I try to do a short yoga session in the morning to stretch and get my body and mind going after the night’s sleep, and I often switch on to a YouTube video. Some of the YouTube yoga programmes offer an affirmation with each workout, and although they can be a bit cheesy they can work. Here’s how.
1. Our beliefs influence our attitude and behaviour
I just had a coaching session to prepare a client for an interview for a promotion. We will call her Caroline. One of her beliefs (deep-seated ways of thinking) was that she was very bad at interviews – not the best mindset to prepare for an interview!
2. Negative beliefs are not helpful
We discovered Caroline’s belief was that in the interview she was being “judged”, which had strong negative emotional connotations for her. Caroline agreed that this was not helpful in this situation, and so we worked on finding a different belief.
3. Re-setting your beliefs
We settled on the belief that the interview panel was truly interested in learning about her as a professional person. That they wanted to get to know her. Once we approached the interview prep with this new belief, Caroline was able to look at herself from the outside, as an observer, and talk freely and enthusiastically about herself, her in-depth experience, her fantastic rapport with clients and how her team went the extra mile for her because she was a caring, supportive and empowering manager. Wow! Suddenly Caroline had forgotten the interview framework and was just talking about her great qualities.
4. What affirmation will help anchor your new beliefs?
Finally we worked on creating an affirmation that would anchor the new belief. An affirmation has to work for you. It has to be true in the moment and also have the power to influence your future. Caroline is a high performing professional; she is used to dealing with challenging problems and situations. She is regularly involved with high-level negotiations, speaks to audiences of 200 or more, and advises senior officials for strategy talks. Caroline chose the affirmation: I easily handle anything that comes my way. This worked for her because it is absolutely true and can affect her mindset. She only has to remind herself of this affirmation.
To use the power of affirmations, ask yourself the following questions:
1. What belief(s) are influencing me in this situation?
2. Which belief(s) are not helpful?
3. What would be a more helpful belief?
4. What affirmation will help anchor my new belief?