And Why It's A Whiz Bang Idea to Do So
No doubt you’ve heard about positive affirmations. You’re probably even a believer in the power of positive affirmations. But do you actually use them? Do you give yourself the extra boost that comes from creating more positive energy in your life?
Positive affirmations have the power to change your life because they have the power to change you. From your mindset to the way you go about your day, there’s no area of your life positive affirmations can’t benefit.
Before we get to positive affirmations, let’s think for a minute (but just a minute, okay, because they’re bad news) about negative affirmations. Negative affirmations are equally powerful and pack their own kind of wallop – as in knocking you down, kicking you in the liver with steel toe boots, and then spitting in your face.
I told you they were bad news.
Negative affirmations are those unkind, hurtful, and destructive little things we frequently say to and about ourselves. Sometimes we say them out loud but we usually play them for an audience of one, ensuring that we’re the only ones that hear them. Problem is, we’re the only ones that NEED to hear them for them to do their damage.
Imagine, for a scary minute, that someone followed you around all day and all night. Each time there was a lull in the conversation, they’d lean in and whisper something like, “You’re too fat for that outfit…” or “You look really old, you know that?” How about the one we all love to hear, “There’s NO WAY you can do this… absolutely NO WAY.”
So long, self esteem… nice knowing you!
We take on the scary role of this evil stalker every single time we cut ourselves down with negativity. The sooner we learn to stop in our tracks before any negative venom comes spewing out of our mouths, the better. What’s the best way to make the negativity stop?
Simple. Replace the negative with positive.
Pull the plug on negative energy and fill your life up to the brim with positive energy.
If we train ourselves to get into the habit of practicing positive affirmations, we’ll begin to build ourselves UP rather than tear ourselves DOWN. But notice the words “train” and “practice.” They’re our cues that this is a pro-active exercise, not a passive mindset. You don’t tell yourself one day, I’m going to start being more positive, then expect it to happen magically. That’d be like using shampoo one night and expecting your hair to stay clean for the rest of your life.
When you implement change in your life, you must be mindful of it each day. You have to purposely commit to making a positive change on a daily basis. If you’re one of those who tends to bash yourself regularly, this so-called daily basis may be more of an hourly basis.
So, if the best way to get rid of negative affirmations is to replace them with positive affirmations, where do you start? Let’s start at the heart of the matter. What area or areas do you criticize, condemn, and ridicule yourself in the most? Is it your appearance… your age… your education… your job? Do you have bad habits or shortcomings that you consistently beat yourself up over? Is there a particular aspect of your life you want to improve? The answer(s) to these questions will give you an idea of what positive affirmations you need to focus on.
It’ll also put the negative affirmations on notice – they’re about to get kicked to the curb.
The best positive affirmations are those that are short, direct, clear, and assume the desired outcome has already happened. For example, if an individual feels held back by shyness and wants to be more outgoing, a few positive affirmations would be:
- I’m Outgoing and Confident.
- I am confident.
- I am a confident person.
- I boldly voice my opinions.
- I stand up for myself.
Experts say that one of the most important things about choosing positive affirmations is to keep any and all negative or potentially negative words out of the mix. That’s why using an affirmation like, “I am confident” is better than saying, “I am not shy.” The word shy is the very concept you’re trying to avoid! If you say, “I am not shy” throughout the day, you are still reinforcing the shyness. Whereas if you say “I am confident,” you are reinforcing the word confident?
See the difference? It may seem small, but it’s actually huge.
Someone may ask, “How about using the words I FEEL confident?” While that’s still a better choice than “I am not shy,” I personally think it’s still second-best. Why? Too much wiggle room. If you say “I FEEL confident,” it kind of implies that it’s a momentary thing. As in, you’re wearing your favorite blue top, so you FEEL confident.. but when you change back into your white one… the confidence might just bottom out! Saying you “feel” a certain way isn’t the same as saying you OWN the train and OWN the situation.
Again, it seems small – but it isn’t.
Finally, choose TOP SHELF adjectives. This would mean going with, “I make great decisions” rather than “I make good decisions.” Using good rather than great implies room for improvement and, while that may be true, you don’ t want to dwell on that in your affirmations.
So, make your positive affirmations…
- 100 percent positive – without a single negative or undesired trait mentioned
- direct and to the point
- free of wiggle room!
- top shelf
A unique approach
I once heard a positive affirmations cd that was filled with positive affirmations in the form of questions. The man would say things such as, “Why am I so happy?,” “Why do I make the right decisions?,” etc. The thought process behind these questioning affirmations was, apparently, that you’d be forced to focus on the answers. I can see how this approach would be fantastic for a lot of people.
So, now you know the importance of positive affirmations, how can you sneak them into your life?
While there are some truly wonderful Positive Affirmations available for downloading and using immediately, you can also come up with your own. If you use these, just be sure you repeat the affirmations, yourself, and don’t merely listen to someone else stating their affirmations. That really won’t do you much good, will it?
The best way to have custom, personal affirmations is to make them yourself. In addition to using affirmations for personal areas you want to improve in, use general affirmations such as:
- I love my life!
- I love my personality.
- I have a great sense of humor.
- I am great at ____ (writing, cooking, your job…)
- I am fun to be around.
- I love who I am.
You just have to remember to use these affirmations daily – several times a day, in fact. Some people have suggested recording yourself as you slowly and confidently say your affirmations and playing the recording several times a day. I can’t say I’ve ever done that, myself, but it seems like a pretty cool idea.
I’ve also read that a lot of people write their positive affirmations on index cards or notes of paper, then leave them in random places where they’ll be reminded to use them. While I certainly use index cards for motivational quotes, inspirational words, and reminders, I think of positive affirmations as a really personal thing – for my eyes only. However, if you don’t have a lot of other eyes around, index cards could serve you well.
The most important thing is to surround yourself with as much positive energy as possible. Come on, how could that be anything but a great thing?!?!