What are Affirmations?
Essentially, affirmations are statements said with confidence about a perceived truth. Affirmations can be either negative or positive. Let’s begin with negative affirmations first, because they may block or limit your successes, without you even realizing it. The more you understand about negative statements, the easier it will be to identify, counteract, and overcome them with positive belief statements or affirmations, and other tools.
You have experienced positive and negative affirmations. But you may vividly remember a negative statement that hurt your feelings or made you feel bad about yourself. This is the case with most negative statements. They tend to include negative words such as don’t, won’t, am not, can’t, shouldn’t, and never, among others.
With a negative statement, you probably feel a strong emotion such as fear, anger, pain, sadness, worthlessness, etc. Even when a statement is inaccurate or untrue, a part of you still remembers how it made/makes you feel and automatically accepts the statement as being true or possible, on some level.
Because strong emotions are linked to negative statements, the memories and effects are likely to stick with you and nullify or override positive statements. As an adult, you may discover that negative statements, made during your childhood, still affect how you see yourself and others.
No matter what part of your life you want to change, positive affirmations can help you achieve your goals. However, there are no quick fixes, so don’t expect any. Changing your thoughts, beliefs, habits, and parts of your life take time. If something is deeply engrained, it may take longer and more effort to achieve your goal. But, positive affirmations can support and enhance your progress from the first day by helping you…
Develop a positive outlook,
Broaden your opportunities,
Counteract negative statements,
Focus on and achieve healthy goals,
Increase your confidence,
See yourself as a beautiful person,
Change unhealthy behaviors,
Take control of your life,
Respect and love yourself,
Modify your thought patterns,
Persevere to make progress,
Motivate yourself to take action, and so much more.
Affirmations come from two main sources – other people and yourself. If you grew up with negativity in your home or around critical people, you may still internally hear negative statements leftover from those days. In fact, when you make a mistake now, you may be tempted to repeat the old, familiar, negative affirmation in your self-talk. If that happens, you have the power to overwrite the negative statements with positives and replace the negative feelings with self-love and acceptance.
If you grew up in a home with acceptance and encouragement, or around positive people, you probably heard less negativity. But, no matter how loving or positive people are, blunt, unguarded, and thoughtless words can slip out, hurting and discouraging someone.
While the frequency of negative statements does make a difference in how deeply something is engrained, even one instance can do a great deal of damage. The good news is that the negative effects don’t have to last a lifetime or affect people you care about. You can overcome them and heal from the inside out, using the same strategy mentioned earlier – overwriting and replacing.
The positive affirmations that you use to make changes and accomplish your goals are simply statements that apply specifically to you and that you believe to be true. Ideally, you design and create your own personalized affirmations based on your needs and goals. These should be carefully worded to help you create change, within yourself.
It’s very important that you say what you mean and mean what you say, when it comes to using positive affirmations. If you don’t believe a statement is true, don’t use it, as-is. The affirmations you choose or create should confirm and/or reaffirm something positive about yourself and/or your situation. This is especially true in the beginning stages or if you have low self-esteem.
If you do have low self-esteem or self-worth, the affirmations are important to your progress. However, what’s even more important is your ability to accept and respect yourself enough to be totally honest with yourself about how you feel and what you think. This isn’t about saying or doing things that please others. This is about you doing what’s needed to become the best person you can be and what it takes to make the changes needed to achieve your goals.
Here are several examples of basic affirmations as well as an altered version to make them believable and acceptable to the user. We’ll go into more detail about writing and personalizing your own affirmations a bit later. However, these give you an idea of what affirmations are.
I am a successful businessperson. – If you don’t believe that you are a successful businessperson, state something similar that you do believe such as, “I am learning to build a successful business.”
I am filled with joy and happiness. – If you have difficulty believing this, alter the affirmation to something you believe is true like, “I am happier when I smile frequently.”
My work is very satisfying. – If you don’t believe this, try altering it to something similar that you do believe such as, “My work is meaningful to me.”
Among the general public, there is some confusion about positive affirmations. In particular, the confusion involves how affirmations should be written or phrased and how to use affirmations to get the most benefit. For more details on how to write and say affirmations, visit our post at http://positivitytrail.com/how-to-write-and-say-affirmations/