Why does life coaching fail to achieve the best results? There are numerous reasons. Let’s start with the simplest one. Life coaching conducted with suboptimal positive thinking produces suboptimal results! That’s why the Optimal Thinking life coach employs Optimal Thinking fastidiously during the life coaching process to maximize every communication and situation.
In The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale stated: “Expect the best at all times. Never think of the worst. Drop it out of your thought, relegate it. Let there be no thought in your mind that the worst will happen. You can overcome any obstacle. You can achieve the most tremendous things by faith power.”
Unfortunately, many suboptimal positive thinking coaches believe that your dreams will be realized by a magical, divine process that is triggered by the intensity of your hopes, wishes, and faith. They approach life with a false sense of security, and are ill prepared for negative consequences. Their positive thinking is often no more than wishful thinking and can be extremely dangerous.
Consider Betty, who told me about her last experience with wishful thinking. She actually quit her job and sold her house in Los Angeles, convinced that if she were steadfast in her faith, she would secure a job with a well-known company in San Diego. When Betty discovered that someone else got the job, she was devastated. Her wishful thinking put her out in the cold.
Do you experience feelings of disappointment because you entertain unrealistic expectations? Some people expect too much from others and situations, then pay a big price for it. During the flurry of excitement over the emerging dot-com phenomenon, many suboptimal positive thinking investors practiced wishful thinking. These suboptimal positive thinkers convinced themselves that Internet stocks could be evaluated with unrealistic criteria. Their illusions were permanently shattered when their stocks lost 50 to 100 percent of their value. Here is a conversation I overheard where a suboptimal positive thinking coach used wishful thinking.
COACHEE: I’m really worried about leaving my money in the stock market.
SUBOPTIMAL THINKING COACH: Just stay positive and everything will fall into place.
Here is the difference with an Optimal Thinking coach.
COACHEE: I am having sleepless nights. I’m worried about leaving my money in the stock market. What is the best thing I can do?
OPTIMAL THINKING COACH: What’s the worst thing that could happen? What your best strategy to protect yourself from experiencing this scenario? How can you minimize your risk? What are the most constructive actions you can take under the current circumstances?
The Optimal Thinking coach collaborates with you to ensure that you don’t risk more than you can afford to lose. When you face considerable danger, your Optimal Thinking coach asks questions to help you determine your optimal contingency plan. You eliminate unnecessary disappointment by entertaining realistic expectations and focusing on optimizing situations within your control.
In Learned Optimism, Dr. Martin Seligman states: “If the cost of failure is high, optimism is the wrong strategy. Sometimes we need to cut our losses and invest elsewhere rather than find reasons to hold on.”
It isn’t always possible to protect against negative consequences. We take calculated risks throughout our lives. Some years ago, I met with a representative who was interested in producing Optimal Thinking products. During our initial conversation, she immediately asked: “What is the difference between optimism and Optimal Thinking?” I responded with, “I like your question. What you’re really asking is what’s the difference between hoping for the best, and asking: “What’s the best thing I can do under the circumstances?” She smiled, and we were off to the right start!
Are you hoping that your greatest wish will manifest miraculously or effortlessly? How realistic is this? Are you willing to use Optimal Thinking to give yourself the best chance of making your wish come true?
During Optimal Thinking Life Coaching, you learn how to consistently put your best in charge, bring out the best in others, and maximize every situation. You learn how to give yourself the very best chance of achieving everything you want.
* Learn more from Optimal Thinking: How to Be Your Best Self (Wiley 7th printing and in 16 languages)