You should strive to think positively while avoiding common pitfalls.

Positive thinking is a tool that can help you overcome pain, obstacles and help you accomplish new goals. The benefits of looking on the bright side of things have been researched and documented. Researchers have discovered that optimistic people tend to enjoy increased satisfaction in their marriage, better physical health and higher incomes.  You can read all the details on Forbes here.

Because of all the talk about the benefits about positive thinking, there are some misconceptions about positive thinking when in reality, it sometimes can do more harm than good. Sometimes people can confuse positive thinking with unrealistic expectations. It can cause focusing on the positive to become self destructive.

When thoughts are exaggeratedly positive, you can overestimate how much of a positive impact a particular action could make on your life. It may cause you to feel disappointed when your reality does not live up to your fantasy.

Positive thinking about events in your life may also cause you to decrease your motivation to achieve your goals.A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that the most positive fantasies about the future predicted poor achievement. When people imagined an idealized future, they actually had less energy and motivation to turn that fantasy into a reality.

Overconfidence is not the same as healthy thinking. Overestimating your realistic ability to reach your goals could potentially prevent you from taking the necessary steps to set yourself up for success. As a result, you positive thinking could backfire and leave you feeling unprepared for the severity and reality of the situation.

Of course, optimism has the time and place for certain purposes. But there should always be a healthy balance between positive thinking and living a lie into believing everything is perfect.

Positive thinking is just one of the tools you possess to help reach your goals. However, if your entire plan for the future consists of optimal outcomes you could possibly be disappointed. If you combine positive thinking with positive actions, you will be much more likely to get positive results.