Not too long ago, a dear friend left me a voicemail saying “I’ve reached that point when I realized that I have nothing, and I am nothing. Want to talk, give me a call…” This person still graces this earth (don’t worry!), but was having a particularly down day. How couldn’t they be if this was the message that they were telling themselves and even worse, believing? I knew immediately that I needed to teach them about the magic of affirmations.
MINDSET MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Hearing this held up an old (many years old!) mirror for me; I used to repeat something very similar to myself even while running a successful business and appearing to the outside world as a wildly confident and joyful woman. It was almost a MANTRA, and the more I said it (inside my head), the deeper it stuck there.
It manifested in my NOT achieving my dreams and feeling as if I was running on a sinking hamster wheel. It meant that my friendships were neglected instead of nurtured because I created stories about them “not wanting to hang out with me anyway”. It meant that I charged well below what I was worth, and honestly, that “successful” business was not affording me the life I REALLY wanted to live.
THE ILLUSORY TRUTH EFFECT
Marketing companies and politicians use the same method to get potential customers and/or constituents to believe in their messages. It is called the “Illusory Truth Effect”. Once we hear a message more than 3 times, we begin to honestly believe that it’s true. This may give you a little pause when you hear someone repeating something that you KNOW to be untrue over and over – it’s effective. It’s psychological SCIENCE!
The good news? Just knowing this gives you as a human a kind of superpower; it frees you to choose what you believe if you remain conscious of what is being communicated to you.
The bad news? Knowing this also means that from this point forward, you are 100% accountable for the things that you repeat to yourself.
YOU talk to you more than anybody else in this world. This self-talk shapes all of our personalities and realities. Positive self-talk is reflected in an optimistic approach to life and a greater sense of inner peace. Negative self-talk reinforces pessimism, the belief that the world is against you, and inner turmoil and depression.
We can easily change the negative to positive no matter what our current life situation is. It’s done with magical little statements called “affirmations”. All we have to do is change our words! That allows us to take our negative thought patterns and statements and replace them with positive ones.
HOW DO WE CREATE AFFIRMATIONS?
It’s super easy!
- Write down the negative statement or belief that repeats in your mind. (e.g., “I am nobody.” “Everybody hates me.”)
- Now, write down the OPPOSITE or something that FEELS opposite and positive. (e.g., “I am SOMEBODY.” “I am EVERYBODY.” “Everybody LOVES me.” “I am lovable.”)
- Each time you catch yourself starting with that negative thought again, mentally say STOP! And replace with your new, positive statement.
A few guidelines while writing:
- Keep ‘em short. Long sentences are harder to remember.
- Write these in the present tense as if they have already come true. The past is gone, the future is always out of reach. All we have is RIGHT NOW to act upon, and we want to change our situation NOW. So speak to yourself in the now, in the present.
- They should all begin with “I” or “My” because they are about YOU! And you are the only person in this world that you can change.
- Adding joy and gratitude to your affirmations can give them more power and believability. “I am grateful for my creativity” creates gratitude, which is always a powerful thing, and reinforces that you have creative skills and an imagination! BOOM, BOOM, BOOM – I’ll bet the juices start flowing and you start getting inspired ideas flying at you outta nowhere…
- Affirmations should address being or doing, not wanting or needing. “I want a million dollars in my bank account” reinforces and creates more WANTING, or lack. “I HAVE a million dollars in my bank account” will make you feel as if you are already rich, act grateful for being so blessed, and inspires you to take the actions that will make this a reality.
Reframe: TELLING THE TRUTH IN ADVANCE
Patterns can be challenging to break, and it will take effort at the beginning to “believe” the new messages that you are saying to yourself. The remedy for this is repeating them even MORE. I mean HUNDREDS of times per day, every time you have free space in your thoughts. While you’re walking from the bedroom to the kitchen, waiting for the bus, taking out the recycling. Eventually, you will “fake it til you make it”, and by making it, I mean automatically thinking good thoughts.
The big mistake is thinking that you are lying to yourself. You are using proven scientific methods to reprogram your brain and change your reality. As an amazing coach said to me, you are just “telling the truth in advance”!
WHAT AFFIRMATIONS HAVE DONE FOR ME
I am so grateful today that I discovered affirmations and decided to start the journey of self-work to become the person that I wanted to be – a TRULY joyful, vulnerable, attractive, and loving being, standing in my power. I feel connected to the rest of humanity, to the Earth as a whole, and know in my bones that I have a purpose on this planet, that my words are important and deserve to be heard, that I CAN make a difference, and also that I am loving, lovable, and loved!
WHAT AFFIRMATIONS CAN DO FOR YOU
You can achieve just about anything with a strong enough belief system, whether it’s feeling attractive, achieving a health goal, or even boosting your immune system.
Louise Hay, whose books taught me the greatest lessons about affirmations and also provided the starter kit to begin, allegedly healed her own cancer with affirmations. This lady was AMAZING and a truly inspiring, caring, nurturing teacher to millions of people. I definitely recommend at least checking out her book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, though the rest are equally fantastic.
A SIMPLE ONE TO LEAVE YOU WITH!
This is one of my favorite affirmations and can help with any task you are doing, especially if you are facing a little mental resistance:
THIS IS SIMPLE. THIS IS EASY. THIS IS FUN!
Sounds silly – but give it a go and see just how quickly time passes while you’re doing that thing you hate. And let me know about your experiences with affirmations in the comments – I’d love to hear how you go!