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In an op-ed, Prof. Adam Alter explains the downsides to positive thinking

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Excerpt from The New Yorker -- "According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, the social psychologists Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer asked eighty-three German students to rate the extent to which they 'experienced positive thoughts, images, or fantasies on the subject of transition into work life, graduating from university, looking for and finding a job.' Two years later, they approached the same students and asked about their post-college job experiences. Those who harbored positive fantasies put in fewer job applications, received fewer job offers, and ultimately earned lower salaries."

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