You’ve probably heard a lot about the power of using positive affirmations as a daily mantra. Besides being a cliché term, an affirmation is a mental statement based on our opinions and beliefs — about ourselves, others, and life in general — that crafts our perception of reality.
Affirmations dwell in the vastness of our subconscious and originate by default during the first ten years of our life. Most of them are great — they support the positive aspects of our personality, such as ambition, kindness, and assertiveness. They make us good people and serve us well, so we want to keep them.
However, there are a handful of these statements that are negative and detrimental: “I’m stupid”, “Life is hard”, “I can’t have what I want”, “I don’t deserve to be happy”, or “I’m not in control.”
These negative mental opinions can pollute our life experience and secretly steal our joy and happiness.
At some point, as you grow up and mature past these negative opinions, you need to change them. The great aspect of adulthood is that you can now re-write your mental software — consciously and on purpose — replacing old, negative subliminal messages with brand new positive affirmations and beliefs.
When the movie, The Secret, came out in 2006, it talked about the power of intention and mental affirmations, and it made me believe that the universe is like an eager waitress, taking our orders and delivering them back, fulfilled. But it also made me question why some of my most important orders were delayed indefinitely. Were they lost in some cosmic whirlpool of chaos or simply just not meant to be? Were they denied because of some outstanding karmic debt?
The Secret movie leaves viewers with as many insights as probing questions. It seems like life is one continuous, unsolvable puzzle. As soon as you comprehend one piece of it, many more are thrown at you to keep you interested. Yet, when it comes to mental affirmations, it can take years of trial and error.
People have two minds: the logical mind (conscious) and the emotional mind (subconscious).
In order to live a harmonious life, both minds must be in agreement called mental-emotional alignment. As soon as you mentally declare something and make positive statements about what you want (such as, “I’m happy” or “I’m in a loving relationship”), your emotional mind may come up with a contradiction or reason why you can’t have what you want.
So unless both your logical and emotional minds are in agreement, your daily affirmations will not work. Creating this mental-emotional alignment is the secret to getting what you want.
How do you do it? It’s easier than you think.
Take these 5 steps to make positive affirmations work for you.
1. Write down your affirmations
Grab a pen and paper and write down some short “I am” affirmations about who you want to be in life. Write these in the present tense, in order to trick your mind into believing that you already are that way.
- “I am happy.”
- “I am skinny.”
- “I am fulfilled.”
- “I am in a loving relationship.”
At first, this may be challenging, since we are not used to thinking in terms of what we want, but with a little focus, your mind will assist you in generating statements of your desires.
2. Hear the voice of your childhood self
The voice of your childhood mental programming speak ups and lets you know of all the “Yeah, but’s” about why you can’t have what you want (such as, “You’re stupid”, “You are not allowed”, Nobody cares”, “Something is wrong with you”, or “You’re not good enough for a happy life.”)
Write it all down — this is really useful information, coming from deep within your mind. When you know the emotional root causes of your discontent, you can deal with them and learn to tailor your affirmations for anxiety, success, or whatever else you feel is holding you back.
3. Look over the list of your negative mental statements
Realize that these were all created a long time ago in the mind of an emotionally driven child. But they are no longer relevant to the rational adult. You can feel it.
And now, once and for all, cross out this irrelevant torrent of falsehoods. Literally, cross it off of your list and keep scratching these useless words off the page until you feel a sense of relief. And now, an interesting thing begins to happen: You immediately feel lighter and the world appears brighter, as if you’ve removed the murky, scratched lenses of perception off of your eyes, allowing you to see life in full color.
4. Revisit your list of positive affirmations
These short, self-love affirmations are waiting to be enhanced with powerful possibilities. Start adding a few reassuring words that make sense to you, linking them to your affirmations with “and …”
Try these positive affirmations for women or men:
- “I am happy and I know that my happiness is unconditional. It is my innate and natural state of being.”
- “I am skinny and I’m excited to explore foods and physical activity that keep me healthy, fit and satisfied.”
- “I am fulfilled and I love what I do, and I enjoy the money I get in return.”
- “I am in a loving relationship and my partner is coming to me for joyful and fun adventure.”
- “I belong to this world and I embrace my uniqueness.”
- “I am a good person and I always do the best I can, When I know better, I do better, just like everyone else.”
5. Practice your newly chosen affirmations
To develop the lasting habit of being happy and feeling good, practice your affirmations first thing in the morning. Every morning, your mind is a clean slate, ready to be instructed on what to believe. Read your updated morning affirmations out loud, feel your positive mantras, imagine them done, and fantasize about how awesome it will be when it is so!
Do this for a minute or two each day for a couple of weeks until these daily quotes solidify within your mind, forming a powerful neurological network of your new beliefs. It turns out that life is a mental game, and the more you play it by taking control of your mentality, the easier and fun this game becomes. And even though life can get tough, you are always tougher.
So write your powerful affirmations often, using your mind as the ultimate tool to divert any storms coming your way.