Affirmations are tools that many people from wide array of disciplines use to shift negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones. Admittedly, I haven’t always been a strong proponent of affirmations. In fact, I was skeptical. How could simply saying something make it so?
The key, I’ve since learned, is that effective affirmations are not merely positive words we repeat to ourselves. The most powerful affirmations encapsulate a budding belief that we want to nourish and grow. When we focus energy and attention on that tender belief, we strengthen it. We remind ourselves again and again of a truth that’s in our hearts. This can be particularly helpful in grounding us when circumstances and critical voices (both inside and out) make it hard for us to believe.
Tips on How to Write an Affirmation
1. Write the affirmation yourself.
Affirmations that stem from your own life and that are in your own voice tend to have the strongest impact. Of course, if you read an affirmation that someone else has written and you feel yourself simply vibrating with resonance, it is for you.
2. Respond to Your Inner Critic
In The Artist’s Way at Work, Julia Cameron, Mark Bryan and Catherine A. Allen recommend creating affirmations in direct response to your inner critic’s voice. For example, if you are thinking of auditioning for the lead in a play and your gremlin says, “Who the heck do you think you are?” Your affirmation might be “I am a talented woman who shines on the stage.” Every time that critic comes up with something, let it work for you in the form of an affirmation!
3. Trust what speaks to you.
It’s generally recommended that affirmations be short and sweet. There is power in precision. But, as always, choose what has impact for you. If “I am magnificent” doesn’t have as much oomph as “I am a magnificent goddess of creation blessed by the universe with a plethora of talents,” then go for the gusto!
4. Keep it positive.
Phrase your affirmations in the positive. Instead of “I no longer procrastinate” try, “I get things done!”
5. Look for proof.
TTake the time to notice every time life confirms your affirmation. For example, if you’ve been saying, ‘I get things done,” notice when you do and and turn that affirmation into a celebration. You made that phone call? “i get things done!” You hit publish on that blog post? “I get things done!” You’ll be building that confidence muscle in no time!
For a powerful spin on the affirmation, surround yourself with loving, encouraging statements that others have said to you about you. I keep this treasure on my bulletin board. Every time I look at it, it’s an affirmation from my mom.
I’d love to hear the affirmations that you come up with. And if you’d like some free downloadable affirmation cards to get you started, please help yourself here.