My last post featured a series of thoughts on the key Emotional Intelligence, leadership, happiness, and personal growth skill of optimism. As I outlined throughout Growing @ the Speed of Change: Your Inspir-actional How-To Guide For Leading Yourself and Others through Constant Change (my latest book being published next month), there many ways we can increase our optimism. Following is a short section introducing the how-to chapter entitled “Rewire Your Brain with Affirmations, Reframing, and Gratitude.”

Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once observed, “Our life is what our thoughts make it.” If our thoughts are constantly below the line, we’ll not only live in Pity City, we’ll start to run the place. What we repeatedly think or tell ourselves become powerful instructions that reach deep into our subconscious. In essence, we hypnotize ourselves. No, we may not jump on stage and do the chicken dance when we hear a trigger word, but we will perform ridiculous acts of mindlessness, thanks to self-conditioning.

An affirmation is a statement, belief, or thought that we repeat over and over again. It becomes a powerful mantra that changes our brain patterns, sets our explanatory filters, and programs our subconscious. Affirmations direct our behaviors and habits. They also power our magnetic energy fields to attract the corresponding people, events or circumstances to us. When the positive or negative outcome occurs, we can say, “I knew it! That’s exactly what I expected to happen.”

How have you used the incredibly powerful and self-hypnotic force of affirmations to build your optimism, change habits, or other avenues of personal growth? Please post your comments, reflections, and experiences.