As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. ~Henry David Thoreau
Oftentimes we hear people complain that affirmations don’t work. We also hear other people ridicule affirmations, alluding that the person saying the affirmations is easily duped or is simple-minded.
As Henry David Thoreau points out, it’s through the repetition of a thought that it becomes ingrained in our minds and in us and, thus, becomes a habitual way of thinking. These thought patterns then lead to habitual ways of behaving. When we’ve trained ourselves to have an optimistic mind set, we tend to step out of our comfort zones, we aren’t so easily rattled or discouraged.
We think of affirmations as positive statements and positive ways of thinking and behaving. But affirmations can also be negative–and we can–and do!–train our minds to think in negative terms. Every time we say or think “I can’t…” or “It’s too hard…” or “I’m not lucky like other people…” and the like, we’re saying and thinking an affirmation–training our minds to be negative. This negative affirmation leads to a negative mindset which then influences our behavior, making us not try for the thing, or only try half-heartedly. Sometimes, we give up even before we try!
It’s important to note that the thoughts we think are rarely neutral. On the surface they may seem so, but if you dig a little bit you’ll find either a negative or positive kernel at the root of what seems neutral.
So, take care with your thoughts! If they aren’t positive, uplifting, optimistic, or encouraging, then they are negative, deflating, gloomy, or pessimistic.
Your Friend and Pep Pal,