When you study personal growth, from Plato to Napoleon Hill, the common thread among spiritual development programs, religious teachers and inspirational coaches is the truth that today’s thoughts are tomorrow’s reality. When people think negative thoughts they develop a depressed outlook. To change to a positive outlook, the use of affirmations is recommended.
But what’s an affirmation? How do I create effective affirmations that will ring true to me? This three step plan will show you how to create affirmations that are true to you, and how to use for maximum effectiveness.
Affirmations are simple statements that state some fundamental truth about who you are as a person, or more importantly, who you want to be. The most effective affirmations are those that ring most true to your soul. They can be used to set a flag for you to strive towards, or they can be used to get you through rough patch of life.
Athletes rely upon them, pastors share them with parishioners, professional coaches depend on them, and successful people use them for motivation — and all of them do it, because they work. Here’s my three step Action Plan to develop and use affirmations that will make a difference in your life.
The starting point for all of growth is to determine where you are at, and where you want to be. In the world of personal development this means an inventory of your best traits, and a list of goals to strive for. When I’m working with my students we start with making two lists. Starting with the positive words used to describe ourselves: “I am Kind, Loving, Adorable, Devoted and Courageous.” The second list are the words that will describe ourselves our better self, these are the goals. “I am Reliable, Punctual, Attentive and Outgoing.”
Most people are not very clear on the meaning of the words they use to describe themselves so to master this, grab an old-school dictionary, and look up the words. Then handwrite out the definitions on a sheet of paper. This is crucial because the act of physically writing them helps to implant the meaning deep in our conscious and subconscious.
Often when people are doing this they find that the words they are using to describe themselves have deeper and more motivating value than they realized. By bringing clarity to the meaning, the impact of the words is increased.
The action part of this is to read the list to yourself each day in the morning and at night before bedtime. Read and recite the complete list of words and definitions to yourself in the mirror. It’s going to seem very awkward and weird at first. You will feel silly. You will think to yourself this is stupid, pointless and cannot possibly help you. Read anyways. That negative voice is nothing more than the self-sabotaging ego trying to control you, and keep you playing small in this world.
As the twice daily reading of the words and meanings becomes more embedded in your mind, you will find that during the day you’ll react differently to people, and in turn, they will treat you differently. AS your self-confidence grows, it will be easier to reach out to others and make a connection. As your self-image becomes more secure, you’ll see that life’s little slights which used to cause anger, are more easily shrugged off reducing your stress level. When you tell yourself twice a day that you are Kind, it becomes much harder to not be kind throughout the day. As you remind yourself that you are a punctual person, you’ll start being on time more, which will help your friendships and business relationships.
These three steps will give you a new view of yourself, and provide you with greater self-confidence, patience and a more optimistic outlook on life, which will lead to a happier, more fulfilled you.
Originally published at medium.com