That’s right. Talking to yourself and repeating messages you want your subconscious to absorb is a proven and certain way to help you rise above self-doubt and put you in the frame of mind you want to be in.
The Science of Affirmations
Affirmations are not for everybody and nor are they a magic bullet or cure-all. Affirmations work when we already know what we want to focus on. They are a way of allowing ourselves to target the area or areas on which we want to concentrate. An affirmation is a statement of intent, an announcement or reminder to yourself about the condition of yourself or your environment, “I use my time well”, for example.
According to Wikipedia “Affirmations … refers primarily to the practice of positive thinking – fostering a belief that “a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything.” More specifically an affirmation is a carefully formatted statement that should be repeated to one’s self and written down frequently. For an affirmation to be effective, it needs to be present tense, positive, personal and specific.”
So, Do They Work or Not?
Definitely. If you’re using the right affirmations for the right reasons and targeting the right results. I don’t believe that repeatedly telling yourself that you will amass a million dollars is going to achieve anything. Telling yourself that you deserve a Ferrari in your driveway seems equally unlikely to achieve much.
But reminding yourself that it’s important to you to continue trying to improve certain areas of your life is more likely to have lasting results. For example, “Development is a choice” reminds me that trying to improve myself is something I need to focus on every day.
One of the biggest problems we face in the world is the quick-fix mentality. We want results and we want them now. But there is no such thing as a lasting quick fix and this is another way in which affirmations are beneficial; they can help keep us focused on longer-range goals that require multiple steps over time. “We become what we think about” for example reminds me to stay positive in my outlook and to focus on the positive aspects of life around me. While it is not a specific aim or goal it stops me getting bogged down in the negative situations that come along every day and allows me to keep moving positively towards my ultimate goals.
My Favorite Affirmations
Some of my favorite affirmations are famous quotes with profound resonance. For example “They conquer, who believe they can” is a quote from the Roman poet Virgil. To me this quote is as powerful now as it must have been in 20 B.C.
Similarly, one of the many great Abraham Lincoln quotes: “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be” is easily personalized and one of my favorites. After all, how happy I am is ultimately up to me. Think about these two for a while and perhaps put them to use for yourself.
How Do I Get Started?
To start with, choose three and repeat them to yourself three times every morning and three times every night while looking in a mirror. I also keep one at a time written on a piece of paper about two inches by three tucked into the corner of my bathroom mirror so I see it several times a day and I rotate these every two weeks. I recommend you do this too. Here are my other favorites. Hopefully, this list will help set you on the way to coming up with your own favorites:
We become what we think about.
They conquer, who believe they can.
As you think, so shall you be.
Success is up to me.
Life is good.
Advice helps me succeed.
I love myself as I am.
I am happy and relaxed.
Development is a choice.
And finally, having spoken of quotes earlier, remember this one from the great 16th century poet Edmund Spenser: “It is the mind that maketh good or ill, that maketh wretch or happy, rich or poor.”
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