The Power of Positive Affirmations
Winston Churchill once said that “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in ever difficulty.” Optimism is a key driver of success and can be the difference between achieving your goals or falling short. In fact, people who rank high on the optimism scale tend to do better in all areas from life, from personal fulfillment to professional achievement. Harvard researcher Shawn Achor, who spoke at Global Rally 2018, showed that with some deliberate work, those who are consistently labeled as pessimists can rise on the scale to become optimists.
In other words, if you’re something of a pessimist or someone who tends to see the worst in things or believes that the worst outcome will happen, you’re not destined to always be that way. You can train your brain to develop a more positive view of the world and yourself.
One of the most effective ways to begin training is through positive affirmations.
What is an affirmation?
A positive affirmation is something you tell yourself to spark a change in your mindset and develop a more positive outlook of yourself and the world around you. When done correctly and with practice, affirmations can help you manifest specific goals and inject some much-needed positivity and gratitude into your life.
Key ways affirmations can improve your life:
Affirmations instill optimism that leads to mental and physical health as well as professional success
They help you keep your goals prioritized and in perspective
They help you envision and realize your potential
Daily affirmations help you see yourself and others in a more positive light
You become more in tune with your thoughts and able to control negativity
How self-affirmations work
If you’ve never tried affirmations before, self-affirmations are a great place to start. According to Psychology Today, such affirmations can have a powerful impact by imprinting positive messages into your subconscious mind. These positive imprints can actually overpower or rewrite the negative messages you’ve subconsciously hardwired into your brain over time. Try self-affirmations for a few days to see how it impacts your life.
There are a few rules that can help you get more out of your affirmations:
1: Place your name in the affirmation.
2: Add a feeling to your affirmation.
3: Put a goal in your affirmation.
4: Add a reward to your affirmation.
Affirmations of gratitude
Shawn Achor and his team spent years researching the power of gratitude and its ability to increase someone’s level of happiness.
Participants in the study were asked to write down three things they were grateful for every day for a period of time. After a couple days, people started repeating things they were writing down. So, researchers had to switch things up. For the next round, Achor asked participants to write down three new things they were grateful for each day.
After just 21 days, those classified as low-level pessimists moved up the scale to low-level optimists. By continuing the exercise past the 21-day mark, a person could move up the scale from low-level pessimist all the way up to high-level optimist. This daily practice worked!
Put the plan in action
Try the 21-day experiment for yourself. Write down three things you are grateful for each day. Be sure to choose three different things every day without repeating anything. After 21 days, see what kind of difference you feel. Are you more optimistic? The answer is very likely to be yes.
Let optimism power your passions
Learning to view your world from a lens of positivity can supercharge your life. Whether you’re a business owner who is looking to increase your productivity and attract more customers or someone who is seeking a fitness transformation, these daily practices can help you.
Happiness and optimism are contagious. Spread your optimism to others and you’ll discover there is power in teamwork. Surround yourself with others who also have a daily optimism practice and together you’ll achieve all your goals in 2019.