Remember, using affirmations needs to be intentional for the best results. The first thing to do is form a set of affirmations that reflect your current life situation and give you the most benefit.
At the same time, affirmations without action are nothing more than dead words on a piece of paper. You need to bring your affirmations to life in the active daily practice of using them regularly.
In today’s lesson, we’ll be diving into how you can begin to use affirmations.
Let’s start by making your affirmations. Keep in mind, the more thought you put into the process now, the more success you’ll have later. Don’t rush through this process, but give yourself time to think through things, especially if you find the goals you’re setting for affirmations involve having to work through past trauma.
Set the Goal
Without a direction, you’re never going to go anywhere. You need to understand what you’re hoping to get out of your affirmations. Are you looking to build habits, invite something or someone into your life, to stop destructive behavior, or to do something else entirely? Take a few minutes to think about your goal. Think about what you’re hoping will happen in your life. Remember, as with any goal-setting; you’re going to want to set SMART goals.
- Specific – what do you want your affirmation to do precisely?
- Measurable – how will you be able to measure the success of your affirmation?
- Actionable – is this something you can work or act on once you see it?
- Relevant – is this something that benefits your life directly?
- Time-bound – is there a deadline of some sort, so you know how to plan?
Create Your List
List out all the thoughts you have about this goal. For example, if you’re thinking about using affirmations to help in your work life, list all the statements you find yourself making regarding work. Everything from “I hate my job” to “I feel like I don’t matter at work.” Go deep on these because this is where you’re going to dive into the affirmation’s heart and soul. Include things other people have said to you which have stuck in your head. It doesn’t matter if any of these things are true. The point here is to focus on the chatter inside your head.
Once you have this list, try to figure out what the common theme is. For example, you might find everything comes back to feeling invisible and unimportant in your work, which is why you hate your job.
Rewrite the Script
Here is where you take what you’ve discovered and turn it around. How would you word the exact opposite of this statement? Instead of saying, “I am invisible at work,” you might want to try, “I contribute greatly at work, and my boss appreciates me.”
Verbalize Your Affirmation
An affirmation is nothing more than a wish until you put it into practice.
You start by saying the words out loud. The important thing here is not to rush through what you’re saying. Think about the words as you speak them.
Concentrate on how they make you feel. Above all, believe what you say. If you don’t believe it, you can’t expect this to bring you success.
Make it Physical
As you speak your affirmation, you’re going to want to layer in an emotion, strong enough to evoke a visceral response. Why? Because the lie you’ve been telling yourself already has just such a response. Try this. Go back to your original statement. Our example involved feeling invisible. Whatever yours was, go back and repeat it, paying attention to where you feel it when you say it. Do you feel a pinch in your chest, a heaviness to your shoulders, a twist in your gut? Whatever you’re feeling, you need to remember the emotion. When you say your positive affirmation out loud, you need to put your hand wherever you feel the pain from the negative affirmation and place it there. Focus on the warmth and comfort of your hand as you say the new, positive words. Layer in pride, joy, acceptance, or whatever other emotion feels appropriate.
Initially, this step might seem difficult. It’s hard to force yourself to feel something you’re not in the mood to feel. But believe it or not, this really can work. Studies have shown that people who were asked to feel happy when they didn’t feel satisfied were able to fake the happy feelings only a short time before they started feeling genuinely more joyful. The emotion will come with practice. Remember how you felt the last time you were proud or happy or whatever emotion you’re trying to pull up. Try to recreate this feeling when you say the affirmation.
Get Some Help
Take your affirmation and bring it to someone else whom you trust deeply. Ask them to read it out loud to you. This step might not be easy; it’s hard to ask someone to read something to you, which might make you feel vulnerable. But you’re going to find out why this is important when you experience the surge of emotion from hearing those words from someone else’s lips.
Here’s your most important step of all. Affirmations are not one-time things. They only work when repeated over and over, as often as possible. We’re going to look at this more as we explore the routine you’re about to set up.
Making Affirmations Routine
As mentioned above, making your affirmations routine is an essential part of this process. You go about doing this in several ways.
Create Daily Practice Times
As you need to do affirmations every single day, you’re going to want to choose several times where this works easiest. Some people benefit from looking themselves in the mirror as they do their affirmations. If this is the case, why not make them part of your morning and evening routine when you’re already in the bathroom?
Put Affirmations On Your Schedule
It’s so easy to ignore something when you don’t prioritize it in your schedule. To keep from growing lax and eventually getting so sporadic to where you’re not feeling any benefit from your affirmations, write your affirmation time on your daily calendar. Once you’re set up, be sure to keep these dates with yourself.
You need to keep the affirmation close throughout the day. Try putting notices on your phone, so it beeps at you once in a while to remind you it’s time for affirmations. Or you might choose to write them on Post-it Notes and stick them all over your world. Do whatever works best for you to keep them in mind.
Once a Week Revisit Your Affirmations
Regularly, you’re going to want to examine the affirmations you’ve been using. Over time, you’re going to start to grow and change. Your affirmations are going to need to grow and change with you. Re-evaluate whether your affirmations still fit your needs. If not, repeat the first steps to see where to go from there.
Now, let’s take some time to personalize these affirmation tips to you.
Please proceed to Exercise 2 on the next page
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