When Positive Thinking and Goals Help You Hide From Your Shadow

Photo by Rendiansyah Nugroho on Unsplash

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” — Carl Gustav Jung

Having been on this spiritual journey for about a decade, if I knew that I wouldn’t have any significant personal breakthroughs until six years into it, I might not have done it. The low state that led me to concepts such as the Law of Attraction didn’t catapult me like I expected it to. Thankfully, I did enjoy some successes, but I didn’t get the more difficult things — the things that would really make me feel better about myself.

Of course, those are always the most elusive ones.

The infamous YouTuber, Fousey, has had quite the week. But I imagine that he’s had quite the life. He is known for his past prank videos and for being a face of bipolar disorder and depression. After taking asylum in his mom’s basement for several months and then a stint in Australia, he came back to Los Angeles, “the city that destroyed me” and decided to host a concert with the biggest celebs and musicians gracing the stage with a message to spread love and end hatred. This was to take place on July 15. He had five days to plan “the next Coachella”.

How was he going to do this? With positive vibes so as to attract positive events. Everything would just fall into place serendipitously because he was being positive.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way. The people he wanted to invite on stage to perform and talk to the crowd have their own schedules with their own plans. How can they drop their responsibilities to take up something that just came up? Is that a positive thing to do? Many would say no.

But Fousey isn’t thinking about that. He’s thinking about what he wants to happen. He may be hoping that his plans don’t upset anyone else’s, but he just wants what he wants.

(I know you might not care about some YouTube drama, and I am going to address the headline but I just need to set this up first.)

The LOA doesn’t work the way Fousey thinks it does. Just because you put out positive vibes does not mean you’ll get what you want. If I think positively about being in a loving relationship that lasts, but my subconscious programming from years of abuse is that love isn’t real, the subconscious programming overrides whatever positivity I shoot out of my ass that day, week, month, year or lifetime. One must face the subconscious thoughts that love is a lie before one can begin to experience love.

Similarly, Fousey isn’t a moron. Deep down, he knows that you can’t tweet at people and expect them to read it and follow through with your request. People have shit to do! If I tweeted at Fousey to perform at my “spread love” event on the same night as his, would he drop his event and come to mine? Obviously not! So why would he have that expectation of others?

Because he needed it to come true. There is something that he wanted from this event. It was not solely to spread positivity and to crush hate. Personally, I think he wanted to conquer the city that conquered him. I think he wanted the love, attention and respect. He wanted to change people’s perception of him. Spreading positivity and having an amazing concert were his vehicles to his goals.

Having said that, I totally get it. I’ve done the same. Maybe you have too. There’s something you want but you don’t think you can get it unless you do something that you think should lead to it. In relationships, I’ve tried to be the nice guy so as to coerce the girl into liking me and being with me. In my career, I’ve used positive thinking to lead me to greener pastures. In trying to be a better person, I denied certain aspects of myself thinking that if I ignored them, they’d go away and by telling myself that I was the opposite of what I was.

None of it worked.

Fousey’s concert flopped. Some will say it flopped because someone called in a fake bomb threat, and while that is a part of it, the artists and celebs he requested didn’t show up. Some of his YouTube friends/frenemies did but as far as artists go, it wasn’t that hype. He said the likes of Drake would be there but when a news outlet reached out to his reps, Drake never met nor had an agreement to perform. Yet, Fousey said he met Drake. Maybe he said that to make it come true too.

I’ve explained why the positive thinking thing doesn’t work the way people think it can. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was famous for his bestselling book, The Power of Positive Thinking, but as anyone who has tried the stuff can tell you, positive thinking is fine but you still have to operate within the realm of reality.

Here’s the deal. The only reason one would use positive thinking to manifest their dreams is because they’re trying to escape the work. No one will ever convince me otherwise. It is the most obvious thing in the world that you should believe in yourself and that you will achieve your goal. Who the hell doesn’t know that?

The problem comes when you think that that alone will do the job. Fousey may say, well I tweeted and I arranged the venue and my team were coordinating a bunch of other stuff behind the scenes. Great. But the one thing you absolutely had to do, you didn’t do. You didn’t book the artists that attracted people in the first place. No offence to Dax, but no one really came to see him. They expected Drake and J. Cole.

Let’s get to the heart of the issue. Earlier I said that Fousey has had quite the week but he’s probably had quite the life as well. There is a reason the man suffers from bipolar disorder and depression. Usually, these things stem from trauma, possibly in childhood. Something went unfulfilled for young Fousey. Something went wrong. I don’t know what it is. Based on his brand of problems, I’m not sure he got enough love growing up.

Again, I can relate. I either had love ripped from me or was uncertain if I had it at all. Maybe you can relate too, because this post reflects a ton of people. Fousey’s latest meltdown is just a more high profile one that is similar to our own failures.

There’s a reason that people flock to being performers. They want attention. They want love. They want to be told that they did a good job and that their contribution matters. That’s why people (pun not intended) bomb rush L.A. to be the next big thing.

However, it doesn’t stop there. People can see value in being pastors, teachers, doctors, shamen, police officers, politicians and they will take on those jobs because they see that they can get the love and respect there too. But here’s the funny part. The best pastors, teachers, doctors, shamen, police officers, politicians, musicians, actors, artists and YouTubers are the ones who care about the craft more than they do getting love from others.

This is why I said to solely use positive thinking to propel you to success is due to the fact that you don’t really want to do the work. You just want what you think the work will bring you. Why else would Fousey plan such a big event in such a short span of time for free in Los Angeles with the most banal and uncontroversial theme ever?

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” — Aristotle

Fouseytube has millions of subscribers. He received love even when he was doing extremely foolish things. He still gets love even now. He’s had attractive partners. He’s been in movies. He has somehow resolved his conflicts with several of his enemies. He is wealthy.

And yet he’s still wants attention? He still wants love?

I had great friendships and continued to make even more as I got older. I was respected by those I worked with and got encouragement from just about everyone that I could be doing better for my career. I still have the respect of most girls I’ve been romantically linked with. I have been guilty of hurting people, but people still care about me.

And yet I still wanted attention. I still wanted love. I somehow still lacked a feeling of significance. Why? Like I said, childhood problems.

But how do you resolve that?

Therapy, and I don’t mean to solely take anti-psychotic drugs.

Specifically, therapy that will cause you to let go of all the programming that you aren’t love and to realise that the love you want isn’t an external love. Fousey has millions of fans. That doesn’t help him. He can meet up with three thousand fans one year, but if it drops to three hundred, uh-oh. That must mean I am loved less. I have to fix that. Or, you can actually learn to love yourself because that’s really what you want.

Consider this: when you are a baby and you’re being cradled by your parent or a guardian, you feel loved, right? It would seem that because someone is loving you, you can experience love. Therefore, it is easy to think that love comes from others.

However, if you had some sort of brain defect that doesn’t allow you to feel love (as some who have suffered from tumours have experienced), the entire world could be cuddling you, showering you with kisses and telling you sincerely that they love you, and you wouldn’t feel a thing. Furthermore, you can be mistreated by others and still feel love for them. What does this mean?

It means that love comes from you. You are actually the source of love. If you’re loved one kisses you, you radiate love because you love what they did. It wasn’t just because they did it. It’s because you “decided” to love it. Someone else could’ve kissed you and you might’ve been repulsed.

When it comes to loving yourself, people have a hard time knowing what that means or how to do it because they’ve never done it. They love themselves when things are going well. They call themselves stupid when they mess up. They would never do that to their child or spouse or friend, but they do it to themselves and think nothing of it. The problem is insidious.

Look in a mirror and say, I love you. You’ll probably cringe. You can say I love you to someone who gives you an orgasm but not to yourself on a random Tuesday afternoon.

Find a therapy like Teal Swan’s Completion Process that invites you to honour your past and heal it once and for all.

Understand that the person you’ve been waiting for is you. Realise that the only person you want to impress is you. If others rock with you, it’s really just a reflection of themselves. They value you not because of you but because they value what they value. If you fall into that, cool. If not, cool.

Treat yourself in loving ways. Speak well but honestly about yourself. Allow yourself to enjoy pleasures of every variety, really treat yourself like you would someone you love. Buy yourself something nice, not because nice things will make you feel good about yourself but because you love you. Instead of watching TV to distract yourself, sit in silence with yourself. This one is pretty hard because you’ll get bored. But consider sitting in silence with your child or relative or significant other. Would you be bored then? You can also talk to yourself (which isn’t crazy) and just emote about how you feel about something. You can also write it down. Actually, writing it down is incredible because when you talk you miss the benefit of seeing your thoughts in physical form and writing is more cathartic.

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal

Most importantly, let yourself feel happy, upset, moody, anxious, whatever. If you had a kid and they felt uncomfortable, the number one thing they need is for you not to talk them out of it necessarily but to just be there for them. You have to communicate that it is okay for them to feel the way they do. If you have a kid and they feel happy but it’s super-distracting, you wouldn’t try and minimize how they feel because you aren’t on that vibe. The precocious but unaware kid is going to learn that being happy might not be such a good thing.

When you don’t do these things for yourself, it gets harder and harder to do them for other people. You won’t go the extra mile for others if you won’t do it for yourself.

Society is not designed for our survival. I can empathize with Fousey when he said that L.A. destroyed him. The truth isn’t that a city destroyed him. The truth isn’t that the culture destroyed him. The truth, in my opinion, is that he lacks self-love and as a result seeks love, respect and attention externally in a culture that can exacerbate his lack of love and his psychological distress. He certainly isn’t the only YouTuber or human guilty of this or feeling the weight of suffering.

“Negative emotion is always the red flag alerting you to the fact that there is something there to learn. It is always alerting you that you have come to the crossroads of personal expansion. But if you avoid the negative feeling, you also avoid the lesson and the expansion.” — Teal Swan

I hope he and the millions of us who suffer from this will get the help they need.




Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

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Jason Henry

Jason Henry

Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

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