"Please stop.  That’s too much.  I really can’t handle any more affirmation.  Those powerful, positive statements you are making about me are just really annoying."  Said no one, ever!

   It seems that we can never get too much affirmation.  The affirmation we were given last week or yesterday runs out today.  If there is fuel, other than food, required for humans it appears to be affirmation.  

   We were all sitting around the fire in an old ranch home.  Each of us making powerful, positive statements to a co-worker.  He was truly everything we were telling him and everyone knew it.  He was wise, deliberate, thoughtful, engaging, enjoyable to be around and more. After an hour of his closest colleagues expressing their deep appreciation of him, he said something stunning.  “I’ve been waiting my whole life to hear this.”  He was some years passed his fiftieth birthday and had never been affirmed by the people around him.  That moment impacted me deeply.     

   You may be like my friend and colleague waiting on the people around you to affirm you.  Consider taking three steps.  First,

go find them! 

Go find the affirming people and hang out with them.  Second, begin to

affirm the people with whom you rub elbows.

Do your best to exhaust yourself affirming others.  Finally,

start affirming yourself every day.

When you show up everyday and make powerful, positive statements about yourself, everything in your head will shift.

   Everyone visualizes and/or talks to themselves.  Either we picture something positive that has recently happened in our lives, or tell ourselves how wonderful things are, or how great the potential is.  OR we think of the terrible thing that happened recently leaving us feeling awkward, unhappy and disgraced.  Then we replay it again in our heads. And again.  Which of those messages do you tend to focus on?  

   Your brain will do exactly what your thoughts are telling you.  So if you’re saying, “I’m an idiot.  What’s wrong with me?  I can’t get anything right.”  Your brain will believe it.  As you think, so you are! If it’s as simple (not easy) as changing your thought life, what’s keeping you from starting today?

    Focusing on your positive attributes will take some deliberate action.  Some people find it easier to start with someone other than themselves.  Begin to practice daily telling people in your life what you appreciate about them.  It might sound like, “Thank you for being on time.”   “I so appreciate the way you give attention to detail.”  “You are full of good ideas.”  Be specific when you make these positive statements.  It’s more impactful to say, “You are so good at caring for me,” than to say, “you’re awesome.”  Both are good but you can only tell someone they are awesome so many times before they want to know what makes them awesome.  

    Be liberal with your kudos.  Start looking for the good in everyone you come across.  Now, think about which of those things you said to your children, spouse, boss, co-worker, barista, taxi driver that are also true of you.  Pause for a moment and tell yourself.  

   Think about the areas of your life — productivity, family, job, leadership — what positive things can be said about you in those areas?  Start telling yourself today.

    Reduce the affirmation vacuum in your life and the lives of others in 2016. Let me know (in the comment section below) who you applauded today.