When you hear someone mention the word "affirmations", what's your reaction?
- "Love them!! I've got mine off pat!"
- "I'm not sure I'm doing them right"
I'll be honest. Until I really got into this whole self-love, woo-woo kinda world a few years ago, I would have had the "Affir-what?" reaction. I had no clue what affirmations were... the concept of them hadn't even entered my life, never mind my head.
Now that I understand and appreciate the power of words, now that I understand the irrefutable connection between your words, beliefs and reality, I totally get the importance of positive self-talk when you want to create a life that you love.
I also believe there comes a time in our life when we're ready and open to new concepts and thoughts (new to us, that is) and when we're in that place, those new concepts and thoughts enter our consciousness. If you're reading this blogpost, I reckon you're in that place.
So I've decided today to guide you gently backwards from "Affir-what?" to "Love them!! I've got mine off pat!" and along our way we'll break through that dark cloud doubt of "I'm not sure I'm doing them right".
So, in the words of the adorable Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, "let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start".
What is an Affirmation?
An affirmation is a statement that focuses on something positive that you repeat regularly until your mind accepts it as the truth and begins to create a reality that supports that belief. It is connected to the practice of positive thinking which fosters the belief that "a positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything".
How do you Create a Great Affirmation... for YOU?
When creating and repeating an affirmation there are a few guidelines that I tend to follow:
Write it down. This might seem obvious and an unnecessary step to mention but a lot of people will say affirmations 'off the cuff'. The whole idea of affirmations is that you're repeating the same positive statement over and over again until your mind accepts it as the truth and you attract into your life exactly what your affirmation is focused on. And when you do write it down, you can change and adjust it until it feels and sounds just right, without forgetting parts of the affirmation as you go along. As you repeat your affirmation it'll soon become something that becomes lodged in your memory and before long you will no longer need to rely on what you've written. But when you first start, write it down and read it word for word every time you speak the affirmation.
Write in the present tense. Create your affirmation as if it is already true or has already been manifested. It can be really tempting when you create an affirmation that you write it in the future tense eg "I will be successful" but if you write your affirmation in the future tense, you'll only end up spending the rest of your days chasing the idea of being successful, for example, because you're basically saying "some day, I don't know when and not today, but someday I will be successful". What you want is to create your affirmation in the present tense. Because when you say something in the present tense, when you tell yourself that you are already, for example, successful your mind will do everything in its power to fulfill that statement. Also, when you state something positive to be true in the present tense, you raise your vibration and open yourself up to receive and find things in your life that do, indeed, make you feel successful already.
Start with “I am”. When you're describing what you want to have or experience, use the phrase "I am...". Avoid phrases like “I want” or “I need” as this only highlights that you have a want or need for what you’re asking for and therefore does not attract the high vibration that you wish to attract in an affirmation – want and need are connected to the low vibration of lack. “I am” affirms the feeling of already having what you want or need.
Write affirmations using positive words. Do not use any negative words, such as “debt” or “addicted”, or words like “not” as in “I am not…” as, similar to the point above, this will focus on what is missing and takes your vibration down to the lower vibration of lack. So, for example, rather than saying something like “I am debt-free” you’d be better to say something like “I am wealthy and prosperous”. Or instead of "I am losing weight", which will only encourage your body to go find the weight you lose and get it back, you could say something like "eating healthily comes easily to me".
Write something short and easy to remember and write with passion and feeling. If you write a whole saga for an affirmation, not only will you not be able to remember it off-pat (ideally, after a short while, you want to be able to repeat your affirmation without reading it off a piece of paper), you’ll run out of steam and passion before you even finish saying it.
Be yourself. Write what resonates with you. Write in the language that you use every day. There are a ton of affirmation examples on the internet but until you write your affirmations in your own language, using your own everyday words and expressions, the free affirmations you find will not fully resonate with you.
Don’t laser-in on the ‘how’. As in “how am I going to receive or achieve this?” You can be specific about what you want to achieve/receive in your affirmation but don’t be specific on how you are going to achieve this. Not only is this because writing an affirmation is not the same as writing a goal, but because you’re involving the energy of the Universe with whom you are co-creating, and the Universe will always know better than you how best to achieve/receive what you desire.
Show a little gratitude. The universe, the angels, whomever you are asking to bring your desire into fruition, love nothing more than a bit of gratitude and thankfulness. Think of it as being in a friendship. A friendship that is based on take, take, take without any kind of gratitude is not a friendship you would want to be part of for long. It’s the same when writing affirmations. Be grateful and thankful that what you wish to receive/achieve through your affirmation… and do so in the present tense.
Say it out loud. And, ideally, say it while making eye contact with yourself in a mirror. There's something truly special and extremely powerful about standing in front of your reflection, holding eye contact with the windows of your soul and repeating positive statements out loud. It creates a kind of accountability with yourself, it creates a feeling that things are being set in motion, it creates a powerful connection and energy, it creates an unwritten contract for your life. One of the modern pioneers of affirmations, the late great Louise Hay, believed that when you said your affirmations in front of the mirror it increased their potency. And I tend to agree with that. Now don't get me wrong, it'll probably feel uncomfortable, even stupid, at the start, but I encourage you to stick with it. Not only does it add potency to the positive affirmations you say whilst maintaining eye contact with yourself, but it's re-programming your brain positively. When we normally look at ourselves in the mirror our natural tendency is to criticise ourselves. When you stand in front of the mirror and repeat positive affirmations you're re-training your brain into believeing that saying positive and nice things to and about yourself is the better practice.
Example of an Affirmation
I mentioned above that you should create affirmations using your own wording and phrases, ones that reflect how you naturally speak, rather than looking in books or the internet for examples. So it might seem hypocritical that I'm now going to give you an example.
But the reason I'm doing this is so you can get the ball rolling, and gain some insight and inspiration into how easy it really is to create your own personal affirmations that feel right for you and which raise your energy and vibration when you say them out loud because they get you excited.
So whilst I'm sharing this example with you, I strongly encourage you to write your own because, believe me, they'll have a much stonger impact on you.
Before even writing the affirmation I want to focus on one specific area of my life which doesn't feel as positive as, perhaps, other areas; an area where I feel there's a 'problem', I'm struggling, or I'm out of alignment. A common area would be in relation to financial abundance.
Next I start to pull together an affirmation following my guidelines above. I want something that's short and easy to remember, that starts with "I am..", that's written in the present tense, that uses positive words, that's written in words I would use everyday, words that feel make me feel excited, and that's not focused on the "how". And, at the end, I want to include some form of gratitude or thankfulness.
So here's my example:
“I am wealthy and prosperous. Abundance flows easily to me every day in every way. I am grateful and thankful for my abundant life”
You see? Affirmations don't have to be long-winded and they don't have to sound super clever. In three very short sentences I've created an affirmation that feels right for me, that's easy to remember, and that'll raise my vibration as I repeat into the mirror.
Now... it's your turn.
Getting Caught Up in the Logistics
One last piece of advice before you get cracking. And that's about logistics. You might be thinking things like:
- how often should I say my affirmation during the day?
- how many days should I say my affirmation before I start to see results?
- what if I forget a day?
Did your mind go there? Did you start hearing questions like these flood your mind in panic? Now there's a word I want to highlight to you: "panic". Do you think panic attracts the same high and positive vibration as the vibration you want to create through your affirmation? Of course not. So panic has no place when it comes to affirmations.
What about the timing and consistency and how do you know if it's working? Here's the thing, we're all different. So I can't sit here and tell you that if you repeat your affirmation three times a day for 21 days that your life will suddenly change. First up, more than likely the changes will be subtle and your eyes and mind may not, initially, be open to see them. And secondly, how affirmations work for one person will be different to how they work for you. Indeed, how different affirmations work will be different too. All I can encourage you to do is to stick with it and be consistent. And if you forget a day every now and then, pick things up where you left off the next day without beating yourself up (after all, affirmations are all about being positive and not criticising or chastising yourself).
Are you now ready to bring some positivity into your life?