Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

I'll see it when I believe it!

It has been estimated that we each have upwards of 50,000 thoughts per day. How many of yours are negative? Sometimes you have to do a mental spring-cleaning to get rid of those negative thoughts that have become ingrained attitudes. Stopping self-destructive thoughts is like stopping any other bad habit - it takes time and effort.

Among the most effective ways to do this are visualization and affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements about yourself that you repeat over and over in your head until they are programmed into your subconscious.

Visualization is mentally picturing yourself the way you want to be. You've heard the old saying "I'll believe it when I see it". Well, the reverse is also true: "I'll see it when I believe it!" Affirmations and visualizations may not feel true at first. They may not even be true! However, they can become so.

Consider what happens when you tell yourself repeatedly, "I'm lousy at remembering names." There will never be any improvement there. Therefore, if you catch yourself saying it, stop and immediately say to yourself, "I'm good at remembering names."

Consider the effect of telling yourself, "I'm feeling pretty good today." Or "I can lose ten pounds." Or "I am good at getting people to see things my way." Anything you say to yourself repeatedly will actually influence your reality.

Writing down your affirmations and putting them in some handy place - above your desk, on your bathroom mirror, on the dashboard of your car - will help keep them in mind as well as in sight. Use affirmations and visualizations to project what success will feel like and look like. Imagine, in as much detail as you possibly can, how you feel as the boss singles you out for exceeding your quota, or how the audience hangs on your every word during your speech, or how your confident presence causes heads to turn everywhere you go.

To enhance your charisma and persuasion (while making others feel good about themselves), you can apply the very same techniques by turning them outward. Begin thinking positive affirmations about people you work and live with.

For example, "Bob seems much calmer and patient of late. I wonder what has changed in him." During your next interaction with Bob, you will most likely remember your positive thought about him and start your conversation with, "Bob, I've noticed a change in you. You seem really kind and patient while counseling your new employees recently and I admire that. How did you acquire this wonderful characteristic?"

Bob would likely respond with a smile and a story about a book he found, a consultant he hired, or a seminar he attended. Regardless of his reply, you have sincerely complimented another person, put out a positive thought, and begun a new habit of approaching others using "appreciative inquiry"... finding the good in another person or situation first, instead of finding fault or flaws.

Criticizing is easy and sometimes becomes habit, but re-training your mind to find the positive attributes in yourself and others will win you friends, increase your income, and make you feel better about being a better you.

Here's to more personal insight,


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Goal: Give yourself a thumbs up.

Positive affirmations and visualizations will project what success will feel like and look like. Take some time to imagine, in as much detail as you can, how great you will feel when your affirmations and visualizations become your reality.

Here are some examples of negative thoughts turned positive affirmations:

"I can't cook to save my life!" becomes "I'm good at making stews and chicken dishes."
"My handwriting is atrocious!" becomes "When I take my time, I have really legible handwriting."
"I don't articulate my ideas at meetings." becomes "I have good ideas and I make my positions known."

Make one of your goals to break the habit of the "n't"s. Avoid "can't," "don't," "won't," etc. Use positive thinking to bring positive change into your life.

And how do you make a plan for completing this goal, and for setting and achieving others? Read my Goal-Setting eWorkbook to help you through every step of this process.

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