The Power of Affirmations
As part of the Free the Dream, Cliff revealed what he actually does to achieve his goals. If you know much about what Cliff has been able to accomplish, it has been quite impressive.
This is a guy who left his career in insurance, built a business around podcasting that grew to multiples hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, realized as part of that business that what really got him excited was helping people do something more than plug wires together. He’s gotten more interested about not the wiring for the podcast, but the wiring for people’s brains to help them achieve their business goals, whatever they are, not even necessarily involving a podcast. He’s transitioned his business over to helping people accomplish that. He has done many of what he calls next level workshops, where he invites groups of people into his home. He has a home studio in his basement where he’s able to teach classes.
His dream long term, as he’s expressed publicly, is to be able to scale this to big rooms full of people, hundreds or thousands, maybe even 10,000 people in a room, that are at his conference to get their lives changed. That happened. Step 0 of that happened at the Free the Dream Conference in Franklin, Tennessee.
It was one of the – if not ‘the’ – best run conferences that I’ve ever been to. The production company and the level of preparation that Cliff got to in order to pull that thing off was truly amazing. The venue was outstanding, it was an old factory in Franklin, Tennessee. It was just a first-class thing with an enormous amount of amazing content.
If you didn’t get to go, don’t despair. Cliff has a virtual ticket available where you’ll be able to see all of the sessions that were given at that workshop. If that is something that interests you, I encourage you to go over to FreetheDream.live. It’s not an affiliate link or anything, it’s just something that I really believe in. When the virtual ticket is available towards the end of September, it will appear there. When it comes out, I will also mention it again. There were a lot of good sessions. Amazing speakers were there; Aaron Walker, Dan Miller, Ken Davis, and of course Cliff did seven sessions while we were there. Stephanie did a session, I was on stage for awhile interviewing Stephanie. Leslie Samuel was the MC and host for the event. It was pretty amazing.
During the event, as Cliff was going through things, one of the things that he talked about were these affirmations that he does. Cliff is incredibly transparent, he actually published the entire list of affirmations that he goes through. It’s a massive list.
I’m a child of the ‘70s, as you guys know, I was born in 1968, I’m 50 years old this year. To me, even though I believe in the power of the subconscious mind and a lot of the things that we’ve talked about on this show, affirmations feel to me a little bit like – I don’t know, I guess my opinion is jaded by the Saturday Night Live skit of Stuart Smalley, “I am good enough, I am strong enough, and gosh darn it people like me.” That’s what I think of.
I find it a little bit difficult to take these things seriously. This is another thing that talks about in the Free the Dream conference. This is a belief system problem that I have. You color things and do things based on your beliefs. If I believe that affirmations are effective or if I don’t, they probably are whichever way I believe. It’s one of those kinds of things where I don’t know how I could fairly evaluate these things if I’ve already made my mind up about it.
So, I did some research. It turns out real psychologists have done real work on these things. I found two interesting studies. One study by Carnegie Mellon, which Carnegie Mellon is legit, this is a serious university. They did a pretty serious study in 2013 where they actually talked about taking kids and putting them under stress – some kind of testing stress, not like actual dangerous stress, but putting them in a testing environment – splitting the groups into groups that did positive affirmations and groups that didn’t and measuring their test scores. It turns out that self-affirmation had an affect on people’s ability to solve problems under pressure.
They showed data in this Carnegie Mellon study that showed that people were actually able to perform better as a result of affirmations. That’s pretty interesting. That starts to change my belief system. I’m an engineer, so data helps me understand what might or might not be possible.
I think that affirmations are kind of an interesting thing that I’m going to give a try. The other reason to give it a try is because Cliff – who I know, like, and trust – swears by these affirmations. He has an app that he uses, actually. This is another thing that people have suggested helps as well. This idea that just writing the affirmations down and reading them silently is one thing, saying them aloud is another, but listening to yourself say them is yet another thing as well. That’s what Cliff does, he has an app that he uses called ThinkUp. ThinkUp is an app where you can record these affirmations and you can listen to them every morning or multiple times a day.
The question is; what should these affirmations be? I come at this from a couple of different perspectives. You can Google ‘positive affirmations’ and you can get lists of affirmations for your consideration, but in general what I think of when I think of these kinds of affirmations are things where you are describing yourself in a way that is a desired state.
“I am a person who eats right and takes care of my body.” That is my desired state. Is that absolutely true for me right now at the moment? Not all of the time. But, that is the state that I desire.
It turns out that there is some evidence that suggests if you convince that that’s who you are through the use of these affirmations, your subconscious mind, and I think also because these things are top of mind, you’re saying these to yourself every day, you’ll start to change your behavior in small ways. Your subconscious mind will look for ways to comply to bring yourself, as Cliff describes, into integrity with the things that you’re saying. Your subconscious mind sort of doesn’t know the difference between an affirmation that is going to be true in the future and something that you’re talking about today.
It’s like the old thing from sports. Jack Nicholas used to talk about this all the time. If you are a golfer and you say to yourself, “I can’t hit it in the water. Don’t hit it in the water. I have to be careful about the water,” all your subconscious mind hears is water and you’ll hit it into the water. If instead you focus on actually hitting the green and you put that image of the green in your mind instead of the image of the water, you’re more likely to hit the green. This is the idea of visualization. All elite athletes visualize themselves achieving some goal, some behavior, that they’re trying to get to.
I think affirmations are a lot like that. If you put that in front of yourself, those are the kinds of things that you’re going to achieve. What should you have affirmations about. Cliff goes through this in his course, but for me I’m not going to start with 60 or 70 affirmations, however many Cliff has. I’m going to start with affirmations that are around the things that I’m struggling with the most right now.
One of the affirmations that I want to really drive home is affirmations around health and fitness. I’ve made some progress recently; I’m eating a lot better, I’ve lost some weight. I want to keep that going, so I’m definitely going to create some affirmations around the idea that I eat well, I take care of my body, I don’t eat junk, I don’t eat sugar, I get exercise every day.
Those sorts of affirmations are the kinds of things that I want to create for myself, that I am creating for myself. I’m doing that with the goal of making further gains in health. I want to create an image of myself in my mind that I have to come into compliance with. I have to reach integrity with my own self-image.
The other thing that I want to work on is this idea of following through on the commitments that I make to myself with regard to business. These are all the things that I’ve just described to you; this new lead magnet, the new course that I’ve been talking about for a long time and have never been able to finish, all of the stuff.
You may be like me and you may have these things in your life that you’ve been struggling with forever. I don’t know how you are, but you hear people that are “successful” – guy with a podcast, whatever, and I’ve certainly had some success – and you imagine that everything is absolutely just perfect. I’m here to tell you that no it’s not. I have things that I’ve been struggling to do for years that I have not yet accomplished that I really want to accomplish. I’m guessing that’s the same for you.
One of the strategies that I’m going to employ is this ThinkUp app and I’m going to work on that and I’m going to report back to you on how that is going and what those affirmations look like. I’ll probably even publish those affirmations. My goal for this week is to get those done.
When we were in Franklin, Tennessee I committed to myself that I was going to do that this week as one of my goals. This week is not yet over. I’ve started on them, but I haven’t finished yet, I still have some work to do there. That’s sort of where I am on that and that’s very exciting.
That’s what’s going on in the affirmation space, that’s what happened in Franklin, Tennessee. If you want to know more about this sort of thing, I encourage you to go to FreetheDream.live to check it out. Again, not an affiliate link.
Wrapping Things Up…
In the meantime, I’m going to be getting back into the habit of publishing this podcast every Thursday. I would love it if you would share this podcast, rate it in iTunes, and do whatever you can to let everybody who you think might be interested know that I am back on the air. That really gives me juice and makes me go.
Until then, I’ll be seeing you soon. Next week we’ll talk about this Amazon thing that I’ve been working on and what’s going on with that. I want to tell you about the different kinds of Amazon businesses and what I’ve been working on. It’s been a very exciting journey and I think you’ll find it very interesting.
Until that time, get something done on your business this week and think about affirmations. One of the things that I want to leave you with at the end of every episode is something that I want you to consider going to do, some actionable takeaway thing. Definitely there are two things that I want you to do this week.
One, think about some positive self-talk, some affirmations. Do some reading about affirmations. Try to imagine what those would look like and understand what you might wake up every morning and say to yourself that would put you in the right frame of mind to be successful in your business.
The second thing I want you to do is to go over and check out FreetheDream.live, look at that content, and think about following Cliff and hearing some of his message about positive mental image.
That’s all for me. Until next week….