Create Your Reality: The Power of Positive Affirmations
Positive thinking. It’s the basis of creating positive habits, relationships and having a overall positive and fulfilling experience of life. Yet many of us (myself included!) seem to make negativity the norm and positivity the exception. Why not start making positivity the default?
Perhaps the real question here is – how do we break free from negative thinking?
If you’re stuck in a negative rut or struggling with self-limiting thoughts, I’m here to introduce you to affirmations. If you’ve read my previous post, you’re probably aware that I recently began a 100 day challenge that includes practicing daily affirmations. I’ll admit that I had my hangups (is this just for hippies?) but I’ve really come to see affirmations in a different light.
Affirmations are simply a tool that you can use to shift your state of being and start creating positive momentum in your life. It’s about becoming more aware of your thoughts and re-aligning them with the vision that you have for yourself. By creating a clear intention of how you want to relate to the world around you, you are less likely to become swept up in situations and the emotions of those around you. By dropping un-resourceful, limiting thoughts, we create more space for growth.
Creating Positive Momentum: It all Starts with Your Thoughts
Our thoughts inevitably ripple outwards into our actions, our treatment of others and how we respond to challenges that come our way.
That is not to say we need to feel upbeat and positive all the time – in fact, ‘negative’ or uncomfortable emotions can be a powerful motivator for change! However, when you start catching yourself in a rut of negative, un-resourceful thinking it might be time to step back and re-evaluate.
Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
Whether we like it or not, our thinking really does influence our perception and interaction with the world around us. Affirmations are just one tool that we can use to realign our thoughts and actions, and to set a clear intention of who you want to be and how you want to relate to others.
How I’m Using Positive Affirmations to Transform My Thinking
For the past month I’ve been integrating affirmations into my daily routine – and it’s been quite the experience!
I won’t lie – at first I really was quite self-critical about the whole thing. Just the thought of speaking to myself made me cringe and I found myself coming up against a lot of resistance. Ordinarily, I probably would have become discouraged and quit, but in the nature of the challenge I stuck with it – and I’m glad I did.
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. – Henry David Thoreau
It’s only been a month now, so by no means am I an expert at this stuff. However, I can say that I do feel a subtle shift in my state of mind, and when I find negative thoughts popping up it is much easier to counter them with something more positive. It’s definitely not an overnight process and I’ll be the first to tell you that building new habits is hard. I’m convinced though, that some level of discomfort is required for personal growth. I’ll be interested to see where I’m at in a few months from now!
How To Write Affirmations
The process of writing positive affirmations involves identifying negative thoughts and then replacing them with more positive, helpful affirmations (that are also realistic!).
Start by becoming aware of negative thoughts as they surface. Ask yourself: are these thoughts resourceful or not? Do they motivate me to achieve something greater? Or do they limit me and keep me small? Do these thoughts serve me in becoming a better version of myself or creating the life I want?
Once you have identified a negative thought, follow it. Dig a little deeper. Why do you feel that way? What is the core belief from which that thought stems? Sometimes it is helpful to address the thought on a surface level, but it may also help to go deeper to the root of the problem. Take the time to delve into your fears and doubts. Are they rational or irrational? To make this easier, you might like to try journaling or mind-mapping your thoughts.
Now it’s a matter of coming up with affirmations that counter those negative thoughts or beliefs. Try to keep them positive, but also rational and realistic. We’re not trying to delude ourselves, but rather, create more empowering, useful thoughts.
The next step: say or read them everyday, with meaning! Let go of your self-conscious, critical mind and have fun with it. So what if you look silly? The only person standing in your way is yourself!
Do you practice positive affirmations? How have they made a difference in your life?