The Power of Self Affirmation


“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.   I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.”

Muhammad Ali

I’ve mentioned Ali’s quotes before in 6 Muhammad Ali Quotes Mountain Bikers Can Learn From and the above one is another one we can learn from.

Whether you call it Self Affirmation or Positive Affirmation or any other name, research shows that telling yourself you’re good can actually make you good.

A research paper I read last week used a brain scanner to study this and found it works because:

  1. It’s simply enjoyable to dwell on what we value.
  2. When we’re feeling threatened by criticism or failure, the technique reminds us of the things we value about ourselves that are separate from the threat.

The interesting bit in this research though, was that the people being studied showed the most activity in brain areas associated with expecting and receiving a reward and this occurred most strongly when they thought about future scenarios.

So by Ali telling himself he was the greatest before he was, he paved the way for himself to get there.

What’s your Positive Self Affirmation?

If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.


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