When in self-doubt, talk negative to do it

If you don’t believe in yourself, better to tell yourself that you cannot do it. (John Leech Sketch Archives 1841-1864)

Are your resolutions slipping? Then boost yourself the way that little toy engine did when he puffed “I think I can I know I can of course I can” or words to that effect.

This little engine is not alone in believing in the power of positive talk. Many people, up and down the tracks, have on occasion chanted “Yes We Can!”

Chanting positivity can be fun, but does it work?

Not always. That little engine made it to the top because he knew himself already. Affirmations work when they match how you see yourself.

But when you loath yourself and doubt yourself, then positive talk turns negative. Social research confirms this. And it’s simple arithmetic: a positive and a negative make a negative.

So, if you don’t believe in yourself, better to tell yourself that you cannot do it. Maybe then you will, because two negatives do make a positive.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.