Do positive affirmations work? Yes, if you actually do them. And if they’re good affirmations (a lot of them are silly and I had to do a lot of curation and creation to come up with a smaller number of affirmations I think are worth repeating).
Entrepreneurs face exceptionally high levels of stress, and are particularly susceptible to mental health breakdowns (stop comparing yourself to the people on the covers of biz magazines!). One study found that “Mental health differences directly or indirectly affected 72% of the entrepreneurs in this sample…”. The same study found that entrepreneurs were more likely than the control group and the general population to experience:
- Depression: 30% compared to 15% and 16.6% (APA)
- ADHD: 29% compared to 5% and 4.4% (NIMH)
- Addiction: 12% compared to 4% and 8.4% (SAMHSA)
- Bipolar diagnosis: 11% compared to 1% and 4.4% (NIMH)
Bottom line—if you’re an entrepreneur, you need all the help you can get to stay positive so you can build your business.
It may seem silly to think that merely repeating positive phrases to yourself each day will make any difference, but you can’t argue with the science that backs this up. It’s also common sense—our behavior is changed by our self-talk, the things we say to ourselves all day, every day, and if we have positive phrases floating around in our brains we’re going to reflect and think about them, we’ll be more inclined to believe them as our minds strive to find validation for them, and they will impact the choices we make and therefore the outcomes.
Bad Affirmations vs. Good Ones
There is such a thing as a bad positive affirmation. A good positive affirmation must be:
For example, you could tell yourself “I am the wealthiest entrepreneur in the world,” but unless you’re Elon Musk it’s not true. Even Jeff Bezos can’t realistically say that, although it may depend on the day.
Create better positive affirmations for yourself by making statements that don’t compare yourself to others. There’s no need to be the wealthiest, smartest, best, or any other -est. Compete against yourself and only measure yourself against others if it helps you in the battle to be the best version of yourself that you can be. That’s realistic.
Another affirmation I found says, “I am the top salesperson in my business.” Maybe that applies to you, but if I were the top salesperson in my business that would mean I hired some pretty bad salespeople, since they do it full-time and I don’t, nor do I really want to do sales. This affirmation isn’t relevant.
Don’t use affirmations that promise something you don’t want—what’s rewarding to others may not apply to you. “My business is making me a millionaire,” isn’t a rewarding affirmation for me. For me, money is a tool and when I die, I’m not taking any of it with me. “I am building a life I love” might be a better affirmation. Then you can measure whether you feel that way each time you say it and course correct when it doesn’t ring true for you. This brings up an important point…
Positive Affirmations Don’t Need To Be True
In fact, that’s kind of the point of many affifirmations—they’re aspirational.
If you start saying these affirmation and think, “Wait…that’s not true,” don’t quit. Ask yourself, “Can I make it true? Is there value in trying to make it true?” If there is, then say it, and then get to work.
Ready to get positive? Here are 20 positive affirmations, especially for entrepreneurs. Repeat them, memorize them, customized them, but don’t ignore them.
20 Powerful Positive Affirmations For Entrepreneurs
- Every day I improve myself and my business.
- I am a good listener.
- I am doing something big and important.
- I bring out the best in those I work with.
- I care deeply for the people I work with.
- I create real value for my customers.
- I find the best people to help me.
- I have great ideas. (or if you’re more integrator than visionary) I get things done.
- I have the patience to weather hard times.
- I can buy what I want because I don’t buy what I want.
- I love what I do.
- I love working with others.
- I see every setback as a chance to improve myself.
- I solve problems.
- I successfully sell my ideas because I believe in my ideas.
- I transform obstacles into opportunities.
- My business, personal, and spiritual lives are all aligned.
- Never give up unless it’s a step up.
- That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
- There has never been a better time to start and run a business.
What’s your favorite?
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