"I am the best” Vs “I can’t do this”

“Today is going to be a good day” Vs “Today looks like a bad day”

“I am my own superhero” Vs “I am useless”

Spot poll - how many of us think that the statements on the right side of the word ‘Vs’ in the above set are more likely to come true than those on the left? If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say most of us. Not a very specific guess but, you know what I mean. This begets the question - why does negative self-talk work so well for some people and positive affirmations don’t? Is all the science behind positive affirmations useless? Should we just dismiss the supposed power of positive affirmations and be resigned to our fate?

As it turns out, the answer is fairly simple. Of course, the science is not useless and of course, we shouldn’t dismiss the power of positive affirmations. But positive affirmations do not work sometimes because we are doing it all wrong.

Think of it like this - would you repair a leaking roof when it is raining or would you do it beforehand? Would you train for a marathon in advance or on the day of the run? Would you study for an exam before the exam or when you are writing it?

Pretty certain you are saying ‘before’ to all three questions. Except for the one on exams perhaps - I have studied on the day of the exams myself on occasion. But again, you know what I mean. Why would you think then that positive affirmations would work when we need them the most?

The simple truth is that positive affirmations do not work because we look at them as a miracle cure for our woes and when they don’t work, we dismiss them. We look to harness the power of positive affirmations right when we need them. And that is bound to fail (or work lesser) just as repairing a leaking roof when it is raining will probably fail or take a long time. The way to make positive affirmations work is to affirm positivity before you need it, not when.

Hence do positive affirmation exercises several times a day, just as you would work out several times to get fitter. Build the muscle. And the miracle that you are seeking will begin to make itself felt.