My 3-year-old is trying to learn how to button his shirt. When he’s having “one of those days,” he’ll whine “I can’t do it,” as he half-heartedly fumbles with the buttons. To encourage him, the rest of us will start chanting “I think I can” a la The Little Engine That Could ~ one of our favorite books.
His success rate when we can get him to join in with “I think I can,” is – not surprisingly – much higher.
In my experience, this simple example with my son has a lot to do with success in your online business.
I know a lot of people disagree with this notion. Certainly I’m not suggesting that sitting on your couch chanting “I think I can” will make your online business successful?
Well, no. But I am saying that using positive affirmations throughout your day, and taking quiet moments to visualize your life as if it were exactly the way you want it to be, are crucial components to your success.
These “new age,” eyebrow-raising techniques got a bad name around the time the book/movie The Secret was such a popular phenomenon. Many people thought The Secret suggested that you could get anything you wanted in life by laying on the couch and wishing that it would come to you.
Obviously, closing your eyes and seeing yourself as a millionaire while you repeat over and over “I own a successful online business,” is not going to do anything to grow your email list or your bank balance.
Or is it?
I just told you that affirmations and visualizations are a critical part of building a successful online business. Here’s how.
It’s not that the affirmations and visualizations themselves change your life. It’s the behaviors – the actions – that result from dumping all this good stuff into your brain that change your life.
If you keep telling yourself positive things, and seeing yourself living the success you strive for, it’s going to motivate you to act in accordance with your thoughts and your vision.
If you don’t believe me, try it. You don’t have to admit to anyone that you’ve resorted to such silliness in your pursuit of success. Until it works.
Jim Rohn espoused an accurate, although somewhat pessimistic, view on affirmations when he said —
“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.”
While I agree 100% with my favorite mentor, I would say —
“Affirmation plus action equals accomplishment.”
I get Mr. Rohn’s point ~ if you sit around saying you’re great, yet you don’t have the discipline to do great things, you’re merely deluding yourself with your positive talk.
But my point is ~ if you fill your mind with positive affirmations and visualizations, this practice gives you the discipline you need to take the action that will turn what’s in your mind into your reality.
Affirmations and visualizations aren’t a replacement for action. But they are a valuable back-drop that will motivate you to work on your online business when you really want to watch tv. To write just one more article when you really want to go to bed. And to step out of your comfort zone and put that “buy” button underneath your ebook when you hate the idea of sounding “salesy.”
My favorite example of visualization at work comes from Denis Waitley’s stories about working with Olympic athletes. When they asked the athletes to visualize running a race, Mr. Waitley reports they found the same muscles measured a reaction as when the athlete was actually running the race. Pretty powerful.
I have my own personal stories about how my online business growth has benefited from these techniques that some find controversial or just plain weird. I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below. Or maybe you’re in the camp that thinks this is a bunch of hogwash. I’d love to hear your thoughts too!