Many, many years ago, when I was in pharmacy school, I used to work at this pharmacy about five blocks from my house as a pharmacy technician. That’s not unusual, as most pharmacy school students would work at pharmacies to get some experience and to see how a real pharmacist would work (not to mention whether or not the $30,000.00 they spent on pharmacy school was a wise decision, but that’s another story).
Anyway, I was never the best technician. Good thing there was a pharmacist around, as I was making alot of mistakes and driving the pharmacists there crazy. The funny thing is, I still talk to one of them and still work at his pharmacy occassionally as a pharmacist now (though I’m alot more competent… and confident).
But here’s the thing. Back then, when I was a technician, I remembered as I would walk to work, how I would recite to myself affirmations such as “I’m a great pharmacy technician… I’m a great pharmacy technician… I’m a great pharmacy technician…, etc….” all the way to work. As a matter of fact, if I recall correctly, I wouldn’t step foot into work until I recited my affirmations at least ten times. By the way… all this was before I got deep into self-help and personal development (I was too busy being deep into my pharmacy studies).
Then, as I stepped into work, reality sets in: I would make some bone-headed mistake, the pharmacist would go crazy, and believe it or not, sometimes I would recite these affirmations even more while at work while the pharmacist was going off. It didn’t work. Oh, some days were better than others, but I don’t particularly recall a day that went “perfect”.
Of course, now that I’m a pharmacist, I’m waaaaaay more competent now, and I actually trained one of the pharmacists whom I used to work for as a pharmacy technician on the new computer system.
Here’s Why Affirmations May Not work For You…
Imagine you were walking down a street and some bum walked up to you and said, “I don’t like you. You’re stupid and ignorant… and you dress funny.”. Would you really believe these comments? Well, if he’s a bum, probably not. You’d probably be like, “Oh, get away from me, you bum.”. The thing is, you would consider the source of those comments.
Affirmations like those mentioned in many goal-setting books are the same thing: Many of these self-help gurus will have you recite to yourself “I’m great, I’m fantastic, I’m blah, blah, blah…”. But, separate from yourself is a belief system… how you feel about yourself. Do you really believe you can accomplish your goals? When you look at yourself, do you see someone of authority or do you see “a bum”? Gurus argue that affirmations can fix beliefs, but as I just mentioned with me and my pharmacy technician days, that may not be the case. However, how you view yourself and the “authority” you give yourself may give weight on your affirmations.
Consider: A dance teacher telling you your dance skills are fantastic will have much more weight than your buddy who sits on the couch all day watching “Dancing with the Stars”. Along with the affirmation is the authority.