by: Sarah Mazor
There are opposing opinions on the effectiveness of positive self-affirmations. While many psychologists champion the practice others are skeptical of its benefits and some even discourage it. Indeed, some practitioners claim that while self-promoting pronouncements may work for individuals who already have a healthy attitude toward the self they may actually be damaging to individuals with low self-esteem and who are encumbered with years of negative thoughts (Brown, 2012).
I believe in the power of positive affirmations, but not in the simplistic way that they are promoted these days. Looking in the mirror and declaring to oneself ‘I am beautiful’, ‘I am smart’, or ‘I am deserving of (fill in the blank)’ may have a positive effect even on individuals who are not generally inclined to feel good about themselves, but only if they are repeated for many consecutive days (and what is the chance of that?). However for self-affirmations to work well and a render more immediate results, the declarations must be based on one’s reality and accompanied by action. Indeed, a proven way to counter skepticism and cynicism and that inner voice that sneers at what it deems to be ludicrous self-affirmations, is to train oneself to acknowledge actual actions or behaviors. For example, a person with a body-image issues can invest in a bit more in self-grooming and declare ‘I look better’ to the image in the mirror. Or when performing an act of kindness or doing a favor for another, one can tell the self, ‘I am kind,’ or ‘I am a nice person’, or ‘there is goodness in me.’ Or when preparing a presentation for work, one may declare, ‘this is good work’ and ‘I have talent and abilities.’ These are realistic and more believable affirmations that are less likely to be negated by that voice of negativity. Engaging in these kinds of affirmations encourage a positive outlook, impact attitude, and may very well permeate one’s life with satisfaction and more frequent feelings of joy.
Should one engage in positive affirmations? I say YES. In fact, I also encourage adults to help the children in their lives develop a positive attitude toward the self, while the kids are still young and malleable. Teaching little ones to regard themselves as capable, good and caring is a gift that parents and guardians can bestow on their charges, as can grandparents, uncles, aunts, and godparents. It is the very best of gifts, the kind that will keep on giving!
The little positive affirmations books for boys and girls published by MazorBooks are based on real concepts, as they promote values that build self-regard and self-reliance, values that promote self-confidence and self-esteem, values that will serve the kids and the people around them now and in the years to come. Each of the books includes 26 positive affirmations, based on the ABC.
For example: The letter K for Kindhearted and T for Truthful are accompanied with the following positive affirmation:
Available on Amazon (Only $0.99):
Positive Affirmations for Little Boys: The ABC Book of Rhymes
Positive Affirmations for Little Girls: The ABC Book of Rhymes
Brown, H. (2012). The boom and the bust ego. Psychology Today, 45(1), 66-73