A good while ago I did Brian Tracy’s 30 day affirmation challenge. What I expected to be an easy task (repeating a different pre-set affirmation each day – how hard can it be?) turned out to be a bit of a struggle. I soon found out I didn’t mind doing positive affirmations; I just had trouble using those provided to me on the sheet! But how do you write a good affirmation, and how do you make sure it fits your personality, current mood and state of mind? Rest assured: It isn’t hard to write your own affirmations, especially when you take these easy steps into account!
What are positive affirmations?
Everyone suffers from a negative inner voice sometimes. A straight-forward example is when you accidentally drop something from your hands. Thoughts may vary from “Oops, I’m so clumsy!” to “See, I’m such a dumb idiot”.
Negative thoughts – now matter how trivial they might seem – never made anyone better. In fact they make you feel even worse. On the long run they can even severely undermine your self-esteem!
Positive thoughts on the other hand can make us feel infinitely better, and can bring us to new personal heights.
The concept of doing positive affirmations is to repeat a positive statement that represents your personal goal. You repeat them often – if not continuously – for a period of time, so you actually start believing what you’re telling yourself.
Hal Elrod mentions positive affirmations in his book The Miracle Morning. He describes how many successful people (including Muhammed Ali, Will Smith and Oprah Winfrey) use positive affirmations to give their minds a positive twist, and to eventually reach their goals.
But an anekdote that really stuck with me was about his friend Matt Recore. Hal describes how he used to hear him shouting from the shower: “I am in control of my destiny!” and “I deserve to be a success!”. Although Hal first wrote it off as a weird habit, he soon found out his friend’s usage of positive affirmations had made him the accomplished person he was today.
Naturally you don’t need to shout your affirmations out loud to make them work. The key to practicing positive affirmations is that they make you feel more positive, more positive, and more productive. You train your inner voice to be kind and supportive, rather than negative and discouraging.
Write your own affirmations in 3 easy steps
Step 1 to write your own affirmations: Decide in what area you need help
Which area in your life would you like to improve with the help of positive affirmations? Is it your general mood, or maybe your confidence? Or is it something more specific, like something you’ve been struggling with or trying to achieve?
By jutting down a couple of key-sentences you might even word something on paper which has remained little more than a blurry thought. Don’t forget to describe how you don’t want to feel, how you do want to feel, and how you’d like your personal affirmations to help you out.
From here you can start the process of writing your own affirmations.
Step 2 to write your own affirmations: Write until you get it right
The best way to achieve creating a suitable affirmation is by writing your options down on a piece of paper, and moving the words around until you find something that suits you. It might very well be that you need to switch your negative thoughts into something positive and inspiring. For example, an inner critic who keeps saying “I am ugly and worthless” can be positively replaced by an affirmation like “I am desirable and a person of value”.
A good affirmation feels inspirational, empowering, and probably uplifting. Take your time: You will be repeating this affirmation quite often and it needs to stick!
Make sure to write the final version of your affirmation down so you can revisit on a later date.
What rubbed me wrong in Brian Tracy’s 30 Day Affirmation Challenge, was that some affirmations were formulated in a way that didn’t speak to me – thus making repeating them a heinous (and sometimes even ridiculous feeling) task.
First, my native language is Dutch. And although I much rather read any literature in English, my inner voice speaks the language I was born to. This means that most (if not all) affirmations I’ll develop for myself will work better for me when they are spoken in my native language.
Second, I also found out is important to choose a wording that’s familiar to you. Some sentences might look pretty on paper, but will sound uncharacteristically posh/vague/dramatic when you silently repeat them to yourself. Choose sentences that empower you, but which also sound close to how you might speak at your very best.
Step 3 to write your own affirmations: Try it out, and see if it fits
Try to read your written affirmation out loud. Does it sound good to you? Does it roll easily off the tongue? Does it make you feel the way you desire?
If so, you and your affirmations are good to go!
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Do you use affirmations, and have you written them yourself?