I’m gonna be a rockstar.
I’m getting promoted this year.
I’m gonna have a great day.
I’m gonna take over the world!
Positive affirmations ain’t never hurt nobody. But inaction has.
I wish I could tell you how many times over the years I’ve tried “speaking it into existence.” I’ve made proclamations to the man in the mirror or to a close friend, which resulted in a “[Hell] yeah!” or “Go be great.” Then I’d swagger away — enthusiasm and endorphins flowing — intent on taking the world by storm before falling into old habits like tv and the Internet. It’s a viciously unproductive yet delightfully indulgent cycle. And science has an explanation for why this happens.
There’s nothing I’d change about the words I’ve put into the atmosphere. But there’s plenty to change about what I’ve done once I’ve said them. Since what’s been done in many cases has been nothing at all. (Trust me. My wrists are red from the slaps.)
Does this sound familiar?
If so, my best advice to you is to skip the proclamation and get to emancipating yourself from old habits. Don’t just say it. Be it. Write the outline for that book or business plan you’ve been talking about for years. Start setting up conversations with folks already standing at the finish line. Get on Linkedin and update that obsolete profile. Spend some time learning what recruiters are looking for and update your résumé before you need it. Pack that gym bag and put it by the door. Talking is an exercise in futility.
This is something I’m consciously putting effort toward every day. Less talking, more doing. How else do you think I achieve my goal of keeping your attention?