Affirmations-The Comprehensive Guide

What are Affirmations?

The use of affirmations can drastically change your life. Do you know that your mind is an immensely powerful tool? Your actions and words are a clear reflection of what your mind is focused on. If you are having a good day, then it means your mind is positively charged, while a bad day can tell you and others there are negative forces influencing it.

So, is there something that can nudge our minds toward positive energy? That will impress our attitude in a positive way that is within our control.

Yes, our brains are strongly influenced by the physical and mental affirmations it receives that give it confirmation that what it is thinking is correct. Our brain thrives on affirmations that it receives either from ourselves or from others. It will even perceive affirmations from totally unrelated occurrences if left to its own misgivings.

You might ask what are affiliations? Then, you may want to know what power do they have to change our lives in a positive way?

Affirmation Defined:

Affirmations are empowering things we say to ourselves that if done consistently will sink into our subconscious and become beliefs. By creating and reciting specific affirmations daily, you can change the focus of your mind and attention. We are more likely to see and recognize things that we are focused on around us. That means we are more likely to see what we are looking for, so we should decide carefully-what we want to find.

Affirmations repeated often, especially when you are feeling less than optimum, will stop sounding foreign and become comforting. You simply need to read them each morning, or even multiple times a day. My favorite way to use affirmations is to record yourself reading them in the memo app on your phone. That way you can hear them read aloud to yourself in your own voice. This can replace the harsh little critical voice you may have in your head now. Doing this will cause a subtle change in your habits, point of view, and behavior.

By gradually allowing these tiny chunks of positivity to embed themselves in your mind and life, you take control. You can conquer your old limiting beliefs and attract to you that which you truly desire.

The Meaning Behind Affirmations:

The meaning of the word “Affirmation” is to “affirm a belief”. The verb “affirm” means to “state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.” Affirmations or positive statements are not a lie; they are just a sugar-coated version of reality. It states what we believe to be true or in some cases what we want to be true. By replacing negative beliefs about ourselves with positive affirmations, we can change what we believe is true about ourselves, our life, and our world.

I do not intend to bore you here with studies and figures. While those are things I enjoy, I assume you do not, and probably just want answers to help you be happier and more successful. But it is true that the vast majority of people (nearly 95%) are not satisfied with their lot in life. They do not feel as successful or confident as they would like. This is primarily because they are being held captive by binding/limiting beliefs. Those beliefs can be replaced or removed in several ways, one of which is using positive affirmations.

Using a single affirmation for only a month or two will bring lasting change your life. According to a recent study, close to 80% of our subconscious thoughts are guarded by negativity. This is because our minds want to keep us from future harm or injury. Many of our beliefs are created and solidly in place by the age of seven. Long before we have the mental capacity to fully understand circumstances that established them.

It stands to reason that the beliefs than thoughts that helped us survive early in life are not the same ones needed to thrive as prosperous adults. Fortunately, we know how to identify, remove, and replace them now.

Affirmations – A Brief History

The history of affirmation use dates back into ancient times. It is not just another “fad” concept. The use of positive affirmations can be traced back as early as the Vedic Period (about 1500 to 1000 B.C.) People have been experiencing the power of using positive affirmations long before they could be validated by empirical evidence. The mountain of evidence that supports the use of positive affirmations is continually growing.

It is believed that Eastern societies used affirmations first and they moved across civilizations as a mighty wind. The greater Indian region could not help but incorporate it. The Sanskrit word “Mantra” means a tool for the mind to think in the state of absolute stillness and isolation.

But what does Mantra have to do with affirmations?

Well, there are many ancient Mantras that relate directly to spirituality and the serenity of your body and mind. This is what affirmation is all about. These Mantras bring a positive vibe or energy to your state of being. While this may be difficult to fully accept or understand, it has many devout believers.

The same is true with the use of affirmations. You do not need to fully understand them to implement them in your life. If you read over a list of sample affirmations for an understanding of what they are. You will feel that most of the affirmations were written specifically for you – as if the writer knew what you are dealing with or going through.

Many modern-day affirmation enthusiasts can be found sharing their favorites in social media posts or on tee-shirts. But the real power is when they are used as tools to improve the state and energy of your mind, which is typically a personal and private exercise.

Benefits of Affirmations:

Anyway, we should take a moment and talk about some quick benefits of using affirmations daily.

Causes Smiles:

Our happiness is vital. We cannot thrive without it. Even our physical bodies need happiness for optimum functionality. When we are happy, our brains are flooded with serotonin, that flushes away cortisol which is the stress hormone. That in turn enhances our health and longevity. Affirmations help you to replace the outmoded beliefs that are keeping you from being happy or successful as you could be.

Once you identify what stops you from smiling, you can change the negative thought by replacing it with a positive affirmation. It may take several repetitions before it stops making you feel awkward or uncomfortable saying it. But the more difficult it is to say, the larger the limiting belief is and the more you need to replace it. If you need assistance working on identifying or removing the emotional weight of your limiting beliefs before you begin using positive affirmations, you may want to do my free 3-day workshop. Find it here in my Facebook Group The Bindless Mindset!

Seeing Through Things:

When we are angry, sad, or frustrated, we often forget to see through things. I mean we cannot see past the obvious and find the hidden beauty or treasures inside the hardship. We often get distracted by life and forget look deeper and notice the smaller details. That is when affirmations can help.

Positive affirmations will help you remember the small things in life that matter. You still experience bad, aggravating, and disappointing things. But you become able to pull yourself out of the emotional whirlwind. So that you can see the experience as an event that is happening around you rather than consuming you.

Better Quality of Life:

Practicing positive affirmations daily will eventually change your perspective about life. You will have a more positive approach towards living your daily life. You will be more able to recognize that life is much more than simply existing; it’s about living and sharing experiences with loved ones.

Too often we unknowingly use negative affirmations. A negative affirmation such as “I’m always lazy” or “I’m too anti-social and introverted” will keep you from experiencing success. When you become aware of the power of your own words, you will begin to catch yourself talking negatively toward yourself. Be sure to acknowledge that the negative affirmation served you when it was needed, but it now no longer applies, and then replace it with a positive one. Such as “I may be slow to start, but I always get things done!” until you can replace it with a better one such as “I am a deeply motivated and unstoppable go-getter!

Increased Confidence:

Your confidence and self-esteem are highly dependent on how you see yourself. If your beliefs are all based on the view of the world you had as a seven-year-old, you may be suffering from a diminished self-esteem or suppressed confidence because of misunderstood responses you received as a child. If you had a bad experience speaking in front of others when you were young, you may still experience anxiety when learning you must speak in front of people.

It is fortunate that we live in a time where people are much more accepting of others. However, we still have trouble accepting ourselves. We can replace old beliefs that are suppressing our confidence and live as our true selves. I always say suppressed confidence on purpose. I do not believe anyone has no or low confidence, it is simply suppressed. When you learn to release it, rather than think you must build it, you  can experience greater joy in being yourself.

For more on un-suppressing confidence, be sure to join my Facebook Group “The Bindless Mindset”!

Deeper Relationships:

Yes, you can have deeper relationships if you take the time and effort to affirm that you are worthy of love, care, and respect. We often think we are not enough. But the truth is we are not just enough, we are innately perfect. We simply polish ourselves up and allow ourselves to shine.

We often blame ourselves for our past broken relationships. This is problematic because it often keeps us from fully experiencing the present due to feelings of guilt. We must acknowledge that the past happened, it has gone, and we have learned what we needed from it.

Regardless of the type of relationship, whether a friendship or a romantic relationship; you deserve the ability to be yourself and experience the other person as their true self. Leave the baggage of old relationships in the past by affirming to yourself that you are worthy of friendship and love. Do not waste energy thinking about “what could have been but wasn’t”, rather spend your time and thoughts thinking about “what can be”.

Examples of Affirmations:

We have talked about the definition, origin, and benefits of affirmations. But I think we should dive into some examples with explanations to be sure you understand them better.

I Matter…

It is extremely important for you to recognize the FACT that you matter. When a child grows up in an unsupportive household, they can find themselves being ignored by everyone. Feeling as though no one wants to hear their opinions. As they grow older, they can begin to believe that their existence or opinions do not matter to the world.

This, although all too common, is DEAD wrong. It is a sad circumstance and result of the misunderstanding of a child’s mind. Luckily, we can rewrite the faulty beliefs that lead to feeling as though one does not matter.

You can start with a seemingly simple affirmation… “I Matter.” When you regularly chant this slogan, you are validating yourself and altering the emotions that you’ve been holding for so long. You will also learn that everyone is different, and you get to choose who you want to spend time with. You will find people who recognize that you are unique and wonderful and that you matter. But not until you yourself know those things to be true.

This Too Will Pass:

Life is often cruel. We never know when the next tragedy is going to happen. But rest assured we cannot control what happens, we can however, control our reaction to it. Reactions often feel automatic and beyond our control. But the truth is they are actions controlled by our unconscious beliefs. So when we identify and replace the beliefs that no longer serve us, we can control our reactions to what happens around us.

Things never go exactly as we plan. This can, if we are not careful, send us into a dive deep into melancholy. Such as when we lose people or things, we love the most. It is important to keep in mind, that we most often mourn the loss of what we thought was going to happen, rather than the person. We should be mindful to use our time and emotional energy to remember the person or thing. Rather than what we never got to experience with the lost thing.

Nina Simone wisely said: “Got Life, I Got My Life.” Her song was an affirmation to herself that no matter what happens or who leaves her, she still has herself, her body, her organs, her soul, and everything that she is grateful for.

Time heals all wounds. This too shall pass. Everything always does. Nothing lasts forever. Let the passing time heal you and make you a better person. Keep in mind that you still have yourself; you just need time to get back on track. Remind yourself daily that you have you; and that you matter, and you are perfect, so shine on!

I am Here to Love:

Love is a diverse concept. It comes in unlimited types. The most important love for a person should be self-love. If you do not love yourself, or feel worthy of love, how do you expect others to think or see it?

We often try and create a lovely persona so others will love us, because we do not feel worthy of love the way we are. We think if others knew the real us, they would not love us, but the truth is we are not near as good at disguising ourselves as we think. Those close to us see us and love us anyway. Forgive yourself for not being what you think others want, and find your own inner beauty, learn to love yourself.

Here are some other sample motivational affirmations that you can start with:

I am…

  • me, and I am strong.
  • an independent thinker.
  • accepting myself with all my flaws.
  • able to do this.
  • healthy and happy.
  • able to heal myself.
  • going to attain my goals.
  • going to have the life I always envisioned.
  • deserving of happiness.
  • beautiful.
  • lovable and worthy of love.
  • successful.
  • wealthy
  • good with money.

How To Write Affirmations?

Affirmations do not follow any strict rules. That is not to say there are not any. Here are a few things to consider. You need to be positive and concise with them. Most importantly, you want to make them meaningful to you. If when you first say it, you do not feel at least a small twisting in your stomach, like you maybe should not say it, or you do not completely believe it, then it is not meaningful enough. Your affirmations should be uncomfortable to say out loud, if you would be embarrassed to have anyone hear you say it, then you are hitting close to home and on the right track.

Here are a few helpful ideas to get you started writing your own affirmations:

Start with “I am….”

Begin your affirmations by addressing yourself. The “I am” phrase makes it personal and powerful. Using first person makes it real for your mind and digs deeper into your unconscious.

Make it Present Tense.

The past has already happened, and the future is unwritten. The present is here, now, so speak as though you have already achieved your goals, the best part is your brain does not know the difference between your imagination and reality, so speak into reality, what you want. When you do this, you will find that you begin to act as though you have achieved what you are affirming. This will generate an awareness of what it takes to achieve what you are claiming. You will begin to see opportunities all around you to achieve what you put your mind to.

For example, you can say, “I have a wonderful house with a pool” instead of “I will buy a house sometime in life.

For more on this technique join my Facebook Group The Bindless Mindset”! We discuss the various ways to use the law of attraction.

Address Your Needs

The most important part about writing an affirmation is to address what you need. Try not to add any negative things to your positive message. It will be confusing, and your mind is inclined towards negative energy.

Saying “I will fall in love” is better than saying, “I’m positive about not falling into a terrible marriage again.

Be Precise

An affirmation is not an essay. You do not need to make it long. The shorter the affirmation, the easier it is for you to repeat it daily.

You can say “I will buy a new car” instead of “I will save enough money from the job I have to be able to afford and purchase a new car.

Be Self-Centric

Your affirmations are about you. They represent the goals and visions you have for your life. Your affirmations are not targeted toward anyone else. So, while it seems selfish to only focus on your desires and dreams for yourself.

An affirmation is supposed to be personal –so keep it personal.

Keep Them Realistic

While you are crafting your affirmations, it is important to stretch yourself to maximize the changing effects they can have. It is important to keep them reality based, do not make an affirmation such as “I will travel to Mars this year.” Try to make them lofty but keep them attainable and reality based.

Affirmations-Keep Learning!

With a new understanding of affirmations and what they can do for you, you are probably motivated to begin making changes in your beliefs. If you want to get the most from your affirmations, be sure to learn about how to overcome your limiting beliefs.

Are you ready to try the free tool for challenging your limiting beliefs?

Quickly and easily challenge your binding & limiting beliefs with this simple tool. You can even download a PDF reusable-template after completion.

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Aaron Jarrels, EzineArticles Basic Author

Aaron Jarrels

I am focused on helping anyone who wants to expand their reach. I help people overcome their limiting beliefs and show them how to gain the confidence to eliminate imposter syndrome that hinders success. I specialize in assisting people with shifting their mindsets and help them master the skills necessary to achieve professional and personal success.