Do you remember the children’s story about the little train that could? It may not be too popular with young parents today but for us North American baby boomers it was a staple of our bedtime story catalog alongside all those wonderful Dr. Seuss reads.
The premise of the story is about a little train that was having a hard time getting up a long steep incline and had to keep encouraging himself as he slowly trudged up the hill. ”I think I can”, “I think I can”, he kept repeating as he chugged slowly onwards and upwards.
It’s a story about self-belief, self-encouragement and what the self-help industry calls positive self-affirmations.
There are just too many examples of successful people who make mention of doing consistent affirmations before they “became successful” to simply ignore the value of it.
“I Scott Adams, will become a famous cartoonist” – Dilbert Creator
Scott Adams used to get up every morning at 4am while he was working at Pacific Bell and write the above affirmation 15 times before spending the next couple of hours sketching out his not yet syndicated cartoon.
The thing about positive self-affirmations is that they are equivalent to a parent, teacher or coach who took great concern in your early development and encouraged you to keep learning, practicing, growing and trying. These voices we play in our head are reinforcing this deep down belief that we are good. We are worthy we are going to prevail.
Even if you’re a staunch skeptic of the effectiveness of affirmations you could quite easily be duped by your own skepticisms and create a self-fulfilling negative feedback loop.
In my mind, you might as well speak encouragingly to yourself because it will ultimately be your own authentic voice that will pull you through any adversity you might be facing. So often we feel like we’re on our own and that nobody cares. This is only half the truth. We’re not on our own it just feels that way and people do care they just care a little more about themselves and their immediate family.
Better to use positive focused self- affirmations and get any extra boost or benefit than not to use them just because you’re skeptical. It’s the old adage, how do you know for sure whether or not you will like something unless you try it?
a la Green Eggs and Ham.
Mmmm, gimme more!!! I keep saying to myself!
Dominic Kotarski – International Consultant | Author | Coach | Trainer | Speaker
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