How One Simple Change can Improve Your Life

Photo By Cliff
  Remember The Little Engine That Could? "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can - I know I can, I know I can..." Well, you can learn a lot from that children's story. I realize many people think that saying affirmations is a little cheesy but there's something about having that positive mindset that can help us realize our true potential. We spend so much time going through life being bogged down by negative thought. We don't even realize we're doing it because it becomes so automatic. Whether we're looking in the mirror and telling ourselves we look like a cow or we don't try for the higher position in our office because we don't think we're good enough, we often bombard ourselves with negative self-talk. Who needs enemies to put us down when we're so good at it ourselves?

  Saying affirmations counteracts that negative inner voice and eventually, we will learn to believe what we say. Now, although I do believe in the law of attraction and I know affirmations are a huge part of that, I don't believe that you can just wish something into happening. However, when you combine those positive affirmations with positive actions then you're  really onto something. Don't just tell yourself how wonderful you are or keep repeating what a great life you live, make it real. Positive thought + positive action = positive reaction. I'm not necessarily saying fake it until you make it but allow yourself to really experience the way you will feel once you reach your goal, absorb yourself in thoughts of the lifestyle you want to live then go out and live your life in such a way to make things happen. You know an object in motion tends to stay in motion so once you've made the decision to make a positive change in your life do something right away to put that decision into action. Don't put it off - just do something.

  I must stress that while I believe it is important to learn to think positively it's equally (and perhaps more) important to not lie to yourself. Don't fill your affirmations with things that you know are absolutely not true. For example, if you're overweight and you are uncomfortable in your own skin, it doesn't matter how many times you say "I'm thin" to yourself, you're going to know it's a lie. There's a fine line between creating positive affirmations and flat out self-deception but be careful to not go there. Instead of telling yourself "I'm thin" you could say something like "I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin. I have complete control over my own body." The idea is to let your positive thoughts conquer the negative thoughts. And let me be clear, thinking positive and being optimistic are powerful but that doesn't mean things won't still go wrong. There will still be struggles and sometimes you may find yourself thinking your positive thoughts aren't getting you anywhere but it's during those rough times that positive thinking is most critical. Also, keep in mind that saying affirmations isn't a miracle cure for all that can go wrong in life. Think of life and all it's turmoil as the common cold and your affirmations as immune boosting vitamins and positive thoughts as the cold medicine that lessens the symptoms. Though there's no cure, there are steps you can take toward prevention and when all else fails, you can still find relief from the symptoms.

   Your affirmations can be as simple as "I am living life on my terms and working toward achieving my dreams" and you don't even have to say them aloud. That's right, if you're weirded out at the thought of talking to yourself you can achieve the same results by repeating your affirmation in your head! Set aside a bit of quiet time each day, get comfortable and allow yourself to relax, clear your mind and focus on taking some deep breaths as you begin to go over your affirmations. At first it's probably going to feel strange. I know when I first started I felt like some kind of new age wacko (not that there's anything wrong with that ;) ). In time it will become more natural and I now will catch myself automatically going over an affirmation in my head when I encounter a stressful situation. 

  One last thing before I end this post... I said there's a fine line between affirmations and self-deception and that you should avoid lying to yourself BUT that doesn't factor in visualization. I'm sort of a "if you can see it then you can be it" kind of girl. While you probably don't want to try to convince yourself that you're something you totally know you're not (self-deception) I don't see any problem in visualizing yourself as you would like to be. Visualization is very powerful and can be used in conjunction with your affirmations with no self-deception involved... but that's a whole 'nother post. (You can read more on my thoughts about visualization later this week). 

So, do you use affirmations and if so, how do they work for you?

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