Affirmations Anonymous" -- My Recovery Group for Negaholics

"One day at a time." Alcoholics Anonymous slogan

"Life sucks, and then you die." Negaholic slogan

Have you ever noticed that despite living in the most prosperous society in the history of the world that many people in America tend to exhibit negative attitudes? It's no surprise to me now, as I used to be what I call a "Negaholic" -- someone who sees the glass as half full, and isn't afraid to tell you why it's going down even more. The distinguishing traits of the negaholic are: critical comments, sarcasm, expressing feelings of hopelessness ("What's the use? It'll never change."), frustration, doubt and fear of the unknown. In addition, they both resent the success of others and seem to take joy only when others encounter adversity. Not a very pretty way to live, but a reality for plenty of people -- see yourself in there anywhere?

What's the root of this "disease," which may afflict millions? Inside their minds, these folks have a combination of feeling:

Unlovable. No one loves them, so why try?

Incapable. They could never accomplish anything worthwhile, don't have what it takes.

Unworthy. And they don't deserve to accomplish anything or be loved by anybody anyhow.

Where does this come from? Somewhere in their past, these individuals got messages from their parents (primarily), their families, their peers and/or their teachers that, taken together, formed thought patterns resulting in these feelings. As adults, these messages become a self-fulfilling prophecy for all of their dealings. And it's not hard for them to find validation: All they have to do is turn on the news and they'll find a negative world out there, reinforcing the hopelessness of it all. So negaholics have made negativity a way of life, and they can PROVE it's the right way if you let 'em.

So what's the answer? Simple -- join my recovery group: "Affirmations Anonymous." Why did I chose this name? I see myself as not unlike an alcoholic, except that I was addicted to my own negativity. Up until about 1992 I had no goals, no career path, just went along with what my parents, teachers, then bosses expected of me. I was a master of sarcasm, ready to spring a, "Yeah, right!" on anybody who put forward a positive comment. And although I appeared "normal," I was lonely, mildly depressed and mostly frustrated about my prospects for the future. And I had NO CLUE how to get out of the mess I was in.

Luckily, I stumbled across books like Think and Grow Rich, started listening to motivational audio programs from Nightingale-Conant and began to attend personal development workshops. Out of all this I boiled down the essence of my "Affirmations Anonymous" concept. No dues, no traveling to meetings, no other members even -- you form your own group with your Self. All that's required is that you take on a Daily Morning Ritual of positive statements which can include your Mission Statement, custom Affirmations, statements of Gratitude, Blessing and Healing to your own version of a Higher Power -- yeah, you can even include God if you wanna! You can also add a brief 5 - 10 minute meditation/visualization session. (I've written a previous article called Top of the Morning which describes my own Daily Morning Ritual.)

This can take only 15 minutes, maybe 20 total. But here's the rub -- you gotta do it EVERY DAY. That means Monday through Friday, then Saturday and Sunday too. Why? I like to say, "God never takes a day off -- why should I?" I have not missed a day in years of doing my Morning Ritual, and encourage my clients to do likewise. Because I'm convinced that I will default to the general negativity of our society if I start to slip, not unlike alcoholics who think they can just have one drink.

Wanna be a member of Affirmations Anonymous? You can start today, or even tomorrow morning. Seems like a small price to pay for insuring that you'll begin each day with a positive mental outlook, a clear sense of purpose and an attitude of gratitude. And one day at a time you'll stay sober with success.

Success Skills Coach Jim Rohrbach, "The Personal Fitness Trainer for Your Business," coaches business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals on growing their clientele. He has helped hundreds of individuals to achieve their goals since he developed his first coaching program in 1982. To arrange a Free Consultation with Jim, go to


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