You’ve got to keep telling yourself: “I am a lovable person; I will succeed.”
Or, um, not:
Positive self-statements make people who are already down on themselves feel worse rather than better, according to [a] study conducted by psychologists Joanne Wood and John Lee of the University of Waterloo and Elaine Perunovic of the University of New Brunswick.
Apparently spouting that sort of bilge causes internal conflict:
“I think that what happens is that when a low self-esteem person repeats positive thoughts, they probably have contradictory thoughts,” Dr Wood told Agence France-Presse.
“So, if they’re saying ‘I’m a lovable person,’ they might be thinking, ‘Well, I’m not always lovable’ or ‘I’m not lovable in this way,’ and these contradictory thoughts may overwhelm the positive thoughts,” she said.
Norman Vincent Peale was not available for comment, though I suspect he would have found the idea depressing.