The Power of Positive Affirmations: Get the Recognition You Deserve

Sometimes we just aren’t feeling like we deserve positive affirmations or compliments. On even our best days, we don’t expect that kind of positive attention.

Want a happier life? Learn the power of positive affirmations.

I was walking near our office the other day, wearing a typical outfit with a colorful scarf. Going about my business, a cute young woman who was pushing a baby stroller paused as I walked toward her.

“You look so beautiful! I just loved watching you walk down this block toward me,” she exclaimed as I approached, “You’re so vibrant and magnetic.”

Now, on this particular day, I wasn’t necessarily feeling “vibrant” or “magnetic,” nor did I expect to get such positive attention. But I did put forth an effort, as always, to look my best when I got ready that morning. Let me tell you, her compliment made me feel like a million bucks! The rest of the day I felt, well, vibrant and magnetic!

You see, it’s not about receiving compliments on our looks or costuming ourselves to dress up for others when we go out. It’s about getting noticed. We all WANT positive affirmations and attention (whether we admit it or not). It’s about having someone notice us and say, “Wow!”

We all have a deep yearning to be seen. We long to be heard, to be known, to be understood. Yet, when it comes to attention, especially positive attention, many of us have a knee-jerk reaction to feel embarrassed and push it away. We might even cringe, feel undeserving or shush the person lavishing us with praise.

What do we say when someone compliments us?

“Oh, stop!”

What we should be saying is, “Oh, go on!”

Why We Seek Positive Attention

We can receive positive attention for all sorts of qualities. Receiving positive attention for our looks, style or outfit is great, but that’s only one avenue and not the most important. Even more deeply touching to our soul is when someone notices the qualities about us that aren’t as obvious—when someone looks beyond the surface and notices the qualities of our personality.

We all possess positive qualities. Every single person in the world has positive traits. There are unique qualities only YOU possess. There are talents you display and are gifted with. You see, you are a gift to the world.

As children, very early on we’re taught to be humble and even self-deprecating. We’re taught not to brag; not to be “too much” and not to be too outgoing. We’re told to blend in. We learn to be shy and quiet. We learn to downplay compliments and attention. We learn to fit the mold and not stand out.

Others of us balked at this conformity. We longed for and sought attention in any way we could get it—by yelling, acting out, doing things that weren’t so healthy or positive. Why? Because that little kid inside us was saying, “Look at me! Notice me! I matter!”

Each and every one of us matters. You are a gift.

None of us comes from a perfect background. No one is conditioned to feel perfectly important, unique, special, and loved (no matter how much your parents doted on you and complimented you). We all possess a void where we yearn to be seen and known.

It’s part of our human nature to long for a connection with others. We yearn for attention. We yearn to be acknowledged and affirmed. We want to be more engaged and more connected with those around us.

So how do we get those positive affirmations we need?

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Our yearning to be seen and acknowledged is strong. It’s a universal yearning and it’s inherent to our happiness. Yet, many of us have tamped it down for so long we don’t even know how to receive the attention and affirmation we long for.

Here’s the secret—go out and put your best foot forward. Practice self-care and treat yourself as you deserve to be treated!

Don’t throw on the least dirty outfit from the laundry hamper and spritz on the dry shampoo. Put in effort. Even if you aren’t at your ideal weight, can’t afford your favorite designer, or aren’t feeling the emotional bandwidth to put in the effort. Fake it until you make it.

You can appear polished, professional, and together, even if you aren’t 100%. There’s a magic that occurs when you wear an outfit that’s pressed and clean, take time to put on your favorite tie or necklace, or style your hair. You exude more confidence.

You’re saying to the world, “I value myself. You should value me, too.”

Be genuine about it. You don’t need to feel like you’re costuming yourself or attempting to be someone you’re not. Be the best version of you. When you look and feel your best you show you’re comfortable with yourself. Comfort breeds confidence.

Speak up! Jump in!

The next time you know the answer to a question in the meeting, share it. Don’t worry if you have all the details correct, or hold back because you don’t want to sound silly or even precocious or overbearing. Share your knowledge!

If you know how to do something—fix a problem for a coworker, help someone figure out directions or answer someone’s question about what’s playing on the radio, step up! Offer your talent, your gifts, and your capacity to others around you. Smile with confidence. Own it!

Soak in the Positive Affirmations

Remember the last time someone said something negative to you? (I’ll bet you do.)

I might read 20 five-star reviews on Amazon for one of my books. You know what jumps out at me? The one-star reviews. The negative comments always stick with us much longer than the positive. We cling to the negative attention. We fixate on it. We repeat it to ourselves over and over like a broken record. We wonder what we could have done differently to silence that ONE critic.

Here’s the deal: that critic doesn’t know you. They might be having a bad day. They might be projecting their own garbage on you. Maybe they had a headache. Maybe they’re seeking attention themselves and don’t know how to get it, except to be a negative jerk.

It’s time to flip it. Cling to the positive affirmations tighter than the negative junk. Seek out positive attention and whenever you receive it, play it over and over in your head. Change the message on the broken record.

I exist. I matter. I am important.

Make compliments count fifty times (at least!) as much as criticisms. Point out your positive. Surround yourself with others who view you positively.

Be with others who see you more positively than you do yourself.

For example, you may have a limiting belief that you are not worthy, but instead of acting that way, you choose to go into a situation acting as if you are worthy, behaving with a sense of self-respect and pride. To do this, imagine what someone who felt good about herself would do in this situation. As a result, you’ll walk into the meeting holding your head high, making acknowledging contact with the other members and speaking up when you have a point to share, even if your knees are shaking. As a result, you’ll notice that others are responding to you, asking you what you think about different points, or asking you to take initiative on the suggestions you made—they see you as worthy. You fake it until you make it.

-Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

So, the next time you’re walking down the street, add a colorful scarf and a swing in your step. You never know when compliments and positive affirmations will be headed your way! If you don’t receive enough organically, start seeking out positive feedback. When you receive those positive affirmations put them on replay and listen over and over.

Remember, you are a gift to the world! Believe it! Embrace it!

For more on how you can positively impact the world around you, please visit us at The Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming workshop or More Life Training to learn how you can live a life of MORE!

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Emotional Intelligence at Work: How to Build Rapport with Coworkers

Every office has a culture. There’s an unwritten set of rules. You may feel you either fit or you don’t.

Are you a leader or a follow in your office life? Using emotional intelligence at work will teach you to lead to success. Find out how!

Do you ever feel like an outsider in your own workspace? As though you connect with coworkers on the surface—exchange niceties and pleasantries, but when it comes to really engaging with your coworkers, there’s just nothing there?

There’s a tendency among most of us when this happens to look at our differences to blame:

“I’m the only man in the office full of women.” ‘

“My coworkers all went to college together.”

“It feels like a boy’s club.”

 “I grew up in a different country, and my officemates are so American.”

“I’m much old/younger than my office mates.”

“We just don’t seem to have anything in common.”

“My office is full of jerks.”

If this sounds like you, first of all you need to realize it’s not them. It’s you. I know this statement seems harsh, but hear me out.

If you’re blaming your culture, your obvious differences, or even differences in personality, you’re creating a wall to insulate yourself from really getting to know those around you. You’re using your differences as an excuse. We are 100% responsible for our own happiness in any given situation.

With the right levels of emotional intelligence, the right vision sharing, the right engagement and leadership tools, you are able to connect with anyone. Whether you’re from Texas and they’re from Japan, or you’re Jewish and they’re a practicing Sikh. All of us can engage, connect and get on the same page.

Different Personality Types in the Same Space

Now, there are many different personality types in any given office. The personality types we encounter are categorized somewhere within what we at Wright refer to as the CARE Profile quadrants—Cooperator, Analyzer, Regulator, or Energizer. Rarely does anyone fall completely into one quadrant, and usually there’s quite a bit of overlap.

When you understand your CARE profile type, you will better understand what makes you tick in an office setting. Analyzers, you may prefer numbers, figures, measurements and set parameters for a project. You’re rarely the touchy-feely type.

Regulators, you prefer being in control and in charge. You like to know everything’s going smoothly. These are the project management personality type.

On the other side of the spectrum Cooperators want everyone to get along. They want to talk about feelings and motivations. They’re often easy to work with and help groups find ways to work together.

Lastly, we have Energizers. Energizers are the cheerleaders of their team. They are your sales people. They are enthusiastic and ready to motivate everyone else.

Analyzers might feel totally bowled over by Energizers. Regulators might look at cooperators and think, “let’s just get this finished. We don’t all need to talk about our feelings.” On the flip side, Cooperators and Energizers may look at Analyzers as dull and “too safe.”

Each personality type brings strengths to the table. Rarely do any of us fit squarely in our quadrant. Most of us display overlapping traits of several profile types. Yet, when we identify our profile type and the strengths, it’s easy to see why differences crop up and cause such opposition.

The great news is every personality can find a way to get along. It’s about using the strengths of each type to work toward the overall vision and desired outcome. In an office, Transformational Leaders identify these strengths in each person and help guide them toward their most productive and successful path.

If you are in an office space where there’s no great leadership available, don’t throw up your hands and say, “that’s it! We’ll never get on the same page.”

YOU can be that leader. You don’t need the title of President, CEO, CFO or even a Team Manager. All you need to do is engage with those around you, help everyone get on the same page when it comes to the overall vision of the organization, and discover the strengths of your coworkers. Emerging leaders display strong emotional intelligence skills, meaning, they’re good listeners, they’re empathetic, they care for others and work to understand those around them. They look at what their coworkers really want—what drives them? What do they YEARN for?

Then they use their knowledge to shape the team, and encourage motivation. In your office, transformational leadership begins with YOU!

Using Emotional Intelligence at Work to Lead Your Office

Those with a high EQ know leading doesn’t mean whipping everyone into shape, and bullying or pushing everyone to your whims. Leadership–solid leadership–comes from taking ownership of each interaction.

When you walk into a board meeting, do you approach the situation with your company’s vision in mind? Do you work to merge your vision for career success with that of your boss or manager?

The strongest managers know when their team succeeds they look good too. They want to encourage everyone on their team to do as well as possible. They want to help each person discover their aptitude and strengths and elevate them to the next level. Strong leaders don’t focus on weaknesses. They mitigate the weaknesses and move on, using strengths to propel everyone forward.

Yet, when we think of our own leadership skills and career path, we often focus heavily on our weakest areas. We get bogged down by what we may have done wrong (often, when everyone else has long since moved on).

Instead, know your strengths. If you’re an analyzer, focus on your abilities to really understand the details of a task. If you don’t agree with a plan or statement, speak up! Point your concerns out! Call attention to the insight YOU can bring to the table. Don’t beat yourself up about the aspects of a project you aren’t doing, but focus on the aspects you do well. Own it!

The next time you walk into a meeting, whether you’re running the meeting or not, don’t hold back. View the meeting and the room as yours. Work to ensure everyone in the room is comfortable—offer them a drink, ask them if they can hear/see what you’re presenting. Really look at each person in the meeting and ask yourself what you can do to empathize, get on the same page, and share a vision of success you both work toward.

If you’re attending a meeting, you’re there for a reason. Don’t just sit idly by and absorb the information presented. Contribute! Give your feedback! Many of us hold back, for fear of being the “squeaky wheel” when really, we could offer valuable insight and productive feedback.

I’ve coached many people who held back in work situations—they didn’t want to speak up or were afraid to “rock the boat” and create waves in their company. I’ve seen people hold back, and stop themselves from speaking up while the company walls literally crumbled around them. Often, they had the answer or valuable insight to offer! They knew what to do, but they either viewed the problem as something management needed to resolve, or felt they didn’t possess the authority to take charge.

The company’s success is YOUR success. Understand if your team, your organization or your business is doing well, you will do well too.

If everyone on your team is doing a job they love, celebrating huge wins and working toward their vision of success, the community itself is more successful.

Sometimes we don’t encourage others on our team because we fear their success will take away from ours. This scarcity mentality destroys teams and doesn’t create a healthy competitiveness, but a dog-eat-dog cutthroat environment where no one thrives. The idea there’s only so much success is a belief that limits us, when really there is no ceiling on what we will achieve.

Instead, realize the successes of those around you in no way diminish your own. If your team is successful the whole group will look good.

Using your emotional intelligence at work to lead will not only lead to your own success, but the success of your entire team. If you want to build connections with others and find more fulfillment in your job, you need to step up and get engaged.

For more on how to use your tools of engagement and emotional intelligence at work to become a transformational leader, please visit us at the Wright Foundation. We will help you bring out your best!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How To Break the Rules,
Be Your Own Hero
& Ask for What You Want

I want to start making positive changes in my life and find a greater sense of purpose…is there an app for THAT?

Ready to start making positive changes in your life? Start by learning how to break the rules, be your own hero and ask for what you want. Time to LIVE.


Remember those iPhone commercials a few years back? If you want to check the weather…there’s an app for that. If you want to find a restaurant…there’s an app for that. The list of life’s conundrums resolved with an app was lengthy.

Well, do you ever wish there was an “app” for personal transformation and growth?

Wouldn’t that be great?!

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about these so-called brain-training apps that promise to push your brain to become sharper and faster by playing Tetris on your phone. The jury is out on whether or not they’re effective at all in the long term.

There ARE sophisticated computer programs, rubrics, tests and activities to help you stimulate your brain’s neuropathways, explore your metacognition and get deep into the inner workings of your mind. Through brainwork, hypnotherapy, psychoanalysis and transcendental meditation, we can discover greater paths toward enlightenment and understanding.

However, these great tools for making positive changes can’t be bought at the app store. It turns out, it’s going to take a little more work than that.

Where Do We Begin…?

You know when you see a great movie? Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or even The Wizard of Oz… What is it about the hero’s journey we love to watch?

It’s that the answer is always within our hero.

Luke was a Jedi all along.

The power to destroy The One Ring was always only Frodo’s.

Dorothy could go back home any time she wanted.

Well, just like these heroes, we’re on our own adventure. We’re on our own hero’s journey. We’re trying to get those answers and tools for making positive changes from within ourselves. We certainly don’t need an app.

The Secret to LONG-TERM Positive Change

I learned to play the trombone many years ago. It’s simple: you hold your lips together to create a buzzing noise. Then, depending on the way you blow, you’ll create a higher or lower pitch.

If I handed you a trombone right now, do you think you could play based on my explanation? What if I had you watch a YouTube tutorial on how to play for a few minutes? Do you think you could play the trombone then?

The thought of playing an instrument with so little practice or experience seems silly, right? Laughable, even!

So WHY do we embrace the same mindset when it comes to making positive changes, huge life transitions and personal transformations?? We attend ONE weekend seminar, take a class or listen to a TED Talk, and we’re told it’s going to “change our life,” right?

When you understand how the brain works and what it takes to build new, lasting neural pathways, you realize that there is no such thing as a quick fix—and anything that offers one is misguided at best and fraudulent at worst. The odds are you’ve taken a class, been to a workshop, or experienced some other type of learning situation that provided useful ideas about how to transform your life, or some aspect of it. You’ve spent a few hours or perhaps a few days absorbing theories and exercises that struck you as valuable or maybe even epiphany-producing.

You’ve learned a lot about yourself what you need to do to change, and you’re excited about putting this learning to work. Unfortunately, it’s one thing to learn a valuable lesson; it’s something else to put it into practice.

–  Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

When we work with students at the Wright Graduate University, one of the tools we ask them to adopt is called the Assignment Way of Living. This may sound strange, but it’s important as they start to view their life as an adventure — as they begin to view their journey as a hero’s journey.

Heroes go on quests. They go on missions or “assignments,” right? Well, when we view our own life as an adventure, we start to adopt the assignment way of living. We start to see through the “rules” and limits we’ve imposed on ourselves. We start to find ways to break free from those limits.

These rules (like, “I shouldn’t ask for help because I’ll look stupid” or “I shouldn’t speak up because people will think I’m pushy”) are meant to be broken! Students adopt the assignment way of living to break these “rules” that reinforce their own negative beliefs and doubts. So break the rules!

These “rules” are our limiting beliefs. The same limiting beliefs that prevent us from making positive changes, and really truly getting not only what we really want, but what we yearn for deep down as human beings.

Just like any new habit or assignment, we must practice over and over. Asking for what we want is as foreign to many of us as playing the trombone. We can watch a seminar or read a book, but without deliberate practice we will never truly learn how to get what we yearn for.

Start Making Positive Changes By ASKING for What You Want!

For those who aren’t used to asking and who are living under the iron curtain of these self-imposed rules, asking for our needs to be met seems very strange and uncomfortable. So, what are our students to do?

Ask for everything!

During this week of of Year of Transformation, our students are told to go out and ask for everything they think of. Ask someone if they would hail a cab for you. Ask someone if they mind giving you the time. When your spouse isn’t paying attention to you, ask them for it!

Judith and I took years to come to an understanding about asking—a story she’s fond of sharing with our students. See, I tend to be a squeakier wheel than Judith when it comes to getting what I need. I also get absorbed in my work, reading or whatever I’m doing from time to time.

Judith would ask me a question and oftentimes I wouldn’t register I heard her or I would be so absorbed in what I was doing, I would fail to respond. Her yearnings to be seen, heard and acknowledged weren’t being met. So, she would feel hurt and ignored. She would feel frustrated with me and I wouldn’t even realize what had happened.

We had a paradigm shift when she said, “I just need you to tell me you heard me.”

Ah-ha! It was that simple. Once she asked for me to acknowledge her, I realized acknowledging her was all I needed to do to meet her yearning. If I said, “I hear you. I’m finishing this and I’ll be with you in five minutes,” suddenly everything changed. She no longer felt ignored. Her yearnings were being met!

When we ask for what we want and need, it shifts our dynamic with others. Here’s what one of our graduate students reported after a few days of asking:

What fun it is to ask for things! It’s also been very interesting to note all the tiny little asks such as my wife to massage my legs and aching feet, bring me a cup of tea or coffee, or make a certain dish for dinner. I’ve asked people I haven’t spoken to in years to see if they’d have a lunch or dinner with me. I’ve also asked others to help me win new business–and it works!


It’s amazing how many of us are right at the cusp of getting the what we want and need, and all we need to do is learn to ask! Asking is one of our most powerful tools when it comes to making positive changes and like every great hero, the ability to ask for what we need is already within us. We simply need to learn how to ask and practice regularly.

Be the hero of your own adventure! Learn more about your yearnings and finding your inner hero by joining us for an upcoming MORE Life Training. Bring out your best and discover what’s possible!

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Post photo by Heng Films on Unsplash.