How to Use Positive Affirmations￼
You can use positive affirmations to help you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself. Affirmations are statements made with confidence about a perceived truth. The thing about affirmations is that they can be positive or negative. And it’s often easier for us to believe negative things about ourselves than to think about positive things.
It’s time to start thinking about what you want in life and why you should have it. Stop thinking about all the reasons you don’t deserve something and consider why you do.
The Power of Positive Affirmations
If you use positive affirmations, it will not be a quick fix to immediately achieve your goals. However, they will help. Positive affirmations can have an effect on many parts of you, and depending on your current mindset, changing toward a positive outlook for your life might take longer.
Ways positive affirmations can help:
- Develop a positive outlook
- Increase your opportunities
- Counteract negative thoughts
- Focus on healthy goals
- Increase your confidence
- Eliminate unhealthy habits
- Increase control over your life
- Increase your self-respect
- Modify your mindset
- Increase your motivation
Turn the Negative into a Positive
If you are a person who grew up in a negative household, you might have a hard time learning to use positive affirmations. The negative thoughts may be firmly ingrained in your mind. Shaking those off is no easy task. One way to overcome those negative thoughts is to change them to show progress.
For example, if you think (or have been told) that you will never be successful in business, using an affirmation that says, “I am a successful businessperson” might be difficult to believe. However, if you say, “I am learning how to be a successful businessperson” you are showing your intent. Once you are comfortable with that affirmation, you can change it again to show the success.
Creating Your Affirmations
We’ve all seen memes and skits that make fun of affirmations. You know the ones I’m talking about – picture someone staring in the mirror and saying, “I’m worth it!”
In order for affirmations to really have an impact, they need to resonate with you as an individual. They need to be tied to your goals because they are meant to help you reach your goals. So if one of your goals is to improve your self-esteem (which is a poorly written goal, but not the point here), telling yourself that you’re worth it might make sense.
However, if your goal is to make more money or become a better businessperson, it doesn’t really fit.
When you are choosing or creating affirmations for yourself, here are some tips:
- Use I or My to start the affirmation. This makes it personal to you.
- Write them in present tense – it is happening NOW
- Don’t talk about what you want or need – focus on the idea just being true
- Use positive statements that relate to one or more of your goals
- Use emotions to increase the power of the affirmation (I am excited about…)
- Use affirmations that you truly believe are possible
For some people using the I/My format for affirmations doesn’t work. They feel too silly or they simply can’t believe it when they say it to themselves. In those instances, it might make more sense to write them in third person. While you still might feel weird talking about yourself in third person, it’s often easier because you can imagine a loved one saying it about you rather than you saying it about yourself.
Using Affirmations Effectively
Realistically, you should be saying your affirmations at least 3 times a day. It’s important to remember that using affirmations isn’t a quick fix, nor is it a magic pill. You can’t just use affirmations to get rich or lose weight. They can be a powerful part of the process, but you still need to put the work in to be successful.
Many people think it’s enough to just put the ideas out in the world and it will happen for them. Anything is possible, I suppose, but that’s not realistic.
I urge you to try using affirmations because if you’ve been struggling with mental health issues and executive dysfunction, chances are you have a whole lot of days where you feel horrible. You feel like a failure because you forgot it was your turn to bring snacks to the soccer game. Or you were late to a meeting (again), even though you swore you left early enough.
Life is hard enough, so you want to give yourself as much positivity as possible. This is all part of the mindset work. Change is possible and achievable, but it’s hard. You want to give yourself every possible advantage.
If you are neurodiverse, simply writing or saying your affirmations might not be enough for you. Or you might get bored doing it the same way every day. Here are some ways to integrate affirmation work into other activities:
- Use a reminder app to write down your affirmations so they’re always with you. Set a reminder to remember to say them at least 3 times a day.
- Read a book that shares the topic of one of your goals or affirmations. Consider the power of the affirmation and the goal.
- Write about your affirmation in your journal.
Listening to Affirmations
- Have a loved one record your affirmations using your name. Hearing someone else say the affirmation about you can make it more feel believable.
- Listen to a motivational speaker talk about one of your goals or affirmations. Think about what you can take away from the talk.
- Create a playlist of songs that have the same message as your affirmations.
Affirmations with Touch
- Say your affirmations while touching something specific to make a connection between that texture and the positive thoughts of the affirmation (a ribbon, a blanket, yarn, etc)
- Draw a picture of what you think your affirmation would look like for your life.
- Instead of just saying your affirmations, sing them. Pick a memorable tune and sing to it.
- Turn your affirmations into a chant or military cadence.
Affirmations with Movement
- Use a cadence to chant your affirmations while doing something physical like walking/jogging/riding a bike.
- Go for a walk and look for things that remind you of your affirmation. Think about why it reminded you of the affirmation.
Affirmations with Smell
- Choose scents that you associate with the affirmation or the emotions you think of in respect to the affirmation.
- Consider using aromatherapy to help you connect your mindset and emotions with your affirmation.
Affirmations with Visuals
- Create a vision board with images that help you envision your affirmations.
- Find an object that you can use as a visual reminder of your affirmation – a physical symbol.
- Take pictures of scenes or objects that inspire you or remind you of the affirmation.
As I mentioned, affirmations become one more tool in your toolbox of strategies to improve your mindset as you work toward your goals and improve your life. As long as you are open to the possibilities of how affirmations can help, they will make a difference. If you hold onto negative thoughts and statements about yourself, it will be more difficult to find success.
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