That way of thinking is actually detrimental to your life.


Today, I would like to introduce some common ways of thinking that people tend to unconsciously have in their lives that may not serve them well. Even though some of these ways of thinking are generally considered good, they can actually work in a negative way. Therefore, especially if you are someone who is too focused on self-help content, I encourage you to take a step back and reflect on them.

So, today I would like to introduce five ways of thinking that you should avoid.


Number 5: Have a pastime

Do you ever try to distract yourself by doing something after a bad experience or when something unpleasant happens, such as going out for drinks after making a mistake at work? This type of behavior is not necessarily bad, but it often does not have any real meaning.

There is a psychology experiment called “the polar bear rebound effect” that you may have heard of. Imagine a polar bear in your mind, and then you are asked to leave the room if the polar bear disappears from your mind. Nobody can leave the room because the more you try to get the polar bear out of your mind, the more your mind becomes filled with it.
Similarly, when you try to forget something unpleasant by distracting yourself with activities or by going out, it can work negatively and bring back the unpleasant experience.

The more you try to avoid negative things, the more you become dominated by negative emotions. Therefore, it is better to analyze the negative thing in detail and come up with a solution rather than trying to avoid it. You can use meditation techniques to face negative emotions correctly.

Rather than looking away from negative emotions through distractions, facing them head-on and learning to handle them is the key to changing your life.

Number 4: Imagining what comes after you succeed.

Imagining what comes after achieving something or success is often talked about in the self-help field. However, this way of thinking is not always helpful. It is more important to think about what you should do first than to imagine what will happen after you achieve something.

The reason why having an image of yourself succeeding is not always a good thing is that it can lead to complacency. After doing something good, you might think you can indulge yourself, like “I went to the gym today, so I can eat a lot tonight.” or “I am going to the gym tomorrow, so it’s okay to eat a lot tonight.” 

If you hold on to the idea of succeeding, it can become a double-edged sword. If used correctly, it can be a powerful motivator.

So, if you have an image of success but haven’t been able to succeed or haven’t been able to do anything so far, please first think about what you’re going to tackle.

Number 3: Trying to have confidence

It is often said that confidence is important in life and that we need to have it. Having confidence is not a bad thing. But not to make it the purpose in itself.
It’s important to have confidence in the outcome, but don’t make confidence the sole objective. Remember that what is needed is not to have confidence but to take action.

Number 2: Thinking it will work out well

It is said that it is good to be optimistic and think that things will work out well, but it is not always the case.
When humans assume the worst-case scenario and consider how to deal with it, it can actually lead to mental stability and even appear optimistic to others.

Some people may think that if they think about the worst-case scenario, their mental health will deteriorate and they will be plagued with anxiety. However, this is not always the case. If you think specifically about the worst-case scenario and consider how to respond to it, you can actually face reality with more composure than when you were living optimistically without thinking about anything.

For example, if my company goes bankrupt next month and I lose my income, I can live for three months, but I will need to move and look for a new job. If a bank goes bankrupt and my assets become zero, I might consider moving to a securities company for a little while.

By considering the worst-case scenario in this way, there may be less anxiety about the future than when you live optimistically without thinking about anything. And, those who have assumed the worst-case scenario may appear calm and optimistic when the worst-case scenario actually happens compared to those who haven’t.

Number2: Trying to enjoy work

The top priority is trying to enjoy work.
It can be counterproductive to get too heated up about enjoying your work with passion, just like the polar bear example I mentioned earlier.
Have you ever experienced that the more you try to enjoy a boring job, the more the boredom becomes apparent and stands out?
It’s okay if you don’t have passion or motivation. It is much more meaningful to think about how to make your work satisfactory even if you don’t have passion or motivation.

Techniques for making boring or unpleasant tasks manageable and how to make boring work enjoyable have been deeply researched to the point where it has become a specialized field.

I would like to write another article about this, but one hint is gamification, a technique for turning work into a game. While video games can be immersive and make you forget time, when you think about it calmly, leveling up and normal battles are just a series of boring tasks.
So why can everyone enjoy it? It is because various reward mechanisms are built into the game. There are various articles about gamification on other websites, so if you are interested, please do some research.
For now, just remember that having the desire to approach work with passion and enjoyment can potentially be harmful. I suggest shifting your thinking to how to make boring tasks or unpleasant work manageable, how to create a system where you can do a job that your boss will praise even when your own motivation is low, and so on.

As shown, even commonly accepted ways of thinking can lead to negative outcomes. I hope that you all can lead fulfilling lives.
Thank you for reading.