We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat” to illustrate the relationship between the food we put into our bodies and the effect on our health. Consider the phrase, “You are what you think” the next time you compare your work performance to your coworker’s or berate yourself for skipping your morning workout.
The thoughts and words we repeat day in and day out are called affirmations. Affirmations can occur on a conscious or subconscious level. “I’m not good at math,” “I am a strong swimmer,” “I am a bad driver,“ and “I love music,” are examples of affirmations. Simply put, affirmations are repeated thoughts and words that we believe to be true about ourselves. Most of these “truths” are developed when we are very young and because our perceptions can be skewed at an early age, our affirmations may or may not be accurate.
According to VitalAffirmations.com, nearly 90% of our thoughts are negative. These negative affirmations can be more influential than positive affirmations because we often find them easier to believe. In fact, reciting negative messages becomes so routine that we begin to define ourselves by them. Keep in mind that the more a thought is repeated, the stronger it becomes. Affirmations can be very powerful once we believe them to be true; so powerful in fact that our thoughts create our reality. For example, If you have been repeating, “I wish I was organized” since your early teens, chances are that you believe so strongly you are disorganized that you have actually created a disorganized environment around you. Until you reprogram your thoughts to say, “I AM organized,” change will be extremely difficult. The good news is that negative affirmations can be reversed.
The practice of repeating positive affirmations is intended to replace negative thoughts and words so we believe we are deserving and capable of change. The process begins when we develop awareness of this negativity and choose to replace it with positive messages. Positive affirmations have the power to lift us up, motivate, and encourage while negative affirmations drag us down, discourage, and ultimately crush our spirit if we allow them to continue.
Time to get started! Think about what you want, and identify the aspects of your personal and professional life that you would like to improve. Now visualize what success and happiness looks like. Choose only positive words to state what you really want. For example, if you would like to lose 10 pounds, repeat, “I am losing weight” instead of "I am not fat." Using negative words takes us a step back by allowing us to picture images of what we do NOT want instead of what we do. In addition, our affirmations should be stated in the present tense. Here are a few examples to get you started:
- I have a lot of energy.
- I am calm and relaxed in every situation.
- I have a wonderful and satisfying job.
- I have the means to travel abroad, whenever I want to.
- I am successful in whatever I do.
- Loving myself heals my life. I nourish my mind, body and soul.
- I know that I deserve love and accept it now.
- I am the perfect weight for me.
- When I believe in myself, so do others.
- I am unique, special, creative and wonderful.
Choose affirmations that are brief and to the point so they will be easy to remember. Repeat them often and during a time when you are relaxed and free of anxiety, stress, or tension. The more often we state a positive affirmation, the stronger it becomes and the more likely for us to believe the new positive message and feel motivated for change.
Still don’t think words have this kind of power? Some wise sage, (Don’t ask me who. Nobody seems to know, since the following poem has been attributed to many different authors) said:
Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Now that you know you can change your life by changing your attitude, start this instant! Why settle for any less than positive words, thoughts, and experiences.
The Power of Affirmations by Remez Sasson
Jackie Lebeau Anderson, MS, RYT, is a continuing education provider for ACE, AEA and AFAA, a certification specialist for AFAA, a trainer for AEA, and holds certifications from ACE, AEA, AFAA, and is a registered yoga teacher through the school of YogaFit. To schedule a workshop or contact Jackie directly, please visit www.jlafitness.com.