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The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale

Updated on August 17, 2013
Norman Vincent Peale
Norman Vincent Peale | Source

The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale is a book in self-help genre that promises to “offer techniques and examples” to demonstrate that not only do you need to not feel defeated by anything but that you can have peace of mind, improved health and a never ceasing flow of energy. The very first sentence of the book urges you to believe in yourself and trust your abilities, as self confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement.

How to Generate Confidence

Norman Vincent Peale then goes on show how feelings of confidence should be generated. This is to be done according to him by the practice of auto-suggestion. The feelings of inadequacy and insecurity are the results of your mind having been obsessed and dominated by these thinking for a very long period of time. “Another and more positive pattern of ideas must be given the mind, and that is accomplished by repetitive suggestion of confidence ideas. In the busy activities of daily existence thought disciplining is required if you are to re-educate the mind and make of it a power-producing plant” (p.8).

The Power of Positive Thinking

Affirmation and Visualization

Feelings of security and insecurity are creations of mind (p.10), and therefore we may be said to be responsible for creating by the power of thought the very condition we fear. Think of success and you are successful, think of defeat and you are defeat. Therefore, affirmation and visualization of success leads to success. This according to the author is quite like what Emerson said, “They conquer who believe they can... and "do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain”. Therefore, practice faith and confidence, and your fears and insecurities will simply turn powerless (p.15).

Strategies for Success

Peale suggests several strategies to counter the feelings of failure, low confidence, inadequacy and insecurity, such as picture yourself succeeding, counter a negative thought by a positive thought, tear down the obstacles in your imagination, do not compare yourself with the others, take the help of a competent counselor to get the self-knowledge that leads to cure, practice self affirmations, and listing of all things you want to achieve. “Affirm it, visualize it, believe it and it will actualize itself” (p. 15)

The Power of Positive Thinking

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