Why Positivity Can Sometimes Be Toxic

Why Positivity Can Sometimes Be Toxic

Do you try to stay upbeat & positive no matter what?

Speaking for myself personally, the more I learn about the power of energy medicine & quantum physics, staying upbeat & maintaining a positive mindset is an important aspect of what’s known as the law of attraction which states that “positive thoughts bring positive results into a person’s life, while negative thoughts bring negative outcomes”.

In fact, the importance of having a positive mindset so that you can attract & become what you desire has been taught for years by a LOT of personal growth & development teachers such as Bob Proctor, Joe Dispenza, Napoleon Hill, Abraham Hicks, Wayne Dyer, Michael Beckwith, Louise Hay & so many more.

And, through the release of The Secret back in 2006 a much larger percent of the population became more deeply exposed to the law of attraction, which you think would be a good thing, right?!

Nope. Think again.

Sadly, many of us (myself included) have misinterpreted the law of attraction to mean that we should avoid being negative & ONLY focus on the positive, which actually leads us into a state of toxic positivity & spiritual bypassing!


Because when we don’t acknowledge what we’re really feeling it distances us from ourselves & others AND it also prevents us from facing, feeling & healing pain, grief or suffering!

In fact, in his book Toward a Psychology of Awakening John Welwood defined spiritual bypassing as a “tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.”

To help you better understand how spiritual bypassing & toxic positivity might be showing up in your own life, here are some examples to consider:

Avoiding feelings of anger, sadness, grief, shame, guilt, etc…

Believing in your own spiritual superiority as a way to hide from insecurities

Believing that traumatic events must serve as “learning experiences” or that there is a silver lining behind every negative experience

  • Believing that spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer are always positive
  • Extremely high, often unattainable, idealism
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Focusing only on spirituality and ignoring the present
  • Only focusing on the positive or being overly optimistic
  • Projecting your own negative feelings onto others
  • Pretending that things are fine when they are clearly not
  • Thinking that people can overcome their problems through positive thinking
  • Thinking that you must “rise above” your emotions
  • Using defense mechanisms such as denial and repression

So why do we engage in spiritual bypassing & toxic positivity?

Think about it…

In the movie The Secret (and in a lot of teaching about the law of attraction), they make it sound like all you have to do is sit back in a lazy boy chair & think happy, positive thoughts while reading & repeating positive affirmations in order for what you want to manifest & miraculously appear out of nowhere!

Hmmm, let’s think about that for a moment….

Pretending everything’s ok & glossing over our problems can help us feel better short-term but ultimately it solves nothing & leaves the root cause of our recurring issues & problems that truly need to be faced unresolved.

Now don’t get me wrong…

I have manifested some pretty amazing things in my life but it wasn’t just because I was practicing happy thoughts & reading affirmations every day.

In fact, much of what I’ve managed to manifest & create in my life came about as a result of several things that went above & beyond maintaining a positive mindset, which include but are not limited to:

  1. Discovering, owning & healing my trauma & wounds from childhood & adulthood.
  2. Learning how to process, feel, face & embrace my fears & emotions.
  3. Finding the gift, lesson or wisdom in everything that comes my way.
  4. Clarifying what I really want & desire.
  5. Asking for the help & support I need to create what I desire.
  6. Taking responsibility & ownership for my actions, words & deeds.
  7. Taking consistent action to fix & correct what’s not working.
  8. Taking consistent action to build & create what I truly desire.
  9. Setting boundaries with my time, energy, & money.

As you can see, I’ve had to do a LOT more than just think positive thoughts & read affirmations every day to create what I want & truly desire in life.

In fact, all of what I outlined above are the skills that I teach my clients how to do in their own lives through a self-rescue compass & road map I created called the Brave-Hearted Way that was developed as a direct result of my own experience in becoming my very own hero over the past 20 years!

And, because of the deep dive healing work I’ve done for myself & also taken clients throughout that same amount of time, I’ve learned that resisting, sidestepping, & avoiding unresolved emotional issues & psychological wounds (which I truly believe we ALL struggle with in some way, shape or form) is what ultimately leads us into spiritual bypassing & toxic positivity!

Not only that but this type of resistance & avoidance is also a recipe for burnout, breakdown or worse… a midlife crisis.


Because anything that we don’t process, feel, face or deal with in our life is guaranteed to eventually lead to physical, mental & emotional dis-ease, pain & suffering.

So with this in mind, I’m curious…

Are you ready to own, face, feel & heal your own emotional issues, trauma & wounds in your own life?

If so, I promise it will help you foster more authenticity, compassion & empathy with yourself AND with others!

With this in mind, I have a few questions for you to consider…

  1. In what areas of your life have you been resisting, sidestepping or avoiding issues that cause you pain, grief or suffering?
  2. If so, what is this costing you personally?
  3. What are the benefits you’d receive if you could overcome what causes you pain, grief or suffering?

Hopefully, answering these questions will help you realize what’s not working in your own life so that you can own, face, feel & heal it!

That said, if you’re not sure how to guide yourself to greater courage, authenticity & wholeness in your own life, one of my specialties is teaching you how to master the art of self-rescue using the self-rescue compass & road map I mentioned above that teaches you how to create happiness, health, wealth & wholeness in your life without sacrificing your soul, sanity or health.

And, if you want a deeper dive into today’s topic I’ll actually be talking about how to avoid spiritual bypassing & toxic positivity in your own life inside my Brave-Hearted Woman Self-Rescue community!

Finally, if ready to take ownership for becoming your very own hero & you’d like support in mastering the art of self-rescue, you can also take advantage of the following gifts that I offer below:

  1. Sign up for a FREE Self-Rescue Toolkit that includes an Enneagram, Saboteur & Self-Care assessment to help you assess any fears, burnout or self-sabotage you might be struggling with & identify the self-rescue road map that will help you become your very own hero! 
  2. Sign up for a FREE 15-minute Self-Rescue Assessment Call where we can assess your self-rescue needs one-on-one & identify any self-sabotage that might be holding you back in your own life. 

I hope you find the above resources helpful & here’s to us ALL learning how to be interdependent in our lives (vs. independent or codependent!) so we can live, love, lead & work from a place of happiness, health, wealth & wholeness!

Jess Bonasso, also known as The Self Care Goddess, is a Brave Life Catalyst & Self-Rescue Coach, Author & Keynote Speaker who has been teaching worn out working wonder women how to master the art of self-rescue since 2007.

After unraveling at a cellular level the self-sabotage from her corporate-climbing 20’s & business-building 30’s that led her into burnout, breakdown & a proverbial midlife crisis, she created The Brave-Hearted Way, a self-rescue compass & road map to brave-hearted courage, authenticity & wholeness that empowers worn out working wonder women to live, love, lead & work in a way that leads to happiness, health, wealth & wholeness.

In addition to being the creator of The Brave-Hearted Way & a published co-author of Speaking Your Truth: Courageous Stories from Inspiring Women (Vol.2), Jess is also an accredited practitioner of The Journey Method®, a highly effective form of cellular trauma release therapy that can unravel at a cellular level the core fears, limiting beliefs & unhealthy behaviors that cause us to sacrifice our soul, sanity or health.

Be sure to follow Jess on social media where you’ll receive daily inspiration & support on how to heal & fuel your life so you can embrace your greatness on FacebookTwitterYouTube, or LinkedIn! :)

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