Saturday, March 28, 2009

Positive Affirmation: Accentuate the Positive

Imagine you’re about to go to an anxiety-provoking social event (a party, a fundraiser, an intimate dinner or whatever makes you nervous). Is there a difference between telling yourself, beforehand, don’t say something stupid, or telling yourself, be brilliant? You betcha.

In efforts to improve organizational and athletic functioning, and more recently other aspects of achievement on an individual and even global scale, researchers have examined the nature of positive thinking and affirmations. Especially when learning something new, positive self-monitors (those who notice what they’re doing right and try to repeat it) are more successful than negative self-monitors (those who try to avoid doing something wrong).

Can you view your own behavior through this kind of an appreciative lens, affirming the good? Consider potentially difficult situations like public speaking, competitive events, meeting new people, learning something new. Approach them with an eye toward what your strengths are, what you want to do and what you hope to do. Avoid focusing on your weaknesses, what you don’t want to do and what terrible thing might happen.

I know it’s corny, but we could probably all benefit from Mercer and Arlen’s advice, and start reviewin’ the attitude of doin’ right.

More corn: Hear Bing sing here.

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