Motivational Monday :: Affirming Yourself

Monday, June 30, 2008

wedding business advice

I saw this Wordle application on Rebecca Grinnals' blog last week and immediately thought of ways it could be used to enhance our workflow and daily life.

One of the first exercises in Thinkertoys addresses this and asks you to affirm yourself daily or reflect on positive attributes that describe you.  Here are snippets of the exercise from that chapter (if you do not own this book yet, be sure to get yourself a copy! This is a must-own for every creative professional.):

"To increase your self-affirmation, get in the habit of remembering your successes, your good qualities and characteristics, and forgetting your failures.  It doesn't matter how many times you have failed in the past; what matters is the succesful attempt, which should be remembered and reinforced . . . .

Success breeds success.  Small successes are stepping-stones to greater ones.  The first exercise is to write and maintain a self-affirmation list . . . .

If you make a practice of remembering your successes and good personal qualities and paying less attention to your failures, you will begin to experience more success thatn you would have thought possible . . . .

Human beings act, feel, and perform in accordance with what they imagine to be true about themselves and their environment.  Waht you imagine to be true becomes, in fact, true . . . Picture yourself vividly as defeated and that alone will make victory impossible.  Picture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will contribute immeasurably to success."

With Wordle, you can type in words that describe you currently and that describe attributes that you aspire to, both in your business life and personally.  Take the example above: am I selfless all the time?  No.  I can be quite selfish, just ask those closest to me (doesn't it always seem to work that way?).  However, by focusing on being selfless I can be reminded of my goal of putting others first.  Hopefully, by seeing this above my desk everyday, being selfless will become more of a habit and way of life for me because I will be actively thinking about it.

If listing everything you want to work on or be known for is too overwhelming, choose three to five attributes that you want to focus on and leave them up in a visible place for 21 days.  Then read off those qualities out loud every day, beginning with "I am {fill in the attribute}".  You may feel a bit foolish, but who cares?

Please know that I do not believe that simply thinking something will make it happen.  You can think that you are the most creative wedding planner in the world, but if you do not back it with action, then it means nothing.  However, our actions are formed by our thought patterns, so it's important to get the root of the issue in working order first.   Studies show that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so make it a goal to form new thought habits by focusing on the positive instead of the negative.  Then in three weeks, let me know if you're thinking about life and approaching your career a little differently!

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