Positive affirmations help public speaking

I was doing some work with a client recently and recommended the use of positive affirmations to build public speaking self-confidence.  The client had never heard of positive affirmations so I did a little digging on the internet and have found a site that explains them quite well: http://www.successconsciousness.com/index_00000a.htm.  I don’t agree with everything on the site but it does provide a very simple, succinct definition of what positive affirmations are and how to use them.

 

You don’t have to buy anything

There is a plethora of sites on positive affirmations but, like most websites, they are aimed at trying to sell you something. You don’t have to buy anything to use positive affirmations effectively. You simply need to think positively, be realistic and be disciplined enough to repeat your affirmations often.

 

They nurture positive thought loops

Positive affirmations are valuable because most people have a head full of negative self-thoughts that were placed there by others, either intentionally or inadvertently. People say hurtful, diminishing things and, too often, we absorb them indiscriminately . . . and the negative thought loops begin. Positive affirmations do the exact opposite. They nurture positive thought loops that are based on the very real positive traits we embody. Those thought loops remind us of who we really are on an ongoing basis and, with repetition, they replace negative thoughts that limit us and make us vulnerable.

 

We’ve been taught to be humble

One of the hardest parts of starting to use positive affirmations is overcoming the uncomfortable feeling that we’re inflating our egos or spawning arrogance. That’s because we’ve been taught to be humble, to “stay in your place”, to listen and obey. Those admonitions are valuable for small – and not so small – children who need mature guidance. But in the adult world there are ongoing challenges that require judgement, courage and confidence, all of which require us to believe in ourselves. And that’s pretty difficult to do if you’re repeating negative statements to yourself all day, every day. The exact opposite is true if you’re repeating true, positive statements.

 

They really work

Obviously, your affirmations have to be real. Otherwise you’re deluding yourself. But the problem is that most people have covered their positive traits with so many negative thoughts that they can’t even find their positivity anymore. Positive affirmations can change that. And yes, they really work. You’ll need to be honest, disciplined and give the process a little time to do its work and it will deliver.

 

Concentrate on what you have

As I mentioned, I have some issues with the article I’m providing, even though it provides a very adequate definition of positive affirmations. Most of my issues are embodied in the list of affirmations provided. It almost reads like a wish list of what the speaker wants but does not currently have. I prefer to concentrate on what you currently have but do not believe strongly enough.

 

It helps your self-image

For example: I am strong. I am a good mother/father. I am a good husband/wife. I am intelligent. I am a hard worker. I am a leader. I am compassionate. I can forgive. I am attractive (I didn’t say you were Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie – just “attractive J”. Believe me, it helps your self-image when you recognize and acknowledge that).

 

Smile at yourself

Feel free to use any of the positive affirmations I’ve suggested to get you started. But start. The sooner, the better. It’s a good idea, if it works into your daily routine, to stand in front of a mirror to recite your affirmations. You don’t have to say them out loud; you can just think them to yourself if privacy is an issue. And when you’re doing it, smile at yourself and remind yourself that you like what you see. I suggest you start with about five and add to them on an ongoing basis. It’s also a good idea to write them down and refer to them from time to time.

 

Enjoy!

Perhaps the most important thing is to enjoy them. We tend to avoid things we find unpleasant. Positive affirmations should be a joy, not a chore.

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