Action Catalyst Blog

Positive Self-Talk and the Power of Affirmations

Recently we analyzed the results of the first 18 months of participants from Southwestern Consulting’s Focused 40 online self-assessment.

Some of the most compelling findings to me were around the area of positive self-talk. Out of the 3,542 responses in the survey, here’s some statistics that caught my attention on this topic:

–       Only 19% of people report that they “consistently monitor their internal thoughts every day

–       76% report that they “do not have a list of affirmations”

That means that less than 1 out of every 5 of us actually thinks about our thinking – which is a major error in judgment and a massive growth area for most of us.

Affirmations are simply what you tell yourself about yourself and your environment. And what I’ve noticed about myself is that if I’m not consciously saying good things about myself and my environment I am almost always unconsciously saying negative things. And that’s a problem because our Affirmations ultimately affect our Attitude.

I define Attitude as “the way you choose to see things” and our attitude is directly shaped by our Affirmations. Think about it, if I’m always telling myself how much I hate my job, or how much a certain person annoys me then that likely means I won’t have a good Attitude about that particular part of my life and I won’t choose to see the best parts of it, only the worst.

Whether you realize it or not, Attitude directly shapes your Actions. If you have a bad Attitude about your job, do you think that you’re going to show up early, work as hard as possible, and go the extra mile? Of course not – you’re going to do the opposite.

And obviously your Actions determine your Actual Results. If you don’t work as hard, and you don’t put in as much effort it’s easy to see that you won’t get great results.

Here’s the scariest and most defeating part of all though…when you get poor Actual Results in a relationship or a certain area of your life then it reinforces your original set of negative Affirmations! You take your poor Actual Results as proof of what you said that someone or something is a certain way and it perpetuates the cycle all over again. Only this time it’s in a deeper rooted and more permanently engrained mindset!

As it turns out, negative self-talk is a deceptive form of self-indulgence. You allow yourself to unconsciously perpetuate this cycle in a way that validates your own falsities about how the world works.  Your bad attitude might not serve your life well but at least you get to be right about how hard you have it.

Interestingly enough in a completely different section of The Focused 40, 74% of people reported “they are not maximizing their potential in professional endeavors.” Is that a coincidence that it’s almost the exact same number of people (76%) who said they don’t have affirmations?

I think not.

I think that what you think is what you get. I think that when you stop thinking about your thinking it starts to think on it’s own. I think our affirmations our way more important than we realize.

And, I think that if you don’t have a list of positive affirmations, you should stop what you’re doing immediately and create some. Because if you do, I think you will find that your life will begin to change.

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