You’ve probably been told before that affirmations are the answer to kinder self-talk, more positive thinking and boosting your confidence?
Have a quick Google and you’ll find lists and lists of affirmations for self-improvement. Perhaps you’ve even plucked out your favourite few and given them a go… Maybe you feel a bit silly saying them, you have zero belief in the words coming out of your mouth or try as you might you’re just not getting the desired effects?
Affirmations are very personal and whilst using someone else’s prepared set can be a great place to start, if you want to get the most out of this practice you need to look inwards. Everyone struggles with different thoughts and unhelpful beliefs and as a result not everyone needs the same words of encouragement to help them change.
So I’m going to run you through how to create your own personal affirmations. The more relevant and emotive they are to you the more potent and impactful their use will be.
Put simply, affirmations are powerful and empowering statements that you use to train the brain to think more positively. In the same way you can run or swim to exercise your body, affirmations are a way of exercising and strengthening the mind.
Your thoughts create your reality, so when you’re having negative and self-deprecating thoughts it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Affirmations are effectively instructions to your subconscious about what to believe, a rehearsal of the way you would like your mind to think. Through repetition you can learn to make kind and positive thinking your default.
Your brain is always on the lookout for evidence that backs up your beliefs. For example if you believe you’re boring, you’ll notice when the person you’re speaking to yawns or checks the time on their phone. On the flipside, if you believe you’re interesting and good at making conversation, you won’t notice the yawn (and if you do you’ll either think nothing of it or realise they must be tired). Instead, you’ll see the person who specifically comes over to talk to you. Or you’ll observe how engaged people are when you’re talking.
We know that the way you think directly influences how you feel and how you behave. When you think positively your emotions and actions will reflect that, which has a positive knock on effect for everyone around you.
Regular use of affirmations creates new neurological pathways which through repetition become your default way of thinking. Imagine walking through a field surrounded by shoulder height corn – the first time you push your way through it’s going to be tough – but the more times you walk that same path the easier it becomes as the crop gets pushed back and trodden down. What was once a conscious effort becomes automatic and undemanding through repetition. Just like learning any new skills – playing the piano, speaking Spanish – it starts to get less difficult over time. The more you think a thought the more it cements in your mind.
For such a seemingly simple practice, the use of affirmations is extremely effective. Affirmations can:
An affirmation is like a statement of desire, a verbal declaration of who you want to be or how you want to feel. When creating affirmations, the important thing is that your affirmations are present tense, simple, positive and specific. Here are some examples:
They don’t need to be true and you don’t need to believe them 100%. Your affirmations should be statements you wish to be true, that you would like to wholeheartedly believe.
As I said at the beginning, the more personal the affirmation is to you, the more powerful it will be. So think of qualities and situations you want to invite into your life, think of areas where you need a little boost, perhaps look at the negative beliefs you hold about yourself and see if you can reframe them in a kinder and more positive way. For example, “I am not good enough” can be reframed as “I always try my best and that is enough”. Examine the areas in your life in which you doubt yourself most and create uplifting and motivating affirmations to banish that doubt.
Repeat, repeat, repeat! Repetition and committed practice is absolutely key. This is not a quick fix – although the more you use your affirmations, the better you’ll feel which will motivate you to use them more.
Here are a few ways you can incorporate them into your day. You can:
When using your affirmations make sure you’re being mindful and intentional, you want to avoid reciting them on autopilot. As you say them, either in your mind or out loud, really imagine what it would be like to believe in the meaning of those words. Say it like you really want to mean it. And then make sure you are seeing and absorbing them as many times a day as possible.
Remember that you get to choose every single thought you have! When you can train yourself to think positive, joyful, compassionate, encouraging, loving thoughts your reality will start to reflect those qualities back at you. You deserve to be feeling those things every single day. It dos take time. Just as you wouldn’t expect to have killer abs after one trip to the gym, you can’t expect to feel like a new person after one day of using affirmations. But thanks to the neuroplasticity of the brain you CAN change the way you think, learn new skills and create new habits.
If you need some inspiration before you try to create your own powerful affirmations, practice with my FREE affirmations for boosting self-worth. Click here to listen to the recording.