When I had my first group life coaching experience, led by my cousin Teresa Porter, I was introduced to affirmations.
“An affirmation is simply a statement that affirms or declares an intent or desire”, says Rev. Connie L. Habash, author of Awakening from Anxiety, a psychotherapist, spiritual mentor, yoga teacher, and ecotherapist in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are supportive statements that can help us be kinder to ourselves, focus on the present moment, and make other healthy changes.
When we know what we want, we can encourage our subconscious mind to generate ideas that help our dreams happen. One way to be intentional about what we think, feel, and do is through using affirmations.
In his book Thinking Into Results Bob Proctor says “Our conditions, circumstances and environment have no bearing on what is going to happen in our future unless we let them. You have the ability to originate/create an image of what you would like the future to be like. By impressing that picture upon the subconscious mind (letting yourself get emotionally involved with the image) the image will ultimately move into form and through you. The conscious mind is where we gather information, but this is not the part that controls the actions of the body. The conscious mind thinks and the subconscious mind executes what is impressed upon it and expresses itself through the body.”
I learned that it is important to phrase affirmations in the present tense to help the mind start working towards making those ideas a reality. Begin with “I am” and close your eyes as you repeat the statements two or three times each day, and visualize them as if they already happened.
Here is one of the first affirmations I wrote ever, that has since come to pass:
“I am so happy and grateful now that I am a life coach with clients of my own.”
We later learned to add “to ensure I am 100% committed to _____________, I will…”. This language came from Hal Eldrod, author of Miracle Morning Millionaires. He said there are usually two problems with affirmations:
- Lying to yourself doesn’t work (ie. “I am a millionaire” or “I am 13% body fat”). The affirmation has to be rooted in truth.
- Using passive language doesn’t produce results. Your actions must be in alignment with your desired truth.
He suggests identifying the actual result you are committed to achieve along with the necessary actions you will do and when. He gives this example:
“To ensure I am 100% committed to doubling my income in the next year, I am committed to doubling my daily prospect calls from 20 to 40 calls per day five days a week from 9-10 am. no matter what.”
Notice the strong language. Affirmations must be read with emotion, such as confidence and excitement, to keep your mind focused on the outcome. They are most effective when recited daily! You can change them as you achieve results or as your dreams change.
Affirmations are different from the statements in a personal manifesto because they are more about specific results you want to achieve than about of the type of person you want to be.
The last thing I want to share is what is now one of my favorite quotes and I think it applies to using affirmations. It is by Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”