Maybe you’re just a little like me: the tried and true affirmations don’t work for me. In my new Scoping series, the second episode is, AWAKE #introverts! How to go from good to best Affirmations You can listen live every Friday on Periscope Or sometimes my Facebook fan page, Or if you prefer to read, catch a summarized blog post of each Scope episode.
AWAKE is an acronym to help know and remember what each part will review and cover.
AWAKE #introverts! How to go from good to best Affirmations
The first A is for Affirm yourself.
Do the auto-suggestive kind of personal affirmations work for you? Statements like:
“I feel wonderfully confident every time I network,” “I transcend stress of any kind. I live in peace,” “Every cell in my body vibrates with energy and health.”
You may be familiar with practicing these positive thought patterns repetitively. Maybe you are also aware that we create neuroplasticity in the area of the brain that processes about what we think.
But no matter how I flooded my mind with such statements in the past, they just didn’t always work for me.
When I was about five years into my first sales career, I was leaving a sales appointment feeling sure I would bat it out of the ballpark. Instead, the prospective customer left me with, “Have a nice day.” She didn’t agree to a follow-up appointment.
Feeling defeated early in my sales day, would leave me less than fully ready for remaining calls and a presentation. In waiting to drive out of the parking lot, I was sitting and affirming myself with such statements. “I feel proud of my work,” I know my customers appreciate my solutions,” and so on.
My curiosity took me a recent research report to learn I had accidentally stumbled on a slight shift in wording that worked better for me. I pulled down the visor mirror to wipe away my tears and refresh my makeup. I was looking straight at myself. “You can feel proud of your work,” “You know your customers appreciate your solutions,” and more is the self-talk I was giving.
Finally, my spirit lifted, and my next sales call was a success.
So while the person, positive, present tense affirmations work for some, if they don’t work for you, try just changing the “I feel …” to a more assuring “You are …”
Are you one of the curious introverts? Asking questions, going deeper, wider and broader?
It turns out; there is another affirmation statement change that Noah St. John discovered one morning, in the shower!
St John says, “An afformation is an affirmation in a question format.” It is still positive, personal and in the present tense acts like an affirmation.
In following his blog and subsequently, buying his book, The Book of Afformations, I got his permission to include some introvert examples in my latest book.
Here is just one:
You might start to feel anxious when you are asked to give a presentation. This feeling, by the way, affects not just introverts, but many ambiverts and extroverts. But what if you could acknowledge personal preferences, which increases the delivery of a confident presentation?
Myth: Introverts do not give the best presentation.
Afformation: Why do my planning and preparation give me self-confidence in front of my audience?
Use this example, more in my book, or other afformations you come up with to counter a popular introvert myth. I know you too will find your negative feelings about yourself or little confidence in your capabilities start to dissipate.
“Self-affirmation writing exercises improved the achievement, especially in mathematics, of students who may suffer from stereotype threat.”
Math? How will math help me be more positive about myself? My attention is on the statement, “may suffer from the stereotype threat.”
A 2014 study of Self-Affirmation in the Annual Review of Psychology, found when we engage in self-affirming activities, we better handle life’s difficulties and learn from our mistakes.
Here are two questions asked in the research: identify your values and strengths. Then, choose one to investigate. How would this advantage or value be portrayed?
Maybe you value your quiet time. Think back to your life and explore how quiet time became important to you. List ways you have shown you love alone time. How might you solve problems using this skill?
Decide on something that holds meaning and value to you. Look beyond the part of you that feels threatened.
If your confidence feels threatened, for example, it could be helpful to explore other facets of yourself.
Approach your thinking from both the positive and negative aspects to help broaden your understanding of yourself. You can move beyond a threat or challenge before you, and identify your internal and even resources outside yourself.
Try this writing exercise and see what changes with this more comprehensive dialogue.
There are of course many other ways to affirm yourself -these three just tap the surface of how to AFFIRM ourselves, although I hope you will agree, they seem to be more comfortable or introvert-friendly. To quickly summarize:
1- change “I feel …” statements to a more reassuring “YOU statement
2 – ask affirming questions using, Afformations
3 – Go deeper and broader in exploring your values and strengths.
Pick one and try if for maybe 30 days. Or try them each because there is no one answer for all of us.
Once you regularly use whatever approach you decide works for you, I know your confidence will increase and you will open your strengths up to use to your advantage.