Reading the thoughts of others is positive – imagine the greater strength of focusing on your own wisdom and insights and writing them down. 

There’s evidence that it is a way of lifting yourself and those around you. 

Share them with others face-to-face and on social media when you feel the quality merits it.

Writing down short statements can help remind you of your strengths. 

While I don’t like yellow post-its, many people do and you can leave those affirmations in places to help you, family and friends.

An experiment:  Write a message on your mirror at home or work reminding you that “The Leader looks like the person in my mirror” or more simply “I am an optimist.”

Most experts on writing positive affirmations recommend that you choose one negative thought you have about yourself and write down the positive opposite that counteracts that belief.  It’s worth a try too.

Try to use the present tense and include an optimistic future. 

“Short and sweet” is sound advice. 

“I am” is a good way to start. (Click for some examples we like)

Another Experiment: Write a short affirmation and record it on your phone or another device.  Play it back.  Pause 30 seconds.  Play it back again.  Would you change what you wrote?  Will you play it again?


  • Victor Perton

    Chief Optimism Officer

    The Centre for Optimism

    I ask people what makes them optimistic.

    The purpose? To help everyone and anyone become more optimistic and to add to their CV “I am a realistic and infectiously optimistic leader.” My underpinning beliefs are “The leader looks like the person in your mirror” & “All good leadership is optimistic.” I am the author of “Optimism: The How and Why” and “The Case for Optimism: The Optimist's Voices”. I am the Founder and Editor of “The Australian Leadership Project” ( I am an author, speaker, compère, moderator, barrister and researcher. In prison, schools, universities, boards, corporates, NGOs, conferences and retreats I have shared the learnings from “The Case for Optimism" & The Australian Leadership Project. I am available to moderate roundtables and retreats, deliver keynote speeches and conference panels and one-to-one coaching. For the right causes, we undertake CEO & board searches with optimistic leadership as the sought-after quality. My life experience includes stints as Commissioner to the Americas, 18 years a parliamentarian, practice as a barrister, mediator, arbitrator, businessman and board service. I was Senior Engagement Adviser in the Australian G20 presidency supporting Australian leadership of the G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors & in the Brisbane G20 Leaders Summit described by the Prime Minister as "the most important gathering Australia has ever hosted."