Episode 104: Can Positive Affirmations Improve Your Self Esteem?

Can positive affirmations help raise your self esteem? People use daily affirmations and money affirmations to help them feel more confident, build their self esteem and bring positive events into their lives. But do they really work? If not, then what will? We explore these questions in this episode of The Psych Files.

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We propose that, contrary to popular belief, positive self-affirmations can be useless for some people, even though they may benefit others. They may even backfire, making some people feel worse rather than better. – Wood, et. al, 2009

Affirmations and Self Esteem

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Comments

  1. I think the research really points out that affirmations don’t tend to work when they’re not used properly. If one is using properly constructed affirmations the right way, there’s a high chance of positive outcomes and the backfire risk is virtually nil.

  2. Lisa: Interesting. I am open to alternative views. What makes you think this? Do you have some evidence to back up what you say?

  3. Suzie Clark says:

    I just wanted to compliment you on a very interesting podcast. I’m new to your site and found this episode quite thought provoking. Recently, I have been pondering the benefit of watching “inspirational type stories.” I, along with many women, eagerly listen to such stories as an abused woman who lived in a hut in Africa, and who now has a Ph.D, is happily married, owns her own business, etc. Many, many stories such as these are, at first, inspirational and quite often, move me to tears. Later though, I have noticed that I berate myself for not accomplishing lofty goals. If I, who started out with so many advantages, have not accomplished newsworthy amounts, I must be a mediocre failure! I then have to remind myself that it is my personal belief that we are all in this world on a personal journey. Success must be self defined to be of real value. See what I mean…your podcast definitely provoked thoughts:) Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

  4. Thanks Suzie. Very interesting comment. I’ve had some very similar thoughts as yours. Nowadays it is so easy to be exposed to the very best of the best. For example, I don’t know if you watch “So You Think You Can Dance”, but they’re got some of the most incredible dancers on that show who have incredible bodies. It’s tough (at least for me) not to wish that I looked like them and feel a little down about it. But that’s our “flat” world today. You have to stay in touch with your own goals and the realities of our own lives. Glad you’re enjoying the podcast! – Michael

  5. Positive thinking is more powerful than alot of people think. Look at how many times you will create bad moments in your life just because you think a bad thing might happen? Once you take that concept and turn it around and start focusing on all thats good in your life, and what awesome experiences you will create in your life. You will start to notice a change in your mindset and life that is truly amazing.

  6. giles henry says:

    Enjoyed very much

  7. I hope many people would read this, specially those who feel alone with nobody around to given them affirmations. Thanks for sharing :D

  8. Very nice for everybody.

  9. Sean Cunningham says:

    Michael
    Just a short note to say I was listeneing to this today (often listen to old ones whilst driving) and struck on an idea. I am a mentor to three people at work. In an attempt to make our sessions more challenging I have posted each of them the link to this podcast and asked them to listen and we can discuss at our next meetings. Don’t know if anyone else has tried this. I’ll let you know how it goes. If you have any other recommended episodes you think might fit then I’d be grateful for a steer.

    Keep up the great work

    Sean

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  1. [...] In this episode I discuss how positive affirmations don’t improve self esteem [...]

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