We are often told about the benefits of positive thinking but I have to admit I have always been a little bit sceptical on the subject. When I tell myself that I am incredibly successful, intelligent, attractive, etc. there’s always a little voice inside of me going “Oh, yeah?”
The fact is that we always know subconsciously when we are trying to fool ourselves, and the danger is that all we succeed in doing is hypeing ourselves up in preparation for an inevitable fall.
It’s much better to build on what we have achieved and to reinforce the successes that we really have had. However bad our day, however much we may have behaved like a loser, there are always some things that we have done well. So rather than dwell on the failures let’s seek out and reinforce our successes.
Here’s an exercise to help us do just that:
Every evening sit down and draw up a list of the things we have done well during the day. It doesn’t matter how small or big they are. Just make a list. Get between 6 and 12 items. Then take each item in turn and write it in general terms. So if one of your items was “I gave a good client presentation today”, write down “I give great client presentations”. Then repeat it to yourself.
The difference between this and positive thinking is that you are not trying to persuade yourself of something you don’t really believe is true. Instead you are reinforcing something you have just proved is true!