Every thought. That’s quite something. And it’s true – so either you are thinking a negative affirmation, a positive one or a neutral one. If an affirmation is something you say or think, as if it were true, regardless of whether it really is true or not, then what you say or think is really important. Sometimes you’ll hear people say ‘I don’t have enough… (time/money/love/peace/balance, you choose to fill in the blanks) and then justify the reasons why they don’t have enough. For instance, a client one day said to me ‘I never seem to have enough time to get things done’. I challenged her on this, and the first thing that happened was that she told me unequivocally why it was true ‘the kids are teenagers now, you’d think that would make me have more time, but there is still so much to do around the house, and now I’ve started my own business, there is a never ending amount of things to be done; I just don’t get the time. I don’t know what’s happened and I don’t know what to do about it’.
Let’s analyse this last paragraph: here are the negative affirmations:
‘there is a never ending amount of things to be done
there is still so much to do around the house,
I don’t know what to do about it’.
Contrast this with the person who begins to think these sorts of thoughts and then catches herself on and turns the paragraph round to:
‘there’s still so much to do – uh, hang on a minute, that’s a bit negative. I’m going to turn that round. There’s plenty of time for me to get done what I need to get done. Now I’ve started my own business, I get to choose what I really want to work on every moment of the day. It’s a real pleasure to be in charge of my time like this. I can choose exactly how I spend the hours, so I get to feel more fulfilled all the time.’
You can feel the difference in energy as you read these two paragraphs. I can feel it as I write it!
And this is the process of using positive affirmations. Here are the steps:
1. notice you are saying something that is not useful
2. deliberately stop saying or thinking it
3. use a different phrase to counteract the negative thought
4. practice saying it
Quite simple – and yet most people don’t do this consistently, even when they know intellectually that doing so would make a huge difference in their lives. Practice is absolutely essential – knowing intellectually about affirmations doesn’t make hardly any difference in your life!
So here’s a few ideas to make it easier to use positive affirmations in your daily life.
1. Write out your favourites, the ones that are the opposite of some of your core beliefs, and have them where you can easily see them first thing in the morning before you get out of bed, and last thing at night before you go to sleep. These are really powerful times to be saying positive things about yourself, as Louise herself says.
2. Record your favourites and upload to your MP3 player or onto a CD. It’s very powerful to hear your own voice saying these positive statements.
3. Dance them! If you love to move, let your body do the talking – immerse yourself in the feeling state of the words and see how it moves you. A great way to truly inhabit the affirmation.
4. Use any of the energy medicine techniques, such as EFT, or the Tapas Acupressure Technique.
5. Create an affirmative song. Take a tune (one of the ones that sometimes goes round and round in your head is good) and set your own words to it. It doesn’t have to be a work of art, it can even be to a nursery rhyme, eg (to the tune of Baa Baa Black Sheep):
I am great at what I do
I love it and I love me too
I always have just what I need
My every thought is a powerful seed
My business grows from strength to strength
And I let my love come shining through
6. Write them on notes to yourself and put them up around the house – changing the positions every few days so you keep challenging yourself.
7. Be creative – draw, paint or make a collage of them. You don’t have to be an artist for this, just have fun with colours!
8. Write them down with responses, as outlined in the Step by Step Rich Thoughts process.
9. Put them on your screen saver.
10. Make yourself a video of yourself saying your affirmations, and watch it regularly.
11. Write them in your journal or diary where you can see them every day.
12. Put them in your purse or wallet, next to your credit cards, so when you get a card out, you have the opportunity to pull out your affirmation and read it too.
13. While you’re exercising, say positive statements to yourself; if you go to the gym, associate a different piece of equipment with a different affirmation.
14. You can do the same with cooking – associate an affirmation with each stage of what you are cooking and enjoy the food much more. Makes it really tasty too!
15. Make sure you are feeling good when you are saying them! No use feeling negative about saying your positive affirmations, it won’t work. For instance, if you find yourself negating them, go back to a previous stage as in the Step by Step Rich Thoughts process. Much better to affirm ‘I am willing to believe I can change my life’ and feel good about it, than to affirm ‘ I now change my life’ and feel disgruntled because it’s not happening in your time frame.
16. Commit to saying them in bite-sized chunks. Although Louise says do them for 30 days, I have never managed that. My method is committing to saying them for 5 days. Then review, and commit for another 5 days, and so on until you reach 30. Your affirmations may well change, which is meant to happen by the way, as you are growing and changing, so the ones for your later blocks of 5 days might be different from the ones you started out with.
17. Remember to say your affirmations out loud by setting your phone alarm every hour. Set it for every half hour, or even 15 minutes when things are really tough.
18. Determine to notice when you are saying or thinking a negative thought, and use that as an alarm bell to remind you to say an opposite positive thought.
19. Incorporate them into your regular meditation time.
20. Speak them into your mirror – really tell yourself the truth of them, and acknowledge what it feels like. If it feels anything less than good, go back a step or two in the Rich Thoughts process to one that does make you feel good.
21. Write them in a great big banner and pin it up around the wall of your bedroom, so every morning and evening you are faced with the truth of your affirmation!
Remember to use your positive affirmations in just one or two areas of your life at anyone time – it’s too easy to feel overwhelmed if you try and change everything at once, and that can work against you. This doesn’t mean that every time you notice yourself saying something negative you don’t correct yourself, but when you are actively concentrating on doing your affirmations, simply focus on just these one or two areas. There’ll be a knock-on effect in other areas of your life anyway! And finally – have fun with them; be playful, imaginative, creative. Let your inner child create them, and play with them too. The process of change and growth can be enjoyable, if you choose it to be so!