What are affirmations?
Affirmations are positive words used to encourage both yourself and others. Many believe that even just the simple act of thinking about these words has the ability to become reality.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as:
It’s the process of repeating a statement that we want to become true over and over again to ourselves. The idea is that when we do this consistently, we start believing it because, subconsciously, we believe it is already the truth (even if it has yet to happen) and then, with time, it becomes our reality.
One example from Healthline is replacing a negative or anxious thought such as before going into an interview:
“I’m so terrible at interviews. I’m probably not even as qualified as the other candidates. There’s no way they’ll hire me, I should just leave.”
But, with a positive affirmation:
“I have all the necessary skills and experience, and I’m the perfect candidate for this job.”
So, in this situation, it could help you to relax before your interview, as you’ll reaffirm that you’re prepared and help you avoid making silly mistakes or stumbling on your words.
Why should I use them?
If you feel you’re in a place in your life where you want to progress further then using affirmations can help you achieve your goals by keeping you motivated.
If your mind is focused on a goal (the SAME goal, EVERY DAY) then it will influence your subconscious and, in turn, influence how your brain behaves in every day life to do what needs to be done to get to where you want to be.
They’re also very versatile in that you can use them in different areas of your life whether that be at home, at work, or just in your own habits. Having positive reinforcements will make you feel more positive and give you more energy meaning you’ll be in a much better position to reach your goals.
How do I use them?
With most things in life, there’s no one size fits all.
People find they can use a multitude of affirmations and they all work for them whilst other people find that only one works for them.
STEP ONE: Be Consistent
If you’re inconsistent with the below steps then this won’t work. When you want to learn to do something, your brain needs consistency to form a new habit (good or bad). This happens because our brains form neural pathways–connections between neurons that get stronger the more often we perform a task. So the more you perform a new skill or action, the stronger these connections become.
STEP TWO: Make a list
Having a list for anything is great. Do you ever wonder why when you have a list and tick things off that you feel great? It’s all do to with dopamine.
Dopamine is triggered in our brains when we accomplish something no matter how big or small. When our brains release dopamine, this causes us to feel motivated.
So, put together list of what you want to change with your aim at the end and little goals you feel you need to do to get there.
As an example, in a work situation, let’s say you’re in the right field of work but not at your dream job. You could say to yourself:
Of course, you’re not going to wake up the next day and be in that job so you need to make little goals for yourself. In this example you might set yourself a task of taking online classes to improve your skills or speak to someone in the job you want so you can ask what skills you need or how they got to where they are now.
STEP 3: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
It’s up to you how often you say these things to yourself but we recommend at least twice a day: once when you wake up and one when you’re going to sleep.
Some people find doing this during meditation can be even more helpful.
If you feel silly saying these things out loud then you could always write them down instead. Get a notebook and write down your affirmations say 10 – 20 times or however long you feel is necessary for the message to sink in.
STEP 4: Be patient
What’s the age old saying? Nothing worth having ever comes easily.
If you really want to see a change in yourself then you must be patient and not expect to see results within a few days. It’s just not realistic.
You’ll get there with time.
The whole team at YSC believes in you!