We have all heard the story of the The Little Engine that Could that made it over the mountain chanting “I think I can. I think I can.” It is the simplest version of an affirmation there is. Giving ourselves strength through thought.
Affirmations are a means to “affirm” or strengthen and implant a belief in your head. It is to believe that something is true or exists. If you think you have never used these, think about all those sayings your parents or teachers had you still remember. For example: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”
Some of those thought patterns can be positive or negative. They also run your life. No matter what kind of thought patterns you have, they determine what you do, what you think, how you feel about things and yourself. If you grew up in a negative home with emotional or physical abuse. You may have little trust in yourself. You may not believe that you deserve to be happy or have a good relationship or job.
Ok, so what. I got a bunch of junk in my head telling me I’m a bad person. Thanks a lot. That’s not really my point.
You have the power to change those thought patterns
How? By creating some positive affirmations that speak to you. You can come up with some positive messages that change the negatives and make it stick! It really can be done. I recently wrote up on my mirror in dry erase marker, my favorite place for affirmations, You deserve gratification. This is related to my post on pleasure vs gratification. I want to remind myself that my goals are life long, not immediate. I want happiness, not numbness.
When creating an affirmation, think of a reoccuring negative pattern in your life. Usually something you want to change, but don’t know how. What is behind that? Often it is because we don’t think we deserve to be happy or have good things. One of the most common ones I prescribe is I deserve happiness
Here’s the rules:
- Put is where you can see everyday, several times. Mirror, door, car.
- It needs to be positive. Don’t use: No, not, don’t, won’t, can’t shouldn’t, etc
- Present tense. I am, I can. no will, some day, in the future. TODAY!
- Be Specific. A good life, good relationship… too vague.
- Make it personal. Every affirmation starts with I
- Don’t use more than 3 at a time. It’s too much.
- Change one at a time when you think it sticks. NOT when it makes you mad, cause it’s working if it’s challenging your thinking.