Some people believe that by chanting a few mantras, their life can change considerably. While there is truth behind this, it certainly isn’t the full story…
Affirmations are one of the most empowering tools when used correctly, and they are available to each and every one of us. But most people tend to miss the key ingredient when it comes to putting them into action.
Have you ever wondered if positive affirmations really work? Perhaps you’ve tried using them with little results?
I’d like to explain a way to use affirmations, which includes the key ingredient, and provides the necessary steps you’ll need to take if you want to experience their fullest potential.
Why Use Affirmations?
- change negative beliefs
- use your thoughts and words to empower you
- reach your full potential
- gain confidence
What Is An Affirmation?
“Anytime you start a sentence with I am, you are creating what you are and what you want to be.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer
An affirmation is a statement we make through the thoughts we think and the words we use; they tend to consist of ideas that we have come to believe; a lot of the time about our self-image.
We all say affirmations every day, whether we’re aware of it or not, but we don’t always use them in the best way. Many of us go about our daily lives completely oblivious to the fact that our minds are filled with negativity.
Statements like, “I am stupid” or “I am weak”, don’t only make us feel bad whilst we are saying them; they begin to take shape in our lives, further affirming the idea and creating more insecurities and experiences.
When a word or phrase is said with certainty, and over a long period of time, it eventually becomes part of our belief system, whether the idea is true or not. Once an idea becomes a belief, it is given further authority and we begin to behave in a way that coincides with it.
To summarise, here’s what affirmations are:
- thoughts and words that are said repeatedly over a significant period of time
- statements that ultimately shape our existence
- something we all use every day, whether we know it or not
Using Positive Affirmations To Alter Negative Beliefs
Our beliefs heavily influence many aspects of our lives; if we don’t believe we are capable of achieving our goals, we won’t strive to reach them. If we don’t believe we are good enough, we’ll have little self-esteem. If we don’t believe we deserve happiness, we’ll go out of our way to ensure we don’t find it. Negative ideas and beliefs limit how much enjoyment we get out of life.
Affirmations allow us to change negative beliefs by retraining our thinking and speaking, and introducing positive statements to our self-talk.
All affirmations, whether positive or negative, carry the exact same methodology – they start with one small idea that we begin to pay attention to, until it becomes so ingrained in our self-dialogue that we start to believe it and then it begins to show up in our lives.
The Key Ingredient
It’s important to note that affirmations are not quotes. A popular saying, such as, “she believed she could, so she did,” while it might inspire you, will do little to change limiting beliefs. Whereas, a phrase like, “I believe I can do it,” or “I AM capable” will do far more to stir emotion.
What most people tend to miss is that it’s not so much the words that matter, but rather the feelings those words stir within. Words are meaningless without emotion, wouldn’t you agree? If affirmations are not combined with the appropriate emotion, they are pretty much ineffective.
It may feel a little uncomfortable when you begin saying positive affirmations that feel far from true, but I can assure you, if you stick with it and get past the slightly uncomfortable stage, you will begin to feel more at ease with the affirmation at hand, and it will start to feel more familiar and true to you.
We already have the ability to feel something that hasn’t yet happened – we do so very skillfully with negative thoughts – picture a time where one small idea spiralled into several negative thoughts that left you feeling exhausted and frightened by the potential scenarios running through your mind.
The same method can be applied to positive affirmations; it’s important that we focus on the energy that is created by the statements we use.
Start Using Affirmations Effectively
There are several things to bear in mind when using affirmations:
- An affirmation is a personal statement, it must be said in the first person, i.e. “I AM”
- It must also be said in the present tense
- You must feel the emotion of the words you use
- Make them specific to your personal circumstances
- Affirmations must be said repetitively
To start, use affirmations with the intent of altering negative beliefs. It is only then that space is created for additional positive affirmations to be introduced.
Make a list of any negative beliefs that you feel are limiting your life in some way; it is best to get deep to the core – ask yourself questions, such as “what is the one thing that stops me from achieving what I want out of life?” Perhaps it’s fear, past experiences, or maybe it’s because you don’t feel you are capable… Identify the reason, and then use an appropriate affirmation to change that negative belief.
Here are some affirmations that you can use for a variety of reasons:
For eradicating fear, “I AM brave.” “I am strong.” “Everything is working out for the best.”
For creating more self-love, “I am enough.” “I am worthy.” “I am beautiful.”
For appreciation, “I am grateful.” “I am appreciative of everyone and everything in my life.”
For drive and motivation, “I reach my goals effortlessly.” “My past experiences motivate me to create a better future.”
For attracting abundance, “Abundance is constantly flowing into my life.” “Life is good to me.”
Spend at least one month working on each affirmation. (This is a good amount of time to experience change.)
You might also want to try the One Month Affirmation Challenge.
Through the use of affirmations, I’ve learnt about a new way of life – one that doesn’t involve me beating myself up in my mind, or feeling too frightened to live in a way that tests the boundaries. Affirmations have given me hope, faith, and support, often when I needed it most.
Would I recommend them? Most certainly!
Stephanie is a professional writer, blogger and the co-founder of Soul Analyse.
While she always tries to live in the moment, she feels it's equally important to look back at past experiences with open eyes to connect the missing dots and work out what we can learn for the future. She uses writing as a way to share her story with others in the hope that her past experiences can help someone else moving forward. She's also keen to gain knowledge from others' experiences and believes we can learn a great deal from one another!
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