Does Positive Thinking Really Work?

vision board positive thinkingManifesting your best future requires more than just positive thinking. These vision boards helped me manifest my dream.

Here’s how you can do it too:

  1. Declare your dream or intention. What’s your vision of who you want to be in your life?
  2. Let go of attachment to the outcome. Will you trust–even a little bit—that your positive power can help you achieve your wishes in a way that yields the highest good for all, even if it’s in an unexpected way?
  3. Get to work with growth tools. Will you direct your mind away from your negative thinking and toward loving power, so your desired outcome—or something better—will occur?

STEP 1. Declare Your Dream

The first step is to write an affirmation using the following guidelines.

  • Use the present tense. State your desire as if it has already happened: “I am relaxed, smart, and successful when I take my exam,” “I see (_________) without criticism and offer kindness instead.”
  • Use positive language. Make your statement affirmative: “I have strong flexible shoulders.” Avoid all negative language; for example, replace “I am not in pain,” with “I am free of pain and enjoy good health.”
  • Use concrete and emotionally powerful terms. The affirmation, “My marriage is strong, loving, honest, and wonderful!” arouses confident, optimistic feelings.
  • Make it open to love’s direction. Add the words, “in the best way for all involved,” or “as positive power would have it be.” (Read April 4, 2018 blog for more about “positive power.”)

“I write wonderful books in a wonderful way. I offer wonderful service for wonderful pay,” are the affirmations that helped me write my book, 50 Ways to Worry Less Now. I adapted them from an example in Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life and How to Play It. The rhyme of way and pay helped me repeat my intention often. The phrase wonderful service engaged my wish to offer support and hope to others. And, of course, I am open to a positive payoff in whatever form it may appear!

To manifest my goal, I also practiced visualization—a mental programming technique using vivid images. Many successful athletes use this technique to enhance their performance, among them Jordan Spieth, the youngest winner of the 2017 British Open Golf Tournament, who often refers to seeing the shot before he hits the ball.

At the top of this post you can see photos of the two five-by-seven-inch, laminated vision boards I used to visualize my success. The words “Create something good. Yes, you! You’re done,” gave me inspiration. The dove, hearts, and word serenity reminded me of my positive power’s help. The woman leaping over the round object represents me overcoming my worries and achieving my goal. Oprah Winfrey is a symbol of courage and service to others.

I placed my vision boards on my desk in my direct line of vision. Before I began writing, I said my affirmations aloud, visualized them as true, and then connected my heart with the images on my boards.

I often visualized a future book-signing event where people tell me how much my book has helped them. Two months ago, I lived that dream at my first book signing event.

worry less nowSuddenly, I looked up from signing a book, and gasped in amazement. I was experiencing exactly what I had visualized for so many years!

We’ll start with Step 1; the next two blog entries will lead you through the other steps for manifesting your own dreams.

STEP 1. Write Your Affirmation

Think of a challenging situation that’s been worrying you, and imagine how you would like to feel and act in that situation. Just remember, if your goal involves another person, make sure you indicate how you want to be rather than focusing on how you want them to be.

1.     Use the guidelines to write your affirmation in your journal. If you’d like, add the words, “Thank you, (the name you use for positive power) for (fill in the blank).”

2.     Copy your affirmation onto a sticky note, and put it in a spot where you’ll frequently see it.

3.     Place another copy of your intention in a small box or special place.

4.     Repeat your affirmation as often as you can.

5.     Make a vision board that represents how you want your life to be when your desire is accomplished. Cut words and illustrations from magazines, draw pictures, or use photos. Arrange them in a way that is meaningful to you on a small card or larger piece of cardboard. The only absolute is that your board portray how your life will look after meeting your goal.

6.     Focus on your vision board images a couple of times a day and just before bedtime.

7.     When you state your affirmation or look at your vision board, immerse yourself in the emotions and sensations you would have if your wish were already fulfilled.

Now that you’ve chosen your goal, you come face-to-face with the hardest part of the process: STEP 2: Let the outcome go. Your first inclination might be to try to exert control to get the exact results you want. Your best option, however, is to do the opposite: Let go by cultivating the Buddhist virtue of nonattachment.

More on that in the next blog entry.

Worry Less Now; Gigi Langer
From me to you!

Gigi Langer is a former “queen of worry.” She’s also an educator, speaker, and author of 50 Ways to Worry Less Now: Reject Negative Thinking to Find Peace, Clarity, and Connection (February, 2018), available in e-book formats and in print from Amazon.  

Gigi holds an MA in Psychology and PhD in Psychological Studies in Education, both from Stanford. “Langer’s frank and empathetic tone will comfort readers, as will the practical steps she teaches.” (Featured Book, BookLife by Publishers Weekly)  “Her honesty will blow you away! It is beautifully written; filled with humor and authenticity.” (Member of Al Anon)

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
April 25, 2018 9:30 pm

You have got so much to give ❤