What Influences Do You Allow to Affect Your Life?

Bill Abbate


Photo by Elijah Macleod on Unsplash

How outside influences affect who you are and who you are becoming

Many things in life exert their influence on us each day, whether we want them to or not. Advertisements in print, on the radio or television, billboards, junk mail, spam, social media, television shows and news programs, movies, newspapers, magazines, books, social gatherings, church, people at work, and all of the other people with which we routinely come in contact.

While that is quite a list, I am sure I left out a good number of other influences. Each of these influences, while subtle at times, is nonetheless there, affecting our mind.

Life has some good influences, such as those you love and care about, some of those you call friends, the Bible, prayer, and attending church. What are some additional positive influences in your life?

What about the numerous other influences? Many of them are what I call chewing gum for the brain (they may exercise your jaw slightly but contain little nutritional value.) Things like most of the shows on television, the constant bombardment of advertising whether in emails, on social media, in newspapers, magazines, and other such commercial vehicles. Some of this chewing gum for the brain is loaded with sugar and can be a bad influence creating decay in our minds. Add to these the many desensitizing influences such as sexual innuendo, violence, and any morally reprehensible subject or suggestion.

All of these influences, good, bad, or innocuous, affect our conscious and subconscious minds by their never-ending assault on our senses.

“Just as you are unconsciously influenced by outside advertisement, announcement, and appeal, so you can vitally influence your life from within by auto-suggestion.” Grenville Kleiser

Taking control of influences

What can a person do? While we can attempt to avoid much of this influence by turning off the television and radio, you can never escape everything. But you do have the power to limit your exposure!

Personally, during the past year, I have cut out much of the clutter that seeks to influence my mind. I now limit the amount of television I watch—especially television news. Additionally, I cut out most talk radio with all of its contentiousness. Some years ago, my wife and I dropped our subscriptions to the local newspaper and several magazines. All of this cutting has partially restored my sanity, especially during the past year of the COVID lockdown.

Much of the control is in our hands, although no one can completely avoid all of it unless you live so far from civilization you lose all contact with the outside world, which is not advisable.

Think about the years of conditioning that happens to the typical American through media and advertising exposure. It steadily bombards us for decades affecting our thinking considerably.


As suggested in Kleiser’s quote, one way to take back and restore who you are is through autosuggestion. When you choose to influence your subconscious mind with what you allow as input, you are in control. A simple way to do this is using affirmations.

Affirmations are simply positive statements you can repeat to influence your subconscious mind. Yes, there is some confusion about affirmations with people making outrageous claims about what they can do for your life. However, when used correctly, affirmations positively influence your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, helping you in your life.

Affirmations are especially useful in counteracting the constant deluge of outside influence. They can help those of us with low self-esteem and negative thought patterns. They refocus us on the good and positive, away from the bad or negative.

“The first thing each morning, and the last thing each night, suggest to yourself specific ideas that you wish to embody in your character and personality. Address such suggestions to yourself, silently or aloud, until they are deeply impressed upon your mind.” Grenville Kleiser

I start each day by reading the most life-affirming book ever written, the Bible. This habit has helped me enormously over the years. I know of no better source for positive affirmations than this book.

My natural inclination is toward the negative, and the more “junk” I allow in my life, the worse I get. Therefore, I have largely removed this negative inclination by years of feeding positive thoughts into my mind.

As Kleiser suggests, feed this positivity to yourself at the beginning and end of each day. You will find your day will carry this positiveness into it. When you go to bed with good thoughts on your mind, you will sleep better and awaken more refreshed.

The longer you practice thinking positive and uplifting thoughts first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, the more you benefit. If you make it a habit, other people will soon notice the change in your disposition!

Affirmations should be kept simple and memorable. Simply repeating them a few times each morning and evening, you will become pleasantly surprised how quickly you begin to change. Rather than give you my affirmations, which change over time, I suggest you reach down inside and create your own. They are your affirmations and are as individual as you are. You need to own them. Don’t struggle to try to come up with affirmations. They will come to you naturally as you seek them.

Final words

Unfortunately, too many of us passively allow outside factors to influence our minds and never consider the possibility of taking matters into our own hands. You have far more control than you realize.

Take control of what you let in your life while using affirmations to affect your conscious and subconscious thoughts. As you eliminate the negative and take control over the positive, you influence your thoughts, your heart, and your very character. This will affect you to the core of who you are and who you are becoming.

Why not work to master your mind? You have an entire life to learn how to do so and to practice what you learn. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, and the benefits are substantial!

Pay heed to the following scripture as you move forward in life. Take it to heart and become active in creating the life you want!

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7a KJV

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA

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