"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot
be changed without changing our thinking." -- Albert Einstein
I’m a big believer in incorporating positive self-talk into my life by saying positive
affirmations, and I encourage others to do the same. Recently someone pointed out to
me how simplistic this strategy was. After all, why did I think that thinking happy thoughts
would make life better. In short, positive affirmations were a waste of time and didn’t
I beg to differ. How would we possibly know if positive thinking really worked – we do it
so seldom. Statistics indicate that people have roughly 10,000 thoughts every day. The
kicker is that 80% of them are negative. That means that for every “I’m a good person and in
control of my own life” thought that runs through your brain, there are 4 “I’m not good
enough and I never do anything right” thoughts to counteract it. For every pat on the back
you indulge in, you kick yourself in the pants 4 times!
We readily accept our negative thoughts and shun compliments. When someone says you
look nice what is your immediate thought? My guess is that you don’t tell yourself
“You know, they’re right. I do look nice today.” You probably think that your hair is a
mess, you’re not wearing any makeup, or your clothes make you look fat. When someone
tells you that you did a good job how often do you say “You’re right. I did do a good job.”
Instead, you probably respond with a litany of all the things you did wrong.
Why are we so adamant about holding on to our negative thinking? What purpose does it
serve except to keep us down? Yet we embrace our negative thoughts as absolute truths.
Which one of us can say with any honesty that thinking about how our life is crap and
there’s nothing we can do about it makes us feel better? So why are we so resistant to adding positive affirmations to our self-talk? Maybe it’s too much trouble to learn this new language.
We’ve been conditioned all through life to play ourselves down. We don’t ever want to get
too full of ourselves. People won’t like us if we think we’re too good. It’s wrong to “toot
your own horn” or “pat yourself on the back”. Don’t brag about your achievements. Actually,
I think now is the perfect time to re-condition yourself. Start patting yourself on the back,
tooting your own horn and bragging about what you do. If you don’t, who will? Today is the
day to start turning that “negative-to-positive thought ratio” around.
You are a good person. You are worthwhile. You do deserve good things. You are not too
ugly, too stupid, too uncoordinated, or too anything else that you might say to yourself. The
sooner you start accepting that, the better your life will be.
Write some positive affirmations on 3X5 cards and tape them on the bathroom mirror, the
refrigerator door or your car's dashboard. Recite these affirmations 3 times every day for
30 days. (Don’t heave a big sigh here and think it’s too much work. You certainly have no
problem telling yourself negative things at least 3 times daily.)
You’ll start noticing results after the first 2 weeks. In no time, thinking good things about
yourself will become a habit, and you’ll start feeling better about yourself. So give it a
try. After all, what can it hurt?