The concept of positive affirmations is not a new one; it’s an ancient practice dating back to ancient Sanskrit mantras. Despite its ancient origins, it is not an outdated practice. In fact, you’ve been saying positive and negative affirmations your entire life.
The reason the practice of positive affirmations continues to come up over and over again is because it is one of the simplest and most powerful ways to transform your life.
What is a positive affirmation?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an affirmation means “the act of affirming.” And to affirm means “to assert as valid or confirmed.”
In other words, an affirmation is a statement that we make via a thought, spoken word, or written word. And a positive affirmation is a positive statement.
The Power of Positive Affirmations
We have been saying positive and negative affirmations to ourselves and others our whole lives. Anytime we think, speak or write we are saying affirmations. And if we repeat the same affirmations over and over again, eventually those affirmations become beliefs.
The average person has around 60,000 thoughts a day. And, according to Pam Grout in her book E2, approximately 98% of those thoughts are repeat thoughts from the day before.
Many of our thoughts are on the subconscious level, and we aren’t even aware of what we are saying to ourselves.
Think about it – if you are consciously circling negative thoughts in your mind, how many more of those thoughts are being repeated daily over and over again on the subconscious level? It’s quite scary actually.
The Law of Attraction says like attracts like, and the universe answers every call with like.
For example, if you have an underlying belief that you don’t deserve abundance in your life, you won’t attract abundance, you will continue to find yourself in a situation with a lack of funds.
If you have an underlying belief that you are not enough, you might be holding yourself back from pursuing your dreams, and finding yourself unsatisfied with life. Does this make sense to you?
We attract what we put out. We put out what we believe to be true.
It’s time to take back your power – become aware of the thoughts you are putting out there, and intentionally decide which thoughts nourish your mind.
(1) How to become aware of your thoughts:
To help you become more aware of your thoughts, you can begin with breath meditation – sit straight, with your eyes closed, and simply focus on the normal rhythm of your breath.
Breath meditation helps you to be present in the moment and strengthens your focus. And when you catch yourself drifting off into thought, this is a success, not a failure, because you just became aware of the fact that you are now in thought. With this daily practice, you can begin to be more aware of when you are thinking, and then pay attention to the types of thoughts you are thinking.
(2) Taking back your power by intentionally choosing your thoughts and beliefs:
When you become aware of the underlying beliefs, and negative thought patterns that have been circling your conscious and subconscious mind, you then have the power to let them go and to choose different nourishing thoughts. This is where positive affirmations come in.
Positive affirmations are essential when it comes to reshaping our thoughts and beliefs. When we choose to let the old thoughts go that are no longer serving us, we can fill up that space with positive affirmations that nourish us. When we work with positive affirmations consistently, they become nourishing beliefs over time.
A couple of examples of positive affirmations are: “I am enough,” “I am worthy,” “I am loved.”
How I learned about the power of positive affirmations:
I was first introduced to the practice of positive affirmations back in 2013 while I was in a training program for my job.
Part of my training included a physical test that I had to pass to graduate. The test itself seemed simple, yet I kept failing. I knew if I didn’t pass the test I wouldn’t get the job. I felt defeated and unworthy after failing yet another time because most of my classmates passed on the very first try. And because of this, I added unnecessary stress to the situation.
I had a choice to make, to give up and go home, or to ask for help. As you might guess, I chose the latter. I ended up going to see a counsellor, and there I was introduced to the power of positive affirmations.
I began working with positive affirmations by repeating them to myself over and over again almost non-stop. Affirmations like “I got this,” “I passed the test,” “I am worthy,” etc. I also looked up positive quotes that would get me inspired. The quote that I remember repeating the most is “I can, I will, watch me.” I would repeat the affirmations and quotes while listening to some pump up songs that got me motivated and energized.
By working with these positive affirmations, I learned to focus on the positives – that I am worthy and capable, and can do anything I put my mind to. And I was able to let the possibility of failure go. Because by this point in my mind, I already passed that test.
After a few days of repeating the affirmations, I had another opportunity to pass the test. I felt confident and excited for the first time. I even told my colleagues that I would see them after I passed the test and we would celebrate. Of course, I went, did the test, and I succeeded! And I got to celebrate with my colleagues.
It wasn’t that I wasn’t capable of passing the test. It was that I was blocking my own way with limiting thoughts and beliefs.
Self-imposing limitations on yourself and what you are capable of can hold you back from succeeding. Unfortunately, I think it’s a widespread occurrence in our society today.
The truth is, you are so much bigger than you think you are, and the sky is just the beginning. I want you to remember that.
How to write a positive affirmation:
To write a positive affirmation, it must be a (1) positive statement, (2) stated in the present tense, (3) repeated consistently, (4) and you must open your heart to the possibility so that you can begin to believe in what you are affirming. If you don’t believe in what you are saying, you won’t realize your true potential (and it’s magnificent).
5 Ways to work with positive affirmations:
(1) Repeat the affirmations consistently throughout the day
Make it a habit of only working with one or two positive affirmations at a time, and repeat them throughout the day.
Remember that this is a daily practice and not a one-time thing. Results come from being consistent with your nourishing thoughts. After all, nourishing affirmations become nourishing beliefs over time.
(2) Place your affirmations around your home on sticky notes
One of my favourite ways to work with positive affirmations is to write them down on sticky notes and to post them throughout the home. I like to see the positive affirmations when I wake up and when I go to sleep.
Mirrors are also a great place to stick your positive affirmations; I always have one on my mirror.
(3) Buy yourself a self-love reminder
You can purchase a more “permanent” art print or an item that reminds you of just how wonderful you are. I purchased a print that says: “I like you, and I love you.” I hung that picture in the bathroom so that I see it every day when I wake up. Learn more about Self-Love Reminders inside this post.
(4) Write them out
Another way to work with affirmations according to Louise Hay in You Can Heal Your Life is to write them down 10-20x a day.
Make sure you are present and intentional while writing out the affirmations.
(5) Create a vision board or a Pinterest board
You can create a vision board or a Pinterest board dedicated to the positive affirmations and results you are seeking.
Be sure to review these boards daily – preferably several times a day.
When I was working to pass the job test, I created a Pinterest board with quote graphics that supported my vision of what I wanted to do: pass the test.
Resources to help you get started with positive affirmations:
- Book: You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – If you are searching for a book on how to work with positive affirmations, look no further! This book is a great starting point to assist you in identifying the limiting beliefs that are present in your life – and in showing you how to change your thoughts by using positive affirmations to improve the quality of your life. The book can be found under inspirational reads on the page linked above.
- Tool: Affirmation Card Deck – Working with an affirmation card deck daily can be a great way to work with positive affirmations. The deck is a set of 30 affirmations cards and they are beautiful. The deck can be found under the “Mind” section on the page linked above.
Remember, we have the power to change our thoughts at any moment in time. Why not now?
Featured Photo Credit: Sara Monk
What are your favourite ways to work with affirmations? Let us know in the conversation below!
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