Personal development guru Steve Pavlina recently published an interesting article about how he displays affirmations and other statements on a bulletin board to change his beliefs.
His “Belief Board” is hung on the wall in front of the desk where he works, so he exposes himself to the messages it contains for several hours every day. It’s in his field of vision, yet off to the side, so that it’s always visible but not usually the focus of his conscious attention. On the board are six sheets of paper containing one statement printed in a large font. Each statement is a new belief that he wants to “install”.
In the photo above you can see that my first experiment with this technique is an even simpler version with just one statement. It’s been there next to my desk for a few days and I already notice that I think of the statement “I fully participate” when I’m in situations where I might normally remain a passive observer. That’s always a good sign.
Steve’s board contains all text affirmations. Even though I recently extolled the benefits of showing yourself pictures, a text method like this works very well for intangible concepts, like beliefs, that defy photo illustration. Of course such a board could easily display pictures too. The important part is that it shows a new mental reality that you want to believe. As Steve says:
When you set a new goal, an important step on the road to achieving that goal is to gain the belief that you will get there.
Fortunately your subconscious mind can be conditioned to hold new beliefs. It is highly programmable. If you keep exposing it to certain inputs, it gradually learns those patterns.
One thing that’s great about this kind of technique is that you only have to create the “ad” one time for it to influence you every day. It’s so important that you don’t have to work any harder to receive your own advertising than, say, observing a Nike swish on a someone’s clothing as you pass them on the street.
I like the belief board because it’s completely passive. It takes only minutes to create one, and I don’t have to adopt any new daily practices like reciting affirmations. I don’t even have to consciously remember that it’s there. It’s essentially a fire-and-forget technique.
I was especially interested in the “Optimization and tweaking” section of the article. I too have noticed that my subconscious mind gives me immediate feedback when I don’t have the message quite right for a personal ad. It also lets me know when it’s time for an ad campaign to be finished. It always seems very important to follow through on these intuitive promptings to change my advertising — almost like the subject matter becomes aversive if my message is a few degrees off.