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Idealism, Disillusionment & Depression
Dangers of Positive Thinking Martyn & Kosjenka

Coaching & Counseling - Realistic Steps to Idealistic Dreams

From Idealism to Success - Have you suffered enough?

Do you frequently say things like "It will turn out for the best", or "If it's meant to be it will happen"? Do you believe that if you act friendly toward the world - then unpleasant things cannot happen to you? Do you risk everything by taking unrealistic steps to fulfill unrealistic goals? Do you try to add meaning to your life by creating fantasies?

Contact us for help making realistic plans to reach your realistic goals.

Do you often quote positive thinking slogans? Do you look for meaningful coincidences? If two things happen at the same time, do you believe that an entity is trying to tell you something? Do you dream of easily fulfilling a wonderful goal?

Barbecuing Sacred Cows

Do you talk about how the world could be better ... if only more people would work together and trust each other ... or if only they would just follow your example?

We wanted to create a spiritual retreat. We were so certain that God supported
our success that we went to Las Vegas to get the money. We lost everything.
That was three years ago and we are still paying off our credit cards.

Idealism can reflect the best of our love, our dreams and our compassion. Yet such optimism is often a response to our suffering, reflecting our desire to live a life that makes sense. Idealism can be an attempt to protect ourselves from disappointments, a way in which we try to understand the world so that we can remain hopeful and feel safe even in the face of craziness, malice and suffering.

Idealism can motivate people to ignore their intuition, feelings and intelligence. Such people might criticize other people who can accept and express a full range of emotions, perhaps suggesting that they should only experience life as joyful, happy, etc.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child:
but when I became a man, I put away childish things
. Paul of Tarsus (Corinthians 13.11)

Idealism might motivate you to take extreme risks (or to remain passive and not take the initiative when needed) out of an attitude that "the universe WILL support me" or "God won't let that happen". Perhaps you want to feel supported by life but you don't know how to cope with setbacks or problematic people ... see emotional maturity.

To get to the ideal - you must first accept the real.
To get where you want to go - you must first know where you are.
Musa Kramny

Idealism and Realism

Many idealists perceive reason and logic as limited tools that cannot encompass the totality of existence. Idealists may not try to analyze the world they may only interpret coincidences. They may try to summarize all the complexities of existence into affirmations or mantras - for example, "Everything is love".

My friend was an idealist who wanted to help people. As her businesses failed,
she became increasingly bitter and fearful of 'dark energies', criticizing and
blaming almost everybody for the consequences of her decisions.

Realistic people tend to analyze reality - they tend to gather information from the real world, and not from fantasies. You may call them pessimists - they may rain on your parade. You may feel that you cannot share your dreams and aspirations with them. You may feel that spiritual wisdom can guide you, and that all you have to do is trust it ... but realists usually ask for evidence.

Some realists prey on idealists! Many cult leaders, marketers, salespeople and military recruiters search for idealists. Parasitic and military organizations often target teenagers, who are especially vulnerable to calls for altruism or patriotism.

Idealism often leads to disillusionment, and disillusionment leads to realism.
Many people go through this during their late teenage years.

People who are both idealistic and realistic can experience inner conflict, which can be described as two opposing states of mind ... people in conflict may jump back and forth between feeling and thinking for example, or try to deny one side of themselves.

Consequences of Idealism

We live in a world of interdependent nations, in an ecosystem where a change of one factor may have massive consequences. In 2008, for example, the failure of an American home mortgage company triggered a global financial crisis and worldwide disillusionment with American propaganda.

Many governments violate human rights. Idealists often wish to eradicate such atrocities ... perhaps by sanctions, invasion or regime change. You have seen the consequences of those actions. Sometimes there are no simple solutions.

I wanted to be a doctor to help people but most of my post-graduate medical training was by
drug companies and I feel more and more like their salesman ... I worry that my patients will
start malpractice lawsuits against me ... like many doctors I take anti-depressants.

People who project their inner fantasies onto the outer world risk disillusionment. Sooner or later, their dreams will be tested by reality. If they see the world as a wonderful place where only good things happen to good people, they will find trouble ... perhaps sooner than later.

We meet many ex-idealists who lost their fantasies. Afterwards they may step
into an angry depression and attack whatever damaged their illusions.

When tested by reality, some people prefer addictions to maturity. Addicts often cling to their world-views, using drugs to maintain their fantasies. Societies and countries can also become addicted, denying reality to pursue utopian dreams. Which countries deny peak oil, overpopulation, loss of ecosystems, global warning, super-bacteria and unhealthy food? What consequences do they face?

Depression and Maturity

Every time you communicate ... you expose your maturity.

Idealism and disillusionment are often followed by depression, anxiety and aggression. Does your life make sense? Are you scared of the future? Do you blame other people for your lack of research? Are you angry with realistic people who did not share your fantasy or who benefited from your naivety?

I am told that I am a visionary. The voices of Spirit promise me wonderful things
and assure me that I will become a special leader who can heal the world ...
I am also diagnosed with schizophrenia ... 
New Zealand

Although disillusionment and depression may follow disappointments, the underlying feelings and beliefs are often rooted in old relationship issues and meaningless lives. We often help idealistic people set realistic goals and make realistic plans.

Accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those
who do not have it.
George Bernard Shaw

Contact us to change obsessions and compulsions into ordinary temptations.

Online Life Coaching & Counseling for Recovering Idealists

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2009-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
please mention or

For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

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Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email