I’d be shocked if you haven’t seen at least one person speak about positive affirmations this past year, they’re everywhere! Despite that, without context around how they work, they’re not so useful. In this post I’m going to share exactly what affirmations are, what they’re good for and how you can use them.
Positive affirmations are like a little pep talk to yourself
Positive affirmations are positive statement to help you practice positive thinking. They allow you to tap into an area of your life you want to change and rewrite the script. It’s using your thoughts in a positive way, instead of negative which is the default for many situations. You can have affirmations for self love, healing, confidence, whatever goal you’re trying to achieve. Anything you want to shift your mindset towards you can create positive affirmations for.
You’ve probably already used affirmations without even realising. Simple things like ‘I tried my best’ or ‘I can do this’. They’re a mini pep talk to yourself that can make all the difference in situations where it feels like your mind is in overdrive.
Affirmations work by allowing you to develop belief in your own ability, and they do so by tapping into the conscious and subconscious mind. They direct your focus to the things you can do, instead of focusing on what you can’t. Our brains have the ability to to change and adapt to circumstance throughout life. This is called neuroplasticity, so we can actually rewire our brains with affirmations and visualisations.
There are studies that have found that we can maintain our sense of self by telling ourselves what we believe in a more positive way (Steele, 1988, here’s the source if you fancy more of a read on this). Affirmations aren’t a gimmick – if used to their full potential atealst.
If there’s something particular you want to work on, here’s some tips on writing your own affirmations.
Affirmations are more believable to your mind if you set them in the present tense. Change only happens in the present, so it doesn’t make sense to write them in the past e.g. ‘I will’. Write down whatever you’re trying to achieve as if you already have it or are about to. An example of this is saying ‘I am so excited to be starting my new job’ even if you don’t have the job yet. Starting with ‘I am’ is a good way to stick with this and always remember to write them in a certain way.
One of the main mistakes I see people make with positive affirmations is writing extreme statements that they really don’t believe. An example is writing I am extremely confident with public speaking, instead, something like ‘I have the relevant skills and experiences to deliver’ They don’t have to be extreme statements that feel
There’s 1000’s of affirmations online, instead of going straight to those I’d definitely recommend creating affirmations specifically to your goals. This way they will feel more relevant to you.
The more specific you can be, the better. It’s always good to write your affirmations with really clear goals in mind. Whatever you’re trying to bring into your reality, make an affirmation for it.
Read your affirmations consistently. Stick with it. Don’t start off by saying you’ll read them 3 times per day, try one time per day while you’re building the habit.
Always think about and affirm what you do want, over what you don’t want. It seems simple, but we can fall into the trap of ruminating over the things we don’t want.
I stand by trying to create your own affirmations, but I think by seeing examples it can really help to create your own.
‘I am so grateful and happy to be earning an extra £1000 per month from my business’
‘I am excited to start my new job’
‘I am so happy that I have everything in place to move to Manchester’
‘I am so proud that I’ve continued to look after my body and exercise and improve my fitness levels’
I hope this post has been useful if you’re looking to use affirmations. When I started using affirmations properly these small changes made a big difference.