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From the Principal of Cloverdale Catholic School

High Expectations and Caring Relationships: The Power of Affirmation

Posted by Jason Borkowski on Nov 14, 2019 06:39 pm

I have said repeatedly that beliefs are the premise on which we act.  If we believe something, we will subconsciously and consciously work to make that belief match our perceived reality.  What can we do, however, when our beliefs are bad?  What can I do to change my beliefs about myself or my students before the reality itself has changed?

Beliefs are formed by repeated experiences.  These experiences can be actual or remembered.  When it comes to forming our beliefs, it doesn’t make a difference.  For example, if when we were a child our parents told us we were stupid, each time we remember that event and replay it in our minds, it is as though it actually happened again.  Memories are so powerful.  That is why it is important to praise positive behaviours and achievements, reliving positive experiences is the antidote to negative ones.

Once beliefs are formed, they are hard to change.  So how can you have a belief about something you haven’t had any experience of?  The lesson I learned was in positive affirmation.  Affirmations are statements that solidify our beliefs, for good or bad.  A positive affirmation may sound like “Hey Johnny, thanks for always doing your homework”  Positive affirmations help us believe the good about ourselves, even in a negative situation.  A positive affirmation in a negative situation may sound like, “Hey Johnny, it’s not like you to miss your homework.  I know you’ll do better next time.”

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