If you look up the term “affirmation” you’ll find many different definitions, all with a common, basic thread that isn’t based on any magical belief or emotion. It is simply the action or process of affirming something. It is an assertion, a declaration, a statement, a proclamation.
Nowadays, we hear about affirmations in the same sentences that we talk about the law of attraction, the New Age terminology of positive thinking and self-empowerment. We foster a belief that a “positive mental attitude supported by affirmations will achieve success in anything” *. But it doesn’t stop there, with many lecturers and “experts” in the field highlighting how affirmations work best when combined with visualising of the affirmation, feeling the affirmation in your body and by saying the affirmation out loud.
We are no longer restricted by the thought: I think therefore I am.
It is not enough to simply think our way happier, healthier, richer, more successful, better behaved… we have to put those hopes, dreams and ambitions into affirmations.
The first time I practised affirmations I felt self-conscious and foolish saying things out loud to the universe. Each individual will choose to affirm something unique to them and their situation in life. They may talk of relationships, of money, of work or of a general sense of happiness and fulfilment. And I wholeheartedly embrace and encourage everyone to try practising affirmations out loud and feel the power that they hold. Repeating the same few mantras every day or changing them regularly depending on your mood is a really grounding practice.
In The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, he notes that affirmations are one part of a truly great start to the day. After much extensive research into routines and habits of the world’s most successful individuals, Hal put together all the “best practises” developed over centuries and condensed them into a daily morning ritual. One of these rituals is affirmations.
After listening to an interview with Hal recently, one thing that really struck me (besides the 6 practices that make up a “miracle morning”) is his approach to affirmations. He encourages us to step away from the flowery, “woo-woo” language, that, however beautiful, keeps these affirmations in the ideal and purely in linguistic terms rather than making them concrete.
“I am a money magnet. I always attract abundance and prosperity easily and effortlessly into my reality.”
This is just one of the common affirmations around money, but what it lacks, is commitment and intention. Money doesn’t flow into your life – it will be the results of your action. Even if you win the lottery, you bought the ticket. You put the affirmation into action. If you get a promotion at work, it will be a result of your action. That said, I do think it is a wonderful idea to practise these intentions, if not only because they force you to start your day in a positive way. And I truly believe in the power of a positive mindset.
But maybe play around with affirmations and add in commitment and action to make your belief become a reality. Like “I am committed to showing my boss how productive I am in order to get that promotion” and note down the action steps that it will take to get there…
It is also useful to sometimes write down your affirmations, too, to add to the commitment and intention. Expand on what you say out loud with your thoughts, feelings and actions you can take… even if just for a couple of minutes each morning. You may soon find that your mind becomes more focused, impacting your actions, your performance and your goals.
“You are always exactly where you are supposed to be, experiencing what you need to experience, to learn what you must learn, in order to become the person you need to be to create the life you truly want. Always.” **
Even if you don’t feel like it right now, try saying a few affirmations out loud. They are not miracle workers in their own right, they require commitment, intention and action, but together with your own strength and determination, they have the power to positively impact your mindset and your day ahead.
Stay up to date on previous Monthly Musings here and let me know your thoughts on affirmations, whether you already practise them or perhaps you start today. Leave your comments and experiences below or get in touch on social media. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – please say hello!