Last week I shared a post about the power of affirmations. Today, as promised I’ll explore writing affirmations that work for you! But first, a brief recap of what affirmations are.
Affirmations are statements of belief (positive or negative), that influence our subconscious mind. They are a form of auto-suggestion, and when practiced deliberately and repeatedly, they reinforce chemical pathways in the brain, strengthening neural connections. When using conscious and positive affirmations in your daily routine, you are helping to reprogram the mind to be more in alignment with what you want in your life. The more the affirmation is repeated, the more your subconscious mind is being programmed to believe the thought as truth.
The only difference between our thoughts and our beliefs, is our beliefs are thoughts we have convinced ourselves to be true.
Words have the power to build or destroy. I’m sure you can remember being told by a teacher that you were clumsy or a sibling telling you your shoulders were too broad. These statements can stay with you long after, becoming deeply held beliefs. But remember, words work both ways. We can build self esteem, confidence and acceptance through positive, compassionate statements. Affirmations work because they have the ability to program your mind into believing the stated concept.
These days with the internet and social media we are inundated with affirmations to choose from. You many have even tried some and found that didn’t work for you. That is because we are all unique individuals and affirmations are incredibly personal. These affirmations can be a great foundation or starting point but ultimately if the words used don’t resonate with you they simply won’t work. You have to create your own, that speak to your own heart, your own values and your own desires. So here are my guidelines to writing affirmations that are powerful and effective for YOU!
1. Pinpoint the Negative Belief
If you want to create real change in your life, your affirmations need to be personal and target the beliefs and areas of your life that you want to change. There’s no point just repeating a bunch of statements that hold no relevance to you – they have to be personal. So the first step is to dig deep into your mind and heart and pinpoint the beliefs, the fears, the thoughts that are holding you back or no longer serve you. What is the negative thought you are currently affirming to yourself?
2.Write Your Affirmation Based on the Belief You Want to Change
From the belief you pinpointed above, write an affirmation on the positive aspect of your self judgement. I might be flipping the thought around to be positive, more compassionate, or it might require playing around with words, perhaps using a thesaurus or a friend for inspiration. This is your time to get creative, so find a word or a phrase that resonates with you. The words should fill you with joy and excitement.
3. Use the Present Tense
Writing affirmations in the present tense is essential to their success. Your brain doesn’t work in the future or in the past; it always operates in the present tense. We cannot feel stimuli and emotions in the future or in the past. We can only remember or predict how we will feel. Start your affirmations with “I am”, “I have”, or “I can”, speaking as if it is happening right now. Phrases such as “I will” or “I want” are not effective as you are always affirming for things to change in the future, not right now. It comes from a place of lack.
4. Use Positive and Supportive Language
Avoid words such as “not”, “won’t”, “don’t”. This is because negative words, even if they are in a positive context, reinforce our negative emotions. Take for instance, “I am not a loser“. We hear the statement and may understand it, but our subconscious is different. It only hears the term “loser” and thus activates the corresponding neuronal connections in our brain for this command. The result: We feel like a loser.
Again, there is no point repeating an affirmation that is so unrealistic or out of this world that you yourself don’t even believe it. This is often why affirmations don’t work. If you don’t take it seriously your subconscious mind will just dismiss it. This doesn’t mean that you have to believe it to be true right now, but that it is realistic and achievable. Affirmations are truly powerful sets of words as long as you believe what you’re telling yourself.
6. Keep them Short
Affirmations are meant to be short, simple and sweet. In this way you can call upon them to repeat like a mantra throughout your day. I have always found short, punchy affirmations to be more powerful and direct. When they become too long they are often filled with wishy washy wants and don’t have quite the same impact. For instance, “I am courageous”, “I am safe”, “I am loved”.
7. Challenge Yourself
Affirmations are profoundly affecting the physiology of the mind and our lives; they are not meant to be easy or comfortable. Let your affirmation take you to the edge of your comfort zone, for it is here that the most effective work and growth will take place. You know the affirmations are working when the words no longer have the same affect on you.
So what are you waiting for – start writing affirmations today! And the final part of the series, we’ll look at how to use affirmations effectively to create the changes you wish.
Join Our Newsletter
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.