Skip to Navigation

Positive self-statements, or positive affirmations, are generally thought to boost morale, mood, and self-esteem. But, despite widespread and uncritical acceptance that they can act like a nostrum, psychological research has not shown that affirmations work.

On the contrary, studies show that positive self-statements can be ineffective or even damaging. If you are someone who generally feels good about yourself, then repeating an uplifting mantra can work for you. If, on the other hand you suffer from what it popularly known as ‘low self-esteem’ it can make you feel worse.

Positive self-talk that reflects one’s traits and qualities is useful and can help build morale and self-image, but generalised aspirational statement like “I am a truly wonderful and loveable person”, can backfire and harm the very people who need them the most.

Some people can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but for those not gifted with purse-making skills, a sow’s ear remains a sow’s ear.

See Also

Wood, J., at al: Positive Self-Statement; Power for Some, Peril for Others

 

2 Responses to “The Sow’s Ear Effect”

What do you think? Share your thoughts...

Latest from the blog

Ritual, Loss, Change and Growth

Ritual, Loss

Keeping separation and loss alive can be more damaging in the long term than the events themselves. There’s merit in the idea that while we should rightly honour the past, we must also be willing to welcome the future.

A ritual can do both, simultaneously.

Continue reading

A Stranger in the Village

story

Sometimes a stranger comes to the village and tells the village a story, and the village rediscovers something.

Opportunities for rediscovery of ourselves may also be rare, but we should seek them out if we are to flourish and grow. It’s not easy though, and safety and curiosity are not naturally comfortable together.

But it can be refreshing to surprise yourself and others.

Continue reading
FREE DOWNLOAD - Get it now.

How to be more Resilient

Get my super-helpful guide '9 Steps to Resilience' absolutely FREE, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Understand the steps to resilience and you can develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks with less stress and more confidence.
close-link
%d bloggers like this: