The Thoughts You Think Create Your World.
By JoAnne Foist
“If you believe it, it’s true for you!” What we say to ourselves is what we believe. So what are you saying to yourself right now? Is it positive or negative?
Either way, your subconscious believes it and you’re wiring your brain accordingly. That’s because our brain’s neuroplasticity, which is our brain’s ability to change and create new neural pathways based on our physical and mental experiences, changes based on what we repeatedly think. Neuroscientist, Sarah McKay, explains it this way “When you repeat thoughts or perform certain behaviors over and over again, new synapses are formed, and other synapses in particular brain circuits become more efficient. As we say in neuroscience ‘when neurons to fire together they wire together’. As the circuit becomes strengthened the thought or behavior becomes ingrained” (2015). This is why positive affirmations are so powerful; our continuous thoughts and our behaviors have been scientifically proven to change the wiring of our brains. Plus, what we no longer do, or think, will be taken over by our new behaviors and thoughts; this is a key element in habit change.
What is an Affirmation?
An affirmation is stating something to be true. Positive affirmations are stated in the present tense and in the positive form. Present and positive tense includes, “I am,” “I have,” and “I attract.” A negative tense would be “I am not.” Your affirmations need to be what you do; not what you will not do. When you say affirmations, your subconscious does not hear the “not” and thus registers the sentence without it. For instance, when you say to yourself, “I will not forget my keys,” your mind hears “I will forget my keys.” In terms of affirmations, the statement should be “I am lean and strong,” instead of “I will lose weight.”
What’s Your Self-Talk?
You’ve probably been hearing about affirmations for years, but are you doing anything about it? Think about your self-talk. What are you saying to yourself and would you allow your best friend to be treated the way you’re treating yourself? If the answer is “no,” then stop beating yourself up and start pumping yourself up. It can be quite simple; you just have to change what you say to yourself. I am amazed when people tell me that they are not willing to try positive affirmations because it’s silly when they seem to have no problem with negative ones.
To Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Focus
You might be thinking, “Changing my thoughts is hard!” That can be true depending on how you go about it. If you say to yourself, “I am not going to think a certain thought;” You’ll want to think (obsess over) that thought more. So, trying to avoid the thought doesn’t work. I would call this the “hard way.” Here’s an example, if I tell you to NOT think about a yellow balloon, that’s the first thing you’ll think about. But, if I tell you to think about a pink elephant, your mind goes to the pink elephant instead. So you switched your thinking from the yellow balloon to the pink elephant, not by trying not to focus on the yellow balloon, but by focusing on the pink elephant instead. This would be the easier way to change your thoughts; You change your focus.
Also, when you start having a negative thought, acknowledge it, don’t fight it, and instead move on to a positive thought. We can only think of one thing at a time, so when you think of something positive and keep repeating a positive mantra, you’ll start focusing more on the positive, and the negatives will lose their power. You’ll be creating new neural pathways in your brain and new thinking patterns.
Affirmation Build Up
Also, be sure to develop positive affirmations that you believe. Meaning that you might need to build up on positive affirmations. Instead of starting with “I love my body,” when you really don’t, repeat to yourself “My body supports me,” or “I am grateful for what my body allows me to do.” These statements will start changing your views of your body in positive ways. As your words change, your thoughts and self-beliefs change. Your affirmations can build from there.
|I trust myself
||I am calm
||I am healthy and strong
|I make great decisions
||Everything is as it should be
||I enjoy healthy food
|The solutions come to me
||I have all the time I need to do what I need to do
||I love my life
|I am successful
||I finish my projects with ease
||I love my body
|I am a quick learner
||I am focused and at peace
||I love my mind
Create your own affirmations that resonate with you. You can also check out Louise Hayes for tons of inspirational affirmations.
How to Use Affirmations
Once you’ve selected your positive affirmations, you start practicing them until they feel real and true to you. Depending on how you learn best, here’s how you’d do it:
Visual Learner – Post your affirmations in places where you can see them. Keep them with you either on note cards or in your cell phone’s notes section.
Auditory Learner – Record your affirmations and listen to them when you’re driving, exercising, getting up and/or going to bed.
Kinesthetic Learner – Write your affirmations over and over again.
Combination Leaner – Practice 2, or all 3 of these methods.
Doing these when you wakeup and before you go to bed are great ways to set your mind for the day, and then for your dreaming state. Also, every time you have a negative thought, replace it with a positive affirmation (mantra).
Positive Affirmations Really do Work
The law of attraction says that we draw to us what we give out. “Like likes like.” Positive thoughts attract positive experiences and negative thoughts attract negative experiences. Affirmations have also been proven to reduce stress and increase your creativity and problem solving abilities. They make you happier! Personally, I use them all the time, and have been amazed at the results. When I wanted to qualify for Boston, I repeated my time mantra and visualized it when I was training and before I went bed; It worked. When I wanted to travel the world, I repeated the mantra “I am a world traveler” and within 3 months, I landed an international position. The point is that positive affirmations make you feel better and they help your bring more positive things in your life. So why not give it a try? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You can change your thoughts, and thus you can change your world.
Since we’ve been working on our goals for the new year, this topic fits in perfectly. Creating affirmations (mantras) to support your goals will help bring them to you. And hopefully you’ve already signed up for our Fast Pass to Success, a FREE four-week mini course, which will help you focus on your top goal for the year and create a communication strategy to make it happen. If not, sign up here!