for the Positivity Trap. If you answered No, good for you! This post will help your friends who might be victims of this problem.

What is the Positivity Trap? In psychology, its called Optimism Bias. Its a phenomena that happens when a person becomes overly optimistic to the outcomes of a planned action.  Why is it important to you? The positivity trap could cost you the following:

  1. Your life/Job/Relationship
  2. Finances
  3. Your Emotional Health

Psychological studies have demonstrated this interesting effect and found that when people have an over-confident perspective on their lives, they tend to make more mistakes, misjudge observations and even defend their errors irrationally. Its strange that this happens. Aren’t we all encouraged to be positive? Especially during harsh times like the recession, many people easily slump into negativity. Yet in some cases it is also due to positivity that economic bubbles burst. Being overly positive could raise your expectations so high that when they are not met, you come crashing down. Sometimes, straight into depression.

Don’t get me wrong, being positive is a great thing. I am not encouraging you to experience negativity more often. Positivity is a protective mechanism that can keep us at the top of our game all our lives. However, I am warning you, my dear reader, that when you allow yourself to swell with all that positivity, make sure you place certain mental checkpoints to re-access your situation and keep your objectives clearly in proportion. Do not let your positivity blind you, nor any negativity hinder you. Allow yourself to dream big; at the same time, don’t place lofty expectations on yourself. Chase not perfection but growth and excellence.  This way, you can always stay being positive and maintain a sound sense of judgment.

If positivity taste sweet and negativity taste bitter, lets say that without bitterness, the sweet won’t taste as sweet; At the same time, nobody’s asking you to choose only the bitter too.


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