Using Positive Affirmations to Drive Our Coaching Work

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For many of our readers, yesterday marked the first day of Daylight Saving Time. For some of us that means the days are about to get longer, and warmer days are headed our way. Thank goodness!

It also means that we will all be a little more sleep-deprived. Isn’t it amazing what one little hour can do? It’s sort of like a paper-cut. One teeny-tiny cut, not severely damaging, but oh-so-painful.

What Are Positive Affirmations?

​So as you approach this new and possibly sleep-deprived week ahead of you, we thought the timing was right to share a tool for creating positive affirmations that drive your work. Our tired minds are probably going to need some positive thoughts and lots of coffee to get us through the coming days.

What are positive affirmations, you ask? Positive affirmations are phrases that become our positive inner dialogue or beliefs that drive our actions.

Positive affirmations are like little superheroes that take our negative thoughts or beliefs that we have and morph them into positive thoughts and beliefs.

When we turn negative beliefs into positive affirmations, we can repeat them often and change our inner dialogue for the better.

Positive Affirmation Example

Here is an example of a positive affirmation that I use in my everyday life: I am not a huge fan of a sink of dirty dishes. How about you? Yet, it’s a chore we are faced with almost every single day. We could approach a sink full of dirty dishes with negative thoughts like,

“UGH! I hate the dishes” or “A sink full of dirty dishes again?”

Or we could look at it this way…

“Because we have food to eat, we have dishes that need a good cleaning. How fortunate I am to get to do the dishes.” or “Cleaning dishes is good for our environment. I get to clean dishes instead of loading our landfills with paper and plastic. “

Approaching a sink full of dirty dishes is a much easier and, dare I say, more enjoyable chore when our minds are filled with a positive or grateful inner voice.

Positive Affirmations in Our Coaching Work

So what does this have to do with coaching? Let me share a few scenarios where positive affirmations could come in handy in our coaching work.​

  1. Scenario 1: When you aren’t feeling good enough…
    You’ve probably heard us say this once or twice—coaching is a lonely job. When you are on an island by yourself, it is easy to get into a headspace where you feel like you aren’t good enough for the job.

    We are far too often stretched too thin, and sometimes it can feel like we aren’t getting enough accomplished. When you aren’t feeling good enough, get rid of those negative beliefs and replace them with the good ones. Try creating some positive affirmations for yourself.
  2. Scenario 2: When you are working with a teacher who doesn’t want coaching.
    Sometimes we find ourselves coaching a teacher who is reluctant to work with us. These coaching relationships can be challenging. While digging into The Art of Coaching by Elena Aguilar, I stumbled across a quote that has stuck with me ever since, “No one can learn from you if you think they suck.”

    Changing our negative thoughts about the work we are doing with a reluctant coachee into positive affirmations will change our attitude and increase our confidence in working with that individual.
  3. Scenario 3: When you are supporting coachees who need to change their beliefs about themselves.
    One of our biggest roles as a coach is to hold up a mirror to our coaches so they can see their strengths. When we are working with a teacher who is lacking in confidence and struggling to see the good in their work, you could coach them into writing some positive affirmations. If positive affirmations are a powerful tool for us, why wouldn’t they work for our coachees, too?

Taking the Next Steps with Positive Affirmations

Love this idea and want to get started? You might need some help writing positive affirmations. No worries! Here is a little cheat sheet that will help you do just that!

​ Not a literacy coach? We have good news, positive affirmations work for everyone. Give it a try with your students, your spouse, your kids, or the next time you are pumping gas in the freezing cold.

And if you create some positive affirmations, we’d love to hear how they’ve helped!

Hey coaches and literacy leaders! Would you like to see more of our coaching tools? Join our private coaching group, the LitFORCE Coaching Huddle for access to the full Coaching Toolkit!

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