How to Use Affirmations (and Why You Should!)
It seems like everyone and their cousin is using affirmations these days. I bet you've seen people mention affirmations and perhaps wondered what the heck they are. Or maybe you've even wondered how to use affirmations and why you should. If you have, look no further, I've got you covered!
So, what is an affirmation?
An affirmation is a positive statement that you can use to motivate yourself, boost your confidence, or even stimulate your creativity. Affirmations are generally present-tense statements. This means that they are great tools for focusing on your success in a certain area and can help to combat negative self-talk or low self-esteem. They can also be used to aid in visualization techniques and meditation.
Remember when you were a kid and Thomas would say, "I think I can, I think I can,"? That, essentially, was an affirmation. It was a positive statement that Thomas repeated to himself for motivation to chug up that hill. And he always made it up the hill!
There have been studies that show affirmations can boost confidence and even combat depression. Many people swear by affirmations and use them daily to help them set intentions or achieve their goals.
How do affirmations work?
The key to using affirmations is to keep them positive! Our thoughts can be self-fulfilling, this is why it is so important to have a positive mindset. If you are constantly bombarding yourself with negative thoughts, how can you expect to succeed?
Here's an example: Amy and Erica are both applying for the same job. Erica has a couple years of experience but lacks self confidence. She doesn't feel good about her interview outfit and worries she won't get the job because she doesn't think she deserves it.
Amy is a recent grad who is excited about this opportunity and feels good about her new degree. She knows she has the drive to nail the interview and has big plans for this position.
Who do you think will get the job? Excited Amy or Erica with little self esteem? I am willing to bet Amy would be offered the hypothetical position because she believed in herself. She had positive thoughts going into the interview and undoubtedly radiated confidence!
If you find yourself in Erica's position, using affirmations may help you give yourself the credit you deserve. Because trust me, you are so worth that credit. Let's work on boosting your positivity with some affirmations so that you can radiate confidence too!
How to use affirmations
Throughout the day, you can repeat affirmations to yourself as you find you need a boost. You are bound to have a few moments of self doubt or negative thoughts here and there. Use these moments to step away and repeat your affirmations to yourself.
Don't worry, It doesn't have to be out loud if you don't feel comfortable saying it in a public bathroom (I feel ya!), or in front of your coworkers. Just close your eyes, try to tune out the chaos around you, and repeat your affirmation to yourself. You might even want to stand in front of the mirror while you do this.
Saying your affirmations aloud in front of a mirror can be a very powerful experience. I highly recommend you try it. By affirming yourself eye-to-eye you can confront anything that might be standing in your way.
Your biggest obstacle is most likely yourself, so stop holding back.
It may feel silly to repeat statements to yourself throughout the day, but this is a process of building positivity in your mind. This is homework for the soul. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but that just means you're doing something right!
WARNING! TOUGH LOVE AHEAD!
Most importantly, don't be ashamed of taking a few moments away to center yourself. I mean it, don't think for one second that you don't deserve to keep your wellness at the top of your priorities list. If you are the type of person who feels too busy to take care of themselves, you need to re-think your priorities. Focusing on your well-being and crafting a positive mindset for yourself should be number one, friend. Go read these posts: Setting Healthy Goals // Developing a Killer Morning Routine. Then, schedule in time to take care of yourself during your new morning routine and focus on those goals! Make yourself your number one priority. If this is something you have difficulty with, consider using something like "I make my wellness a priority and have time to devote to myself" as an affirmation.
I also recommend writing your own affirmations so that they are more meaningful to you. Write your affirmations down and post them somewhere you will see them often. Your refrigerator, mirror, or desk are great options! Keep a copy of them in your wallet, on your phone, or even as your desktop background for a quick reminder.
By acknowledging your affirmations often, you will solidify them in your mind. Like I said earlier, our thoughts can be self-fulfilling. This means that every time you read your positive affirmations, you are cementing that positivity in your mind, thus altering your point of view.
Tips for writing affirmations
- Keep your affirmations positive and present-tense.
- Keep them short and clear.
- Make it personal, use first-person statements.
- Use them to help you achieve a goal.
For example, "I radiate confidence!" is a fantastic affirmation. It is short, positive and clear. It is also phrased as a present-tense statement in the first-person. When you encounter negative self-talk, you can look in the mirror and repeat the phrase to get you closer to your goal of higher self-esteem.
These factors are important to consider when writing your own affirmations. You don't want to just pick an affirmation because it sounds good or you think you should adopt it. Pick an affirmation that means something to you and will help you achieve your goals.
Stay tuned for an affirmations workbook and planner in the shop (coming soon)!