By Jim Rohrbach
A case for daily affirmations.
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
"Repetition of affirmations of orders to your subconscious mind is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith." Why did Napoleon Hill make this powerful statement early in his classic 1937 book, 'Think and Grow Rich'? Hill was the first author to introduce "the science of personal achievement" to the business world. He studied over 500 highly successful entrepreneurs in the early 1900s (including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and John D. Rockefeller... these were no flash-in-the-pan characters!) and concluded that each had what he called a "success consciousness" — they literally thought their way to riches.
I believe Hill was aware that most ordinary people did not possess this mind set, but he insisted a person could develop it through the use of "autosuggestion" — the daily repetition of powerful positive statements to program the mind for achieving desired outcomes. Thus, he was an early advocate of daily affirmations.
No less of an authority than Brian Tracy, one of the world's greatest success teachers, states, "My favorite combination of affirmations, which I've used for years, is, "'I like myself and I love my work!'" Tracy goes on to say, "Controlling your inner dialogue, the way you talk to yourself, is a key to peak performance. It is the way you overcome difficulties and keep yourself feeling positive most of the time."
Here's a definition of affirmations: Positive statements, used in the present tense as if they're already a fact, which you consciously repeat to yourself on a daily basis to redefine your personal belief system. Thus, you create new positive self-fulfilling prophecies. Just think of them as mental pushups.
Affirmations are by no means anything new. They have been referred to as "positive thinking," "positive selftalk," or even prayer — all religions appear to have affirmations in their scripture. The Old and New Testaments are chock full of them — "As thou thinkest, so thou art," "Ask, and ye shall receive," etc. I like to refer to affirmations as "attitudinal pushups" — when used consistently they will create an unstoppable positive mental attitude ("attitudinal fitness," if you will) that is essential for your success. Repetition is the key to allowing these positive statements to reprogram your mind, just as you learned your multiplication tables in grade school.
Science is increasingly validating some of these ancient statements about the fascinating processes of the mind by researching into the physiological reactions inside the human brain. Too many people have strong beliefs in favour of or against this. The best (scientific) approach is to try out and see.