Positive Thoughts Make You More Confident


Business TeamHave you ever thought to yourself, “I can’t do this”?  When I taught math my students invariably told me they could not do word problems.  Math often produces “I can’t” feelings in people.

Once a student believes he/she can’t do something,  it is very difficult to teach him/her.   How do you get beyond these negative feelings?  Getting in a receptive frame of mind is the first step.

My client told me all the reasons she was angry about an assignment her boss gave her.  Feeling very annoyed she still went to the first meeting of the team.

During the meeting one of the members of the team made a sarcastic and caustic remark to her that infuriated her.  After she had cooled down she realized that she was attracting the same feelings that she was giving out.

A friend shared with me that “he should get an award for forgetfulness”.  To prove his point he told me about the time he put down his keys in his house and two minutes later he could not remember where they were.

Another time he said he’d received a bill in the mail that he wanted to pay right away and immediately misplaced it.  He told me he even forgot where he put a check he had received from someone. Every day something else happened that confirmed to him that he was in fact very forgetful.  Think it and it will happen!

In all these situations the person involved did what I would call a negative affirmation. “ I can’t do word problems”, “ I am angry”, “I am forgetful” – these are the statements going through their heads.

My guess is that they focus on all the support information that justifies their thoughts and feelings.  They keep these ideas in their minds and the thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies.

So what can a person do to get rid of the negative thoughts and feelings that give him/her a poor self-image, may zap confidence and make the person behave in ways that attracts negative behaviors in others?  The first step is to become aware.  Notice the negativity and let it go if possible.

Another way to deal with the negative thoughts is to convert them to positive (opposite) ones and then come up with reasons why the positive statement is correct.  Start with “I can do word problems.” “I am warm and friendly.”  “I have a great memory.”   Now we can begin to find evidence to support these statements.

At a recent meeting I heard Noah St. John, a dynamic coach and speaker, discuss what he called “Afformations”. These were affirmations that he turned into questions.  He said the mind then tries to answer the questions.  So  “What word problems do I do successfully? “How am I warm and friendly?” or “ How do I have a great memory?” would trigger some responses to support the questions premise.

As Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism says, “We can choose how we think. Styles of thinking can become habits. We can control our thoughts as we can our muscles.”   Positive thinking makes us feel more successful.  What are some other strategies that we can use to keep our thoughts positive and affirming?


Take action

1.   Notice what your thoughts are like during the course of the day.  Any negative labels like lazy, cheap, clumsy, stupid etc?  Can you just let them go?

2.   Try making the negative into a positive and then find reasons why the positive is correct. Each time you begin the negative labels of yourself review your list of positives and re-label yourself in a positive way.

3..  For a wonderful example of the way that Ben Zander helps his Conservatory students reprogram their thoughts read the chapter Giving an A in the book, The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. This book is available on my website http://www.asparker.com under recommended reading.

5.   Be prepared.  Design your own method to change negative thoughts and labels to positive ones.  Share them with us.  I’ll print them on my blog.


Need some help to turn your negativity into positive action?  Hire me as your coach.  I can help you.  Call me if you are ready to attract good things into your life and feel more successful.  I can be reached at 781-598-0388 or email me at asparker@asparker.com.



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