How To Use Affirmations

Tony Robbins said the late Jim Rohn told him, “you have very poor psychology.  Makes some statements about the life you want to live.  Restate it over and over and over again.”

There was a homeless man asking Tony for some change one evening and all he asked for was 25 cents.  Tony then pulled out a wad of cash with a lot of 100$ bills on top of it….the man looked at the money, the quarter, and then Tony.  He took the quarter and told Tony, “you’re weird!”

You get in life what you ask for.  Sure, entrepreneurs will talk about “hustle, hustle, hustle….affirmations and meditations mean nothing,” but I can go so far to tell you that many of the entrepreneurs out there lack empathy and have rotten personalities.  They’re in fight-or-flight mode 24/7 and they always think the “worse case” scenarios.  Everyone has bluerprints; whether they’re social, geographical, financial, etc.  To get over that negative conditioning, I don’t care how much you hustle, you’re going to have to reprogram your mind.

How to use your affirmations.

  1. Repeat your affirmations at least three times a day.  The best times are the first thing in the morning, the middle of the day, and around bedtime.
  2. Work in depth with a few affirmations.  This is much more effective than working less frequently with a greater number of them.
  3. Say your affirmations out loud, if possible.  If not, read them silently to yourself.
  4. Close your eyes and visualize yourself as the affirmation describes.  See the scene through your eyes, as if it were happening around you, just the way you would be seeing it in real life.
  5. Hear the sounds; see the images that would be present when you successfully achieve what your affirmation describes.  Include any other people who would be there, and hear their words of encouragement and congratulations.
  6. Feel the emotions that you would experience when you achieve this goal.  The stronger your feelings are, the more powerful the impact.

My most powerful affirmation…..

I’m more handsome than ever!

The drop back of this story has to be the fact that I would constantly say, “Thai women hate black men!” So what ended up happening? I attracted to me the most disgusting specimen imaginable three years ago.  So, how could I reverse the negative self-talk? By using reaffirming positive self-talk.

Pick a solid three affirmations.  I’m talking about affirmations that negative the most common negative self-talk phrases you spew everyday.  Example, I asked my students what happened during there tenure while learning English and they constantly said, “I’m stupid” — although they go to the best university in Thailand? That’s absurd. It’s ridiculous.  You can’t be STUPID in learning a language, so instead say “I’m brilliant with learning English as I learn 30 minutes in both the morning and evening.”

I’m fat, I’m stupid, I’m black, I’m not handsome enough, I’m not beautiful enough, I’m not tall enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not experienced enough.  Enough with the bullshit opinions of others.  Reprogram your mind NOW!

Teemaree Interview on Affirmations 

How To Make Affirmations

Stephen Covey’s Four Autobiographical Responses

I’m trying to become a more effective and empathic listening, but inside the classroom and outside the classroom.  One of the things I really try focusing on is asking follow-up questions and not always say the usual, “oh, really? Interesting! Ok.”  One of my friends from Australia called me out on a short, five-day vacation three-years-ago about that and said, “you’re not evening listening to me.”  – OOPS!

This is the follow-up from Empathic Listening (and podcast), so be sure to check that out before you check this one.

Now onto a very long blog and podcast!

Four Autobiographical Responses

“We evaluate – we either agree or disagree; we probe – we ask questions from our own frame of reference ; we advise – we give counsel based on our own experience;  or we interpret – we try to figure people out, to explain their motives, their behavior, based on our own motives and behavior.” – Stephen Covey

So, as human being, these responses come naturally to us.  We are deeply scripted in our own lives and compare others’ lives to ours.  However, how do they affect our ability to really understand?

Also, probing is playing twenty questions.  Are you the boyfriend, spouse, husband, wife, boyfriend and girlfriend who doesn’t know how to apply effective listening skills and probe instead?

Let’s look at this from an example in Stephen Covey’s book….

“How’s it going, son?”

“Fine.”

“Well, what’s been happening lately?”

“Nothing.”

“So what’s exciting in school?”

“Not much.”

“And what are your plans for the weekend?”

“I don’t know.”

These 1-3 word answers explain them all.  Sure, we have this in terms of initiating conversations with women.  I’m quick to stop the conversation if this happens, but this isn’t about “bar” pick-ups – it’s rather about family members.

It seems as if he/she doesn’t even stay in a house, but more a hotel.  He never shares anything from within and never opens up.

If he does, his would just hit him with the “I told you so’s?”

So, to many, seek first to understand becomes the most exciting of all the Seven Habits.

Let’s take a look at a typical conversation between a father and a teenage son.  Look at the father’s words in regards to the four different responses I’ve written above.

“Boy, Dad, I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”

“What’s the matter, Son?” (probing).

“It’s totally impractical.  I don’t get a thing out of it.”

“Well, you just can’t see the benefits yet, son.  I felt the same way when I was your age.  However, moving on and later on it became very helpful. Hang in there.” (advising)

“I’ve given it ten years of my life! Why the heck do I need to learn ‘x + y’ to become an auto-mechanic?”

“An auto-mechanic? You’ve got to be kidding me.” (evaluating)

“No, I’m not.  Look at Joe.  He’s quit school.  He’s working on cars and makes a lot of money now.”

“That might be the case now, but in several years, he will be wishing he’d stay in school.” (advising)

“I don’t know.  Joe’s got a pretty good set up.”

“Look, son, have you really tried?” (probing, evaluating)

“I’ve been in high school for ten years and it’s been a waste.”

“You’re at a great school.  Give them some credit.” (advising, evaluating)

“Well, the other guys feel the same way I do.”

“Do you realize how difficult it was for my mother and I to get you there? You can’t quit when you’ve come this far.” (evaluating)

“I know you’ve sacrificed, Dad. But it’s just not worth it.”

“Look, maybe if you spent more time doing your homework and less time in the front of the TV…..” (advising, evaluating)

“Never mind! I don’t want to talk about this anyway.”

Boom! And just like that, the son’s emotional bank account is overdrawn because his father instead, plays the victim role and starts blaming his habits at home to why he’s not enjoying school.  What’s more, he said “doing more homework instead of watching tv,” like that’s going to get him more interested in Y = Mx + b.

In the podcast, I play role-reversal and do it from the teenager’s standpoint

“Can you see how limited we are when we try to understand another person on the basis of words alone, especially when we’re looking at that person through our own glasses? Can you see how limiting our autobiographical responses are to a person who is genuinely trying to get us to understand his autobiography?

You will never be able to truly step inside another person, to see the world as he sees it, until you develop the pure desire, the strength of personal character, and the positive Emotional Bank Account, as well as the empathic listening skills to do it. – Stephen Covey

So Stephen Covey then talks about the four developmental stages.

First, mimic what they say.  This is the skill taught in “active” and “reflective” listening.

Example: “Boy, Dad…I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”

You repeat, “you’ve had it.  You think school is for the birds.”

You simply repeated what your son said.  You didn’t evaluate, probe, advise, or interpret.  You’ve just shown that you’re paying attention. 

Second, rephrase content.

Example: “Boy, dad…I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”

“You don’t want to go to school anymore.”

This time, you’ve put his meaning into your own words. Now you’re thinking about what he said, mostly with the left side, the reasoning, logical side of the brain. 

The third stage bring the right brain into operation.  You reflect feeling.

Example: “Boy, dad…..I’ve had it! School is for the birds!”

“You’re feeling really frustrated about school.”

Frustration is the feeling; school is the content.  You’re using both sides of your brain to understand both sides of his communication. 

Now, what happens when you use the fourth stage of empathic listening skills is really incredible.  As you authentically seek to understand, as you rephrase content and reflect feeling, you give him psychological air.  You also help him work through his own thoughts and feelings.  As he grows in confidence of your sincere desire to really listen and understand, the barrier between what’s going on inside him and what’s actually being communicated to you disappears.

Stage four and extras are in the podcast.

Podcast

Focusing On The Core-Genius – Sorry For My Disservice

I had a wonderful insight from one of my favorite colleagues last night.  30 floors in the sky we were talking about an array of things, but at the very end, we started talking about the core-genius.  He mentioned Jim Kwik, who’s a podcaster, keynote speaker and mind guru.  He asked me, “Arsenio, if I heard Jim Kwik talking and complaining about his job, people, racism and Thailand….would I be attracted to him? No.”

When my colleague said this, it struck a nerve.  Yes, my podcast has been on the rise with the most successful day being just yesterday, but is it for all the wrong reasons?

I’ve been doing too much “focusing on the circle of concern” as of late.

The amount of Reactive Language I’ve been spewing out has been on the rise.  The terms such as, “there’s nothing I can do – they want only white men, this teacher did this, they said something bad about me, they gossiped about me, I can’t, I must, if only I was…..”  This has driven me to the state of mind I tried escaping all these years.

Instead of using the Reactive Language, I need to get back into the Proactive side of the equation: “let’s look at our alternatives, I can choose a different approach, I control my own feelings, I can create an effective essay, I will choose an appropriate response, I choose, I prefer, I will.”

In my podcasts, I’ve been including too much of the “circle of concern,” and the worst part about this is they are winning.  Those who want to see me complain are laughing and pointing at me like, “yeah, useless little soul.  We knew we can conquer you.”

It goes back to the days of slavery when slaves would react a particular way so the slave masters can do the unthinkable to them.

No, I’m not comparing my life to slaves, but it’s time to get back into the driving seat.

A situation occurred last night whereas my colleague and I were drinking on top of the roof of my condo.  People, often giving us dirty looks, were looking at us and seeing what we were doing.  Shortly after, two security guards approached us, took pictures, and told us not to drink.

Now, for them to know that we were drinking….one of the “Thais” had to tell them, which then puts me back into that historical side again saying, “I bet if they were two anglos, they would’ve never said anything.”

Fact and matter is I called it into existence with how my paradigm is at the moment.  That historical side is coming back and that’s the very side I’ve tried slaying for so many years.

So, enough is enough.  With my blogs, podcasts and everything I’m engaged in, I’m back on track. No more referencing those people because they no longer exist.

“Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Influence.  They work on the things they can do something about.  The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging, and magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase.

Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern.  They focus on the weakness of other people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over which they have no control.  Their focus results in blaming and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased feelings of victimization. – Stephen Covey

Sound familiar? Yeah.  That’s it.  Media this, old-anglo foreigner with purchased wife this, Thai people this, etc.

Enough

The line has been drawn.  I was backtracking for a moment, but now I’ve come back to my senses and the inspiring figure is back!