Your mind is made up of two elements that interact in such a way as to control your behavior. The first of these is your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind is that part that houses memories, the nervous system, emotions, and your most basic attitudes. It is from your subconscious mind that thoughts are sent which will eventually enable you to achieve your goals. The conscious mind makes decisions, determines goals, and gathers knowledge for the purpose of taking some kind of action.
If the data in the subconscious mind complements conscious decisions and desires, action will occur. If, however, the messages conflict, the “power” of the subconscious mind will cause conflict, procrastination, fear, and possibly avoidance of action. A large percentage of our actions are automatic and instinctive. They are controlled by the attitudes and beliefs imprinted on the subconscious mind. Conversely, all input to the subconscious mind must come from the conscious, which is that part of you which controls behavior.
The relationship between the conscious mind and the subconscious mind can be seen in all kinds of people. For example – have you ever heard someone telling themselves they were ill so much that they actually became ill? Or – have you ever known someone who lied to themselves so often that they began to believe the lies? These are both examples of the interaction between the subconscious and the conscious minds. In the first case, the individual's conscious mind told that they were ill. The subconscious (which is incapable of reasoning) accepted that data and through the nervous system, sent back signals that caused the person to feel illness. In the second case, the same process occurred.
Your success is tied to your action, your action to your attitude. Thus, the “automatic guidance system” within you either operates as a success mechanism or failure mechanism. It all depends on the goals you set for it.
Through the conscious use of affirmations we become able to program our subconscious mind so that it operates as a success mechanism and causes positive behavior and change towards the achievement of our goals.
The use of affirmations is designed fundamentally to get the subconscious working with us not against us –– to get our goal-striving mechanism to work for the achievement of our goals.
What is an affirmation? The best definition of an affirmation is: “telling yourself in times of doubt that which you know to be true at other times.”
More specifically, an affirmation is a positive statement in the first person singular which describes the you you want to become through our goals program.
The power of affirmations can best be recognized when we realize that the mind doesn't know the difference between real and imagined. For example, suppose you “imagine” late at night that there is a prowler in the house. Are you any less frightened than if you “knew” there was a prowler in the house? Certainly not. You are afraid because you imagine a fearful situation. The use of affirmations to build confidence applies to the same principle, but with a positive goal in mind.
Affirmations should have the following qualities:
Below you will find some examples of affirmations. Try them on for size. If they feel good, use them; if not, write your own on 3 x 5 cards. Place them in locations where you spend a great deal of time (your office, car, bathroom mirror, etc.). Carry them with you. Develop a schedule for using them (first thing in the morning, last thing before you go to sleep, immediately after lunch, or just before you leave the office). They are good ways to keep your attitude up and your mind on your goals.
EXAMPLES OF AFFIRMATIONS
When organizational change is to take place at work, a change team should be created to help get the organization through the upheaval of transition. Selecting this team is a careful process. They must understand the nature of paradigm shift, they must understand and be able to communicate the vision, and they must have the skills to overcome resistance.