Do you remember Casey Junior, from Disney’s Dumbo? In the movie, the steam train takes Dumbo and the rest of the circus around the country, and during their travels, Casey has to hike up a steep hill. As he does it, he tells himself, “I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!” By telling himself what he thought was possible… he successfully completes his journey. While the “raw material” was always present, there was doubt about whether he could or couldn’t get the job done. Casey’s positive thoughts were the driving force behind him making it up the hill.
The same can be said about you and me.
What you say to yourself has a huge impact on your life. If you’re feeding your mind negative thoughts, those negative thoughts will turn into negative actions. And just like Casey Junior, the same can be said about positive thoughts turning into positive results.
Positive Affirmations vs. Negative Affirmations
An affirmation is whatever we tell ourselves and believe to be true. Affirmation has a naturally positive connotation, however, affirmations can be quite negative and we have to be careful about what we allow ourselves to believe. Positive affirmations include phrases such as, “I am powerful,” “I have courage,” and “I attract positivity.” Negative affirmations sound like, “I don’t think I can,” “I’m not ________,” “I’ll probably blow it,” “It’s soooo hard,” etc. Sadly, it’s much more common for people to drown themselves in negative affirmations such as, “I am not strong enough” or “I don’t deserve this,” than positive ones like, “I TOTALLY deserve this!” or “It’s going to happen.”
Now is the time to change that. Here’s why: the law of attraction says that we draw to us what we give out. In his book, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill says, “I realize that the dominating thoughts of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action and gradually transform themselves into physical reality.” This means that positive thoughts attract positive experiences and negative thoughts attract negative experiences. So if you’re looking to attract the right opportunities, you have to start pumping yourself with the mantra that you are worthy of those opportunities and that you believe in yourself and your personal leadership brand.
Positive affirmations have also been proven to reduce stress and increase your creativity and problem-solving abilities. They make you happier! Personally, I use them all the time and have been amazed at the results. When I was unsure if I could complete a marathon, I practiced watching myself cross the finish line and on the day of my first one; even with a knee injury, I finished with no problem. When I wanted to become a public speaker, I began visualizing myself on stage and letting others know that’s what I wanted to do and sure enough, a short period of time later, I began receiving invitations to speak. The point is that positive affirmations not only make you feel better, they also bring more positive things into your life.
Changing Negative Thoughts into Positive Ones
You might be thinking, “Changing my thoughts into positive ones isn’t so easy!” That can be true depending on how you go about it. If you tell yourself not to think a certain thought, chance are it’s going to show up constantly – negative affirmation. Instead, think of and even write down the thoughts you DO want running through your brain.
When the negative pattern starts (and it will) don’t try to avoid it. Simply change the direction of your thought and hit ‘play’ on the tape you INTEND to listen to. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Here’s an example: if I tell you to NOT think about a yellow balloon, the first thing you’ll picture is a yellow balloon. If I tell you to think about a pink elephant, your mind just as easily goes to the pink elephant – shifting away from the yellow balloon you’re trying to – and now successfully – avoiding.
The same logic can be applied to thoughts about yourself. If you’re about to go in for a job review, tell yourself, “I am capable and make great decisions.” Instead of, “I wonder if I’m fully qualified for this job.”
You’re human so you’re going to have negative self-thoughts, guaranteed. That’s okay, healthy even! Observe yourself having the thought, acknowledge it then shift to a positive affirmation and keep repeating and visualizing that positive thought. Here’s a little bonus – we can only think of one thing at a time, so when you think of something positive, keep repeating that and soon enough, the negative thoughts lose their power.
If you find yourself struggling; be your own best friend. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend when you were trying to help them feel confident. Would you put down your best friend on a regular basis and tell them they’re not good enough? Probably not. So stop beating yourself up and start pumping yourself up.
Positive Affirmation Examples
To help get you started, below I’ve included positive affirmations you can apply to various areas of your life:
- I trust myself.
- I am valuable.
- I love my talents.
- I make great decisions.
- Solutions come easily to me.
- I am successful.
- I am a quick learner.
- I have nothing to prove.
- I am centered.
- Everything is as it should be.
- I have all the time I need to do what I need to do.
- I finish my projects with ease.
- I am focused and at peace.
- I feel the pressure leaving me.
Improving Your Health:
- I prioritize my health.
- I make good food and fitness choices
- I am healthy and strong.
- I love my life.
- I love my body.
- I am grateful for my genetics.
- I am a role model of balance.
Ways to Integrate Positive Affirmation into Your Life
There are a variety of ways you can put positive affirmations to work. Depending on how you learn best, here are a few great practices:
- Visual Learners.
Post your affirmations in places where you can see them. Post-it notes, dry erase boards, vision boards, mantra bands…there’s a million places to post your affirmations to keep them top of mind.
- Auditory Learners.
Record your affirmations and listen to them when you’re driving, exercising, getting up and/or going to bed. This is a FABULOUS fast-track way to help yourself bring out the best in YOU!
- Kinesthetic Learners.
Write your affirmations over and over again.
- Combination Learners.
Practice two, or all three of these methods.
I encourage you to spend time on your affirmations for a few minutes every morning and evening. Just 5-10 minutes a day in a relaxed and positive state will bring about powerful shifts and a harvest of good results in your life. When you change the way you speak to yourself, you can change your entire world. And there’s no better time than the present to begin replacing negative affirmations with positive ones. The holidays are officially here and everyone will benefit from your good cheer.
If you want help focusing your affirmations or building up a strong habit, Excelerate is here for you. Just click here to schedule a complimentary strategy session with an Excelerate team member and we will work out a personal affirmation plan to help you achieve your goals for 2022 and beyond.