In the summer of 1950, Alfred A. Knopf Inc., renowned publisher, turned down the English-language rights to a Dutch manuscript after receiving a particularly harsh reader’s report. The work was “very dull,” the reader insisted, “a dreary record of typical family bickering, petty annoyances and adolescent emotions.” Sales would be poor because the main characters were neither familiar to Americans nor especially appealing. “Even if the work had come to light five years ago, when the subject was timely,” the reader wrote, “I don’t see that there would have been a chance for it.”
Knopf wasn’t alone. “The Diary of a Young Girl,” by Anne Frank would be rejected by 15 other companies before Doubleday published it in 1952. More than 30 million copies are currently in print, making it one of the best-selling books in history. I (Doug) can only imagine that the writer of this manuscript repeated positive affirmations on a regular basis to be able to keep on keeping on.
Affirmations? These are positive, specific statements that help you to overcome rejection and negative thoughts. They help you visualize and believe what you pronounce to yourself. Being positive is like magic wiffle dust and it actually works!
The concept of repeating positive affirmations is quite simple. Pick a statement and repeat it to yourself.
You might choose to use positive affirmations for self-motivation and to encourage positive life changes. Maybe you need to boost your self-esteem. If negative self-talk tends to trip you up, positive affirmations can be used to combat subconscious patterns and replace them with more encouraging narratives. Here are some examples:
-Each day, I am growing stronger and nothing can disturb my peace of mind.
-Today, I am going to tackle everything bravely and with confidence.
-I’m looking at the glass as “half full” and making my optimism come true.
-Forgetting past mistakes and pressing for greater achievements is my focus.
-Continually wearing a cheerful countenance and smiling at everyone is something I do each day.
-I’m so committed to self-improvement that I have no time to criticize others.
-Health, happiness, and prosperity is part of every conversation I engage in.
If you’re one who thinks this is hooey, there is actually medical evidence backing this up from 2015 and 2016. In a nutshell it found that the “ventromedial prefrontal cortex,” the area of the brain involved in positive valuation and self-related information processing, becomes more active when we consider and reflect on our personal values.
Benefits of Daily Affirmations
Here are six examples of evidence from empirical studies that suggest positive self-affirmation practices can be beneficial. Cited in https://positivepsychology.com/daily-affirmations/.
- Self-affirmations have been shown to decrease health-deteriorating stress (Sherman et al., 2009; Critcher & Dunning, 2015);
- Self-affirmations have been used effectively in interventions that led people to increase their physical behavior (Cooke et al., 2014);
- These pronouncements may help us to perceive otherwise “threatening” messages with less resistance, including interventions (Logel & Cohen, 2012);
- Additionally they can make us less likely to dismiss harmful health messages, responding instead with the intention to change for the better (Harris et al., 2007) and to eat more fruit and vegetables (Epton & Harris, 2008);
- They have been linked positively to academic achievement by mitigating GPA decline in students who feel left out at college (Layous et al., 2017);
- Self-affirmation has been demonstrated to lower stress and rumination (Koole et al., 1999; Weisenfeld et al., 2001).
Finally, if you are interested in incorporating affirmations into your lifestyle, experts at the Open Mind Training Institute say to repeat them from 3-5 times daily. This will reinforce the positive beliefs you are seeking to internalize.
In addition to personal affirmations, how valuable would it be for your sales team to have an affirming experienced online sales coach to meet with weekly? Doug’s rates are very reasonable and will bring and outside voice with 45 years’ experience to your people. Take a stroll around Doug’s website here.
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