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Beating the Odds

The Power of Affirmations

Yesterday we spoke about the mental side of slumps, and the expectation of failure that grows as the slump deepens. Today we’ll talk about the opposite: how positive expectations can produce great results.

Did you ever hear of legendary salesman Bill Porter? Born with cerebral palsy, he refused to go on disability and instead won a job as a door-to-door salesman. Like all salesmen, he met lots of rejection, but he answered each one with words spoken to himself: “The next person will say yes.”

Using this bit of self-talk, he made his way along his 10-mile sales territory, never taking rejection personally, and never giving up. He wound up as a top seller.

Porter’s phrase “The next person will say yes,” is an affirmation, a statement of belief repeated often. Golfer Phil Mickelson used it on the day when he won a major tournament for the first time. It was at the 2004 Masters, and Mickelson had a reputation as a great golfer who couldn’t win a major. But on that day, Mickelson kept repeating this phrase to himself: “Today is my day.”

And it was.

What are the elements of a good affirmation? It should be short. It should be positive. It should address an area of your life that you’re working on. (I am a great ……) It should be spoken very matter-of-factly. And it should be repeated often!

Affirmations can extend your winning streaks, and shorten losing streaks.


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