I’m pretty interested in the whole Self-Help phenomenon in general so when I read this article, my eyebrow jerked a bit. The article reveals that…
… performance failures cannot always be attributed simply to inherent lack of ability or incompetence.
… the roots of many handicaps actually lie in the stereotypes, or preconceptions, that others hold about the groups to which we belong. For instance, a woman who knows that women as a group are believed to do worse than men in math will, indeed, tend to perform less well on math tests as a result.
So some of life’s little setbacks may actually be due to the way others see us, or how we think other see us as individuals and the groups to which we belong. How do you get yourself to think beyond stereotypes? Thinking positively. Oh, the Self-Help gurus will surely jump all over this one.
Positive thinking is the pinnacle of the Self-Help industry. Everyone from Dale Carnegie to Tony Robbins has promoted some form of positive thinking under some label or another. The problem with most of these Self-Help approaches is they tend to treat positive thinking as a panacea instead of an individual part of the way we think.
I could be called an advocate of positive thinking. I believe it’s an important part of dealing with many of life’s problems. I don’t believe it’s a cure-all though. No level of positive thinking will actually change my circumstances. Positively thinking of ways to change my circumstances may however.
Via: Scientific American