"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 50 birthday and had never been affirmed by the people close to him. That moment impacted me deeply.
If you are like my friend and colleague waiting on the people around you to affirm you, take these 3 steps.
Go Find Them!
Go find the affirming people and hang out with them.
Affirm the People Around You
Do your best to exhaust yourself affirming others.
Start Affirming Yourself Today
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 and again in our heads.
Our brains will do exactly what our thoughts are telling us. If we say, “I’m an idiot. What’s wrong with me? I can’t get anything right.” Our brain believes it. If it’s as simple (not easy) as changing our thought life, what’s keeping us from starting today?
Focusing on our 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 at some point people 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.
Affirmations literally restructure your brain. We have the power to change our brains and the brains of others simply through positive words.