On the topic of using affirmative thinking as a tool for reshaping actual flesh and bones reality, I’m reminded of a time I was scaling a fairly sheer 30 meter rock face, 2,000 meters up on the shady side of a Pyrenean peak one day. My climbing companion that day, a delightfully human reincarnation of a feckless mountain goat, had scampered deftly up and was sitting waiting for me on a grassy verge up above.
I duly followed, scampering up the first 15 meters or so without thinking about it but then suddenly finding no foothold, became aware of where I was and what I was doing: standing immobilised halfway up a steep rock-face with no safety net, unable to go back down without a sudden, potentially catastrophic fall and unable to go up on account of having nowhere to place my foot and now having turned into a blob of quivering jelly, even unable to think clearly enough to do anything but mentally and physically freeze. However, having just enough presence of mind to realise freezing would, within about ten minutes, lead to an involuntary sudden descent, followed almost instantly by being dead or seriously mashed up, I understood something miraculous needed to happen swiftly, when all at once, I found myself spontaneously repeating over and over an affirmation I’d learned many years earlier from Thomas The Tank Engine: ‘ I can do it, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it…’ – I didn’t believe it with my rational mind at all but I found myself saying it regardless and then something extraordinary happened.
It was as if a few frames of linear time were edited out and without knowing how I’d done it, I’d scampered up the rest of the way and found myself sitting next to my mountain goat buddy on the grassy verge at the top, gripping on irrationally for dear life, lest an unexpected tornado should suddenly creep up from behind and blow me back down again. Just then, an old Catalan man with a navy beret and gnarled stick, walked up the other way. He took one look at me and started laughing uproariously. ‘Verrrrrrtigo, verrrrrrtigo!’ he shouted as if it was the greatest joke on earth. I laughed too, let go of the grass – gingerly – and said, ‘wow, how the f*ck did I do that?’ a few times, as you do/would.
That’s the amazing thing about affirmations: you don’t even need to actually believe in them consciously, you merely have to repeat them enough for your unconscious, that aspect of your psyche where all the real choices are made, to inculcate the message into its complex circuitry and the rest happens on its own.
Try it out, should you find yourself faced with any sort of seemingly insurmountable challenge: I can do it, I can do it, etc, approximately 81 times and see how it works for you.
Meanwhile, may you have a day full of triumph in everything you undertake, dear reader.