Curious how to use affirmations to make your life more positive?
Some people think affirmations are super woo-woo. They conjure up images from the old SNL skit where Stuart Smalley stands in front of the mirror and says, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
I get it; it can feel awkward at first. Affirmations alone do not wipe away the suffering or hardships that we go through, and I think that is where naysayers focus their attention, but there is more to the practice. It’s not just slapping pretty words onto what you’re going through and then voila, all is well!
Affirmations are a psychological tool that retrains your brain to look at things in a new way. And since you already know all about embracing the beginner’s mindset, bust out that childlike curiosity and give my favorite affirmations for abundance a try!
Why Do We Need Affirmations?
Most of us carry with us misbeliefs about who we really are and what we’re meant to be. Ideas like, “I’m not enough. I’m not worthy of love. I don’t deserve to be happy. Life is nothing but struggle.” These perceptions are usually shaped when we’re between the ages of three and seven years old.
For example, I’ve always believed I have to work really back-breakingly hard to get anything I want, whether it’s love or success, to the detriment of embracing unconditional love or second guessing career opportunities. The same goes for feeling safe; I’m hyper aware of it, and both of these misbeliefs are a product of my childhood experiences.
Often, we experience the same issues in situation after situation until we’ve learned the lessons that we need to learn. When we look deeper at the experiences that have shaped our perceptions, we begin to understand why we keep coming upon the same themes again and again.
Retraining our brain
Some beliefs create positive experiences while other limit our potential. And one way to help us break the limiting cycle is to retrain our brain. This is where affirmations come in.
Like I said earlier, they are a tool to retrain our thoughts to conquer those “misbeliefs” that are interfering with us becoming our best selves. Our thoughts and words are how we manifest actual, tangible things in our lives. So whether we know it to not, every day we are either affirming something negative or something positive in every single thought or action we take.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity of the circumstances that don’t serve us. It’s a biological instinct to scan for perceived threats to our survival and keep us safe. When we experience fear in our lives, it kicks in the part of our brain that wants to keep us small in order to keep us safe. This process is great if you’re being chased by a sabertooth tiger, but not so great if you’re being “chased” by say, a work deadline or an upcoming speaking event. 😉
We’ve talked before about how negativity is a breeding ground for chronic disease. To break the cycle of stress, fear and doubt, you need a few tools on your Bat Girl belt — and affirmations are just one of them. You also need imagination, self-care, journaling, exercise, etc. etc. Affirmations are so useful because they can focus on all areas of your life, and help lay the groundwork in your mind for more positive thoughts, words and actions.
I first learned about this practice from a few excellent gurus you can check out for more information. The first is Mike Dooley, author, speaker, and creator of the popular “Notes from the Universe.” I really recommend his book “Leveraging the Universe: 7 Steps to Engaging Life’s Magic.”
I also recommend “The Vortex” by Jerry and Esther Hicks. They teach that if a belief is only a thought you keep thinking, why not think a different thought, a better thought, until you believe it? Sounds like smart logic to me! And finally, Louise Hay has SO many great books of affirmations.
These experts helped me look at the world in a new way — to be honest, a kinder, gentler way to treat and talk to myself. Even offhand gripes like, “This always happens to me,” or “God, I am so fat,” have a negative impact on how we perceive our body, mind, spirit and/or personality. These side comments are the small little things that chip away at us and keep us stuck in those negative patterns. They make us feel less powerful and confident, and prevent us from stepping into the life we’re meant to have.
How To Write An Affirmation
I recommend you write your own affirmations. You have the power, girl!
Start with the present tense, first person. “I am…” is a great beginning.
Affirm what you want instead of what you don’t want. You get what you ask for, so let’s not give any more energy to negative things.
Be super specific.
Include an action word (I like ones ending in -ing).
Include an emotional word, if you can. I think this adds power to your affirmation.
Ideally, you say your affirmations out loud on a daily basis — more importantly, just make sure it’s at least available to you. Write it on a Post-It and put it inside your bathroom mirror, the visor in your car, or on the back of your front door. Slip a copy in your purse. I had a client who set random calendar notifications with her affirmation. However you choose to use it, affirmations are a way to elevate your energy and get to the truth about you, not these misbeliefs you’re holding on to. So make it fun and remember to say it again, and again, and again and again…
My Top 5 Affirmations
I radiate love and beauty from the inside out.
I’m worthy and more than enough, just as I am.
I am grateful for all that I am, for all that I have, and for what is yet to come.
I’m safe and secure and know that I am always taken care of.
I expand in abundance, love and success every day.
Affirmations are creating your future from the inside out. If, as Jerry and Esther Hicks say, the world around us is the result of past thoughts and beliefs, then the purpose of affirmations is to imagine your new reality and experience the truth of it.
Life is meant to be good for us. Life is meant to be joyful.
The secret to affirmations working quickly and effectively is to come up with statements that make you feel really good, words that make you smile. This is why I recommend you writing your own, so they resonate with you specifically and are so juicy you’ll want to say them over and over.
Do you already use affirmations in your daily life? What are your favorites? Let me know, and post one in the comments below!
LOVE + positive thinkin’!
Thanks for sharing, Monique. Have a blessed day.