Aspirations Over Affirmations

You know all those exercises where you affirm yourself for your career?  How great you are?  How awesome you are?  All the traits you supposedly have that make you fantastic?

Are these really such a good idea?

We keep telling ourselves how great we are – but does that help us actually become great?

We tell ourselves we're wonderful – but do we truly believe it, or are we dodging deeper issues?

Or, when it gets down to it, are we just stroking our own egos with all these affirmations and not really achieving something?  Are we both building ourselves up while not actually improving who we are?  Do Affirmations actually help us do anything?

(Also, aren't they getting a bit annoying?  How much more can people pump themselves up?)

I'm not sure Affirmations are a good idea.  I'm starting to prefer Aspirations.

Aspirations are what we aspire to.  When we make promises to ourselves and others to get better, to improve our skills.   When we state things like "May I become a better programmer" or "I will become a better writer" those are Aspirations.

Aspirations are more realistic, they give us a guide to get where we want to go, and they don't have as much chance for us to deceive ourselves with egotism.   They're what we're aiming for – so we can se the course of our lives.  They leave room for failure – as opposed to tempting us to deceive ourselves.

So next time you're there trying to find ways to rally yourself, consider Aspirations over Affirmations.  It's more realistic.

(It's also less annoying).

Steven Savage