Updated: Aug 5, 2020
When trying to make a positive change in your life, did you know that you have one of the most powerful tools already available to you? Not only is it available right now, it’s completely free and easy to use. What is it, you ask? It’s your words!
The words you speak to yourself in your head and out loud hold amazing power. According to Psychology Today, affirmations are statements you say with confidence to yourself about something you perceive as true. There are two key words in that definition. They are confidence and true. Affirmations work best when the statement is said with confidence and as fact. Now what you are saying doesn’t have to be currently true. In fact, it probably won’t be. But that’s okay! What matters is that you say it to yourself as true. For example, “I wish I could lose weight one day”, is not a great affirmation. It puts the action into the future and makes it a vague probability that it might happen. It’s much better to say “I am losing weight, and I am healthy.” This statement speaks to present action.
The reason this works is that our subconscious doesn’t need something to be true for it to start believing it. When you read a book or watch a TV show, do you feel the emotions of the characters? That’s your subconscious believing something, even when it’s not real. Something sad happens in the season finale of a favorite show and you start to cry. Your subconscious is experiencing that sadness as real even though the characters are fictional. Affirmations can work the same way. You tell yourself over and over what you know to be true, regardless of the current reality, and eventually your subconscious believes it’s true. When your subconscious gets on board, your thoughts and actions start lining up with these beliefs. When you start taking action, change starts to happen and dreams start to come true.
According to psychologist Ronald Alexander, Ph.D., one powerful way to level up your affirmation game is to make sure you use affirmations that are the positive opposite of any negative beliefs you hold about yourself. Like if you notice when you fail to do something, you always say to yourself, “ugh, I’m so lazy”, take that and spin it to the positive. Start saying “I am highly motivated, and I always get stuff done.” Directly challenging your limiting beliefs with positive affirmations can help you move forward faster.
Once you’ve come up with positive affirmations to say, repeat them daily. You can do this all at once or over the course of the day. Some people like to repeat them in the morning while getting ready. Others like to post them somewhere they see them frequently, like a post-it note on your computer screen or your refrigerator. When they see it, then they repeat it. You could even set a reminder on your phone. There are no hard and fast rules. The important thing is to find what works for you. Only by regularly repeating the affirmations will they begin to work their magic.