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What are affirmations?

Affirmations are little sayings that you tell yourself daily. You can think them, say them aloud, write them down or all three. You are what you think. Your perception of yourself, your capabilities, your goals, desires, likes, dislikes are all in our mind. We are only limited by our imagination.

Think about people who are disabled, have lost limbs, people who are told they will never amount to anything, yet they accomplish incredible feats that are seemingly impossible. They decided that they were in charge of their reality.

Your thoughts are so important because you are always listening to them. It’s important to observe them, become aware of your thoughts so that you can choose whether or not they are up to par. If they are then you’re ahead of the game. If they’re not then you can change them.

This isn’t a one time event. It’s an every day, every moment task. But don’t worry, it sounds like a lot of work but like anything, it’s hard until it’s easy. Initially it will require more effort but as time goes on, you’ll have developed this mental muscle and it will eventually become second nature.

Take a look at a couple of highly successful people in our history. What do they have in common?

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” 

-Oprah Winfrey

Oprah broadcast her first show in 1986. She has interviewed over 37,000 people on the Oprah Winfrey Show from movie stars to presidents and her main takeaway was that every person wants to be seen and heard. She made the consious decion to be mindful with every encounter. “I practice this thing called mindfulness every day, which means really just staying present in the moment,” Winfrey said (7).

“You can get everything you want in life if you will just help other people get what they want.”

-Zig Ziglar

Zig Ziglar taught affirmations but he didn’t call it that. He said that he was, “telling the truth in advance.” Zig Ziglar was one of the first modern day motivational speakers. He’s written 16 books which include topics to improve sales, mindset, goal setting, achieving financial, personal and professional goals. Everything he wrote and spoke about had to do with mindset and belief in yourself.

I’ve come to realize that everyone is saying the same thing. This is great news. If all of the highly successful people are giving us the same message then that must mean that it works. They are just offering the information from their unique perspective.

It’s like if there were 100 people watching a sunset from the exact same location and they each were asked to describe what they saw. Everyone is speaking about the same event but the person’s experiences, personality and perspective will all color the way in which they present the story.

They understand the power of their thoughts. They don’t leave it up to chance. They decide what they want, how they think, they are not powerless. They make decisions every day that takes them closer to their life goals.

“Whether You Think You Can Or Think You Can't, You Are Right.” -Henry Ford

Be kind to yourself

Here is more of the same. We’ve all heard that the grass is greener on the other side. What about, the grass is greener where you water it. This is just another way of saying that where you choose to place your focus is what will grow. Many times our brains are hijacked by our minds. It’s time that we recognize this phenomenon to stop the chaos.

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“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”


How do affirmations work?

Affirmations are a form of feeding your mind positive thoughts and beliefs. With consistency, we eventually start to believe these affirmations as truths rather than the B.S. thoughts that keep us from achieving our goals and living the life we want. Many times we have some sort of negative tape playing in the background.

This can be the reason for our lack of success, sadness, or current situation. Take a second and think about your number one negative thought. Ever have an idea or a goal but it never comes to fruition? Let’s take a couple of common goals: I want to get in shape or I want to save money. But then you think, “I don’t have time” or “I don’t make enough to save”.

Your turn

Write down any negative thoughts or mental chatter that is in your mind.

You choose

It’s up to you to choose whether or not you allow the negative feedback to run rampant. Or you can decide what you will think. You can change your beliefs at your core by noticing your thoughts, releasing any judgement and choosing a different thought. It’s that simple. It takes consistent deliberate action. Otherwise the old system will override the new system. At first it will be hard. The more you do it, the easier it becomes until you don’t have to put forth much effort at all. It will become second nature and you will have evolved into the person you desire to embody.

The most decisive event in your life is when you discover you are not your thoughts or emotions. Instead you can be present at the awareness behind the thoughts and emotions.”

-Eckhart Tolle

Which affirmation should I choose?

Not sure where to start? Try this method, scan your body. Have any chronic issues, body pains, anxiety, guilt? Whatever your physical symptom, there is an underlying mental or emotional cause linked to the physical manifestation. I am not saying that by telling yourself a positive statement that you will magically cure your ailment but I am saying that it’s part of the solution. Even if it doesn’t logically make sense, what’s the harm in feeding your mind niceties?

Louise Hay wrote a book called Heal Your Body. It’s basically a reference book where you look up your symptom and there’s an affirmation to accompany it.

Louise Hay books

Louise Hay is the founder of Hay House Publishing. She is the queen when it comes to affirmations. She wrote the books, You Can Heal Your Life and Heal Your Body. If you want a little taste, here are two free hours of You Can Heal Your Life.

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Amazon Prime

Your affirmations

Write down the associated affirmation for each negative thought or belief.

Your affirmation card

Once you have selected a few affirmations that resonate with you, write them down. You are bringing thought into physical form. You are speaking your truth into existence. Your words hold power. Lovingly choose what you say to yourself.


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Believe it to see it

Affirm what you know to be true. Don’t waste your time trying to convince yourself of something you don’t believe at gut level. Make it easy. State obvious truths like, “It’s possible to accomplish this task. This has been done before. It’s possible for me to do it too. I don’t have to know how, or when, or all of the details right now. It’s enough to know that it’s possible.”

This softens your doubt. Opens your mind to opportunities.

What is mirror work?

Mirror work is looking yourself directly in the eye as you speak you truth. It’s like looking at your future self. It can be quite uncomfortable. Especially if you are saying something to yourself that your protective ego does not yet believe. 

When saying your affirmation, notice the feeling you get in your body. It can be your stomach, your heart or chest or anywhere else. Do you laugh at yourself? Rather than roll your eyes or judge your reaction to the work you’re doing, let it be. Just take notice. Write it down and forget about it. Let it go. Come back again tomorrow. This is the practice. Over time, see if there is a shift within or towards yourself. A kindness. A letting go of your judgements, of expectation, of wanting control.

Now the fun begins. Find a mirror, stand in front of it and look yourself directly in the eye, smile and say your affirmations to yourself. Speak them with fire in your belly. Speak them with intention. Remember to get into character if this is too difficult. It’s completely normal to cry during this part. It’s almost like your body is releasing all of this anger and pent up negative emotion from listening to all of the chatter for so long. 

By taking a stance and choosing what you will say to yourself, and how you will speak to yourself, you’re overwriting the current system. you are doing a big reset. You should feel lighter when you’re done and maybe a little tired or emotionally drained at the end of the day. Be sure to stay hydrated. This is a form of energy work that you’re performing on yourself. It’s like the first time you work out. You’re going to be pretty sore initially and tired. But if you keep up with it then you start feeling energized, stronger, and you wonder how you were living life without working out before. So this is not a one time event or a quick fix. This is a process and a life habit. It will change or evolve as you grow.

Record yourself

Another way is to record yourself saying your affirmations. You’ll treat this like your mirror and do it every day. This way you can keep track of what’s happening in your life. You’ll be able to see your own facial expressions, your body language and the sound of your voice as you progress with the practice daily. After a week you may see a slight difference or you may not. 

After a month, you should see a noticeable positive shift in your demeanor. We are promoting self love; learning to be kind to ourselves. There is a mountain of evidence that supports the importance of mood, mindset on our mental health and happiness.

Have you ever seen the Cancer Treatment Centers for America commercial (No affiliation)? They provide integrative care that cares for the whole patient. A team of doctors such as an oncologist, surgeon, and nutritionist, work together to provide the best care for the patient.

They also offer spiritual and meditation services to nurture the overall mental, emotional and spiritual health when combating cancer. Stress wreaks havoc on the body. Meditation and mindfulness have been found to reduce stress. Lower stress levels allows the body to rejuvenate. 

If wholistic care is used for the very sick, why not use it when we are healthy?  Why not live like that now? 

Your thoughts matter

Your thoughts shape your mind. Your thoughts create connections, reinforce behaviors and strengthen habits. Neurons that fire together, wire together (6). This is why it is important to be aware of your thoughts. Mindfulness is a practice to help with this. Your brain is plastic, moldable, able to change. It matters what you think. Your mindset is very powerful. It’s important that you continue to adjust you mindset when challenging times arise. This is not always easy. It does have an effect on you, the people around you and your situation.

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Famous people who use affirmations

You may be surprised to learn which famous people believe in the power of positive thinking.

Is it possible to change?

Yes it is but you must take a look and decide for yourself. What it is that happens to a person when they decide to lose 100 pounds, get healthy and completely transform their bodies? How does this happen?

It doesn’t happen over night. They experience a mental shift. They decide that they aren’t happy with their current state, have a mental picture of their future self and take steps to make it a reality. They imagine themselves fit, healthy, happy, devise a plan and take action.

One affirmation they may use is, “I can do it.” Your affirmation can be any positive thought, statement or believe that you tell yourself over and over again until it becomes your reality.

exercise decision tree

Jogging Decision Tree: incorporating affirmations will help you achieve your goals faster. Take a look at the transform app by Heidi Powell and her partner Chris Powell who have helped countless people achieve health and wellness.

The impossible is possible

Did you know that before 1954, it was considered that running a sub-four minute mile was impossible? On May 6th, 1954 Roger Bannister broke that record of three minutes, fifty-nine and four-tenths of a second. 46 days later John Landy, an Australian runner ran a 3 minutes 58 seconds mile (1). Since then, over 1400 male runners have broken the four minute mark (2).

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Roger Bannister breaks 4 minute mile in 1954

How did he accomplish this? He had to believe that it was possible in order for him to push the limits and make it a reality. This belief propelled him forward, pushed him to train hard, keep going even when everyone said it was impossible, or that it never had be done before. Once he accomplished this seemingly impossible task, others followed in his footsteps shortly after.
This is just one example. There are many more in the world such as airplanes, space flight, the internet. Imagine what will be in the next 15 years. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

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