Our thoughts are our constant companions. During every minute of every day, our thoughts are with us, guiding our feelings, reactions, attitudes, and actions. Affirmations can be a life-changing secret, helping us to grow.
And all too often, our thoughts hold us back.
Yes, your very own thoughts are likely limiting you, keeping you from reaching your potential, achieving your goals, and living a life you love.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably well acquainted with thoughts like these:
“I could never do that.”
“There’s no way that will work out, no matter how hard I try.”
“Do I even matter? How could I possibly make a difference?”
“With so many variables around me, how can I thrive?”
These thoughts, and others like them, are accompanied by shame, discouragement, sadness, hopelessness, and a host of other negative feelings.
When these thoughts and feelings become commonplace in your mind and in your life, they’re bound to start having an impact on your actions, and ultimately, on your overall happiness and life satisfaction.
At Design.org, we’ve researched, explored, and synthesized the science behind happiness, and what we’ve ultimately come up with is this:
You have the power to change your thoughts. Your thoughts have the power to change your life.
This is what we call “designing” your life, through your thoughts. To us, this means taking charge of the mind, moving forward with intention, and thinking thoughts that serve you, rather than ones that hold you back.
But when our brains are trained or habitually think negative thoughts more easily than positive ones, designing your life is easier said than done.
That’s why we love the gentle technique of affirmations.
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you overcome these negative thought patterns that are like rivers in your mind that your boat keeps floating down.
That’s a simple definition, and honestly, affirmations are a pretty simple concept. But unfortunately, finding the right affirmations to help you change your thinking for the better is not always simple.
Design.org offers curated affirmation packs that can help get you started with using affirmations. We’re proud of them, but we believe that the real power comes from writing your own affirmations. You are the only you.
How can you write your own affirmations that will change your life? Here are some tips.
Identify your negative thoughts.
If you want to change your negative thoughts to positive ones, it’s important to know what those negative thoughts are. You can’t change what you can’t identify.
Whenever you have a negative thought—particularly if it’s a negative thought about yourself—take a minute to write it down. Compile a list of your negative thoughts, and look for patterns, repeated thoughts, or common themes.
Forgive yourself for thinking negative thoughts.
You will never be able to truly believe and adopt new, positive thoughts if you are still hanging on to the old ones in some way. This includes beating yourself up over having the negative thoughts in the first place.
Once you’re more aware of your negative thoughts, you’ll be able to catch yourself in the act of thinking them. When this happens, take a deep breath, acknowledge the thought, and then let it go, forgiving yourself for it.
The better you are at this, the better you’ll be at writing, accepting, and believing your positive affirmations.
Write direct responses to your negative thoughts.
With your negative thoughts written down on paper, it will be much easier to go through your list and respond to each thought with a more positive one.
For example, if you have found yourself thinking, “I’m not good at my job,” perhaps you might respond with, “I enjoy my job and am doing my best”.
Fine tune your responses.
Once you’ve written down your responses, go through them and pick the ones that truly resonate with you. It might be every single one of them, or it might be just a few.
From there, take a moment with each phrase and fine tune the wording. Is there a better way to say what you want to say?
Base affirmations on goals.
Up to this point, we’ve been talking about how affirmations can help you rewire your brain when you think negative thoughts. Affirmations are great for that, but they’re also great for giving yourself encouragement, motivation, and vision.
Many people already have a list of things they want to accomplish in their lives. If you do, that’s great; if you don’t, take a moment to list out some goals you have for yourself. Think about your relationships, your professional life, your health, or any other area of your life you want to work on.
From there, write affirmations that could help you get to where you want to go. For example, if you have a goal to lose 10 pounds, you might choose an affirmation like “I care for my body and make good choices regarding food and exercise.”
Many people find that using affirmations in this proactive way can push them forward even more. The brain is being rewired to arrive at a new location.
Finding the right affirmations for you will likely take time, patience, and trial and error. But don’t give up, because once you find the right affirmations for you, you’ll see how they can, in fact, change your life! Drop me a line at [email protected] if you’d like more individualized suggestions.
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