Ever since I learned about affirmations, I have considered them to be magic words. When people talk about affirmations they are usually referring to positive affirmations, but there are just as many negative ones. Honestly, we are all probably more experienced with the negative ones! At a basic level, affirmations are statements we repeat to ourselves, either in our minds as thoughts or aloud as perspectives and beliefs, that create the reality we experience.
Without much effort, you can probably think of a limiting belief or negative thought you have about yourself or your relation to the world that emerges during times of stress or sadness, probably so effortlessly it seems automatic. It may be something as simple as calling yourself “stupid” when you make a mistake or it could be a long held belief that you’ll never be good enough or accomplish enough. The repetition of these, or similar thoughts, creates a harsh reality that can be hard to escape, leaving us feeling frustrated or inadequate.
Most of us drag limiting beliefs about ourselves into adulthood and it can take a long time to reverse some of the things we have come to believe. Amy Poehler said it well when she said, “it takes years as a woman to unlearn what you have been taught to be sorry for”. Of course, it’s not just about things we’ve learned to feel bad about, it’s all kinds of things. It could be something as simple as feeling like you deserve alone time or that you are worthy of love and respect. The cool things is that in the same way that these negative beliefs create our reality, positive affirmations can flip it all upside down. If we repeat them enough, we start believing them! When we start believing them, it is almost as if the Universe itself starts conspiring to make them true. Coincidences and synchronicities appear. Unexpected help just shows up. Things are a little easier. The even better news, is that it does not have to take years!
Obviously, we don’t have to create the negative ones. They are already there. The positive ones, however, we must craft and dedicate some time to. My favorite way to use them is to write the statements on small notecards and then keep them in my wallet, reading them daily. I’ve known people to write them on their bathroom mirrors. I’ve known women who put them on their outlook calendars as reminders to pop up. There are no rules here. The main thing is that you write them in a way that works for you and that you repeat them often.
Want to give it a try? First, decide what you want. Is there a goal you want to reach? Is there a belief you want to reverse? Is there a feeling you want to experience more? Is there a reoccurring doubt or fear that you want to banish for good? Once you have decided, create a present tense statement that makes what you want true. Next, add some action verbs and descriptive words to bring the statement to life. Use “feeling” words or words that almost create the experience you are seeking just by reading the sentence.
Refrain from using the words not, can’t, don’t, no, etc. When I say “don’t think about thunderstorms”, you probably immediately think about thunderstorms. It is important to only write words and ideas that you DO want to manifest and think about. Be specific and clear. Use words that excite you. Don’t be afraid to be playful and imaginative!
Recently, at a women’s class I led on the topic, we all sat together and created affirmations and beautiful affirmation flip books. I would like to share some of the powerful, no doubt magical, affirmations that were created that night:
I am listening to my authentic self with an open heart.
I am too big a gift to the world to waste my time on self pity and sadness.
I recognize the sound of my truest self.
I am freely giving up what no longer serves me; I am easily releasing it to create space for inspiration and playfulness.
I am more than good enough.
My words, actions and choices are in sync with my inner wisdom.
I am facing the unknown with courage.
I am confident that I know the way. I am at peace with my past, present and future.
I am proudly standing on my bathroom scale reading “145” pounds. I have reached by goal weight!
Light shines from my spirit.
I am willing to teach my children to be positive and confident.
I am capable of what I want to become.
I am graciously embracing stillness and solitude as a teacher and friend.