Life Coaching Tip: Sadly, because of the way many of us were raised, affirming ourselves can feel uncomfortable. However, affirmations that align with your goals will help you intentionally recondition your mind to create the self-love, identity and beliefs necessary to achieve success. I encourage you to give it a try. What do you have to lose other than your limiting beliefs?
After sharing my judgmental thoughts about mother deer in my last post (insert eye roll), I thought I’d clean up my record today and say that more often than not, I do quite the opposite.
On most days, I actually offer words of affirmation to the deer – and not only the deer, but to all the wildlife I see on my morning walks.
I’m chuckling as I’m writing this. Yes, I’m the peculiar lady at the park who talks to the animals!
I’m not sure why I do this, but I remember my Dad chatting up the wildlife when I was a kid as we walked together in the woods. So, I guess, it feels natural to me. Plus, as a life coach, affirmations are just part of what I do.
If you’re wondering what I might say to the animals on my walk, it kind of depends. I often compliment the birds on their bright, stunning colors, and of course, their beautiful songs.
And I always commend the deer for their courage when they keep eating as I approach, and then for their magnificence as I walk by.
I also remember praising a beaver for her work ethic and tenacity as she hurriedly crossed the path in front of me, carrying a load of straw in her mouth.
I could go on and on, but you get the point.
Clearly, I believe in the powerful energy of affirmations, whether the little critters understand my words or not.
And if you’re a client of mine, this is probably not news to you, because most likely I’ve “gone there” with you too, even if you’re not completely sold on the notion.
Truth is, many people are uncomfortable with the concept of affirmations.
Some think of that goofy SNL character, Stuart Smalley, who repeated affirmations: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!” Certainly, poor Stuart’s personality is not the type most of us would care to emulate.
And sadly, many of us were brought up to believe that it’s not polite to talk favorably about ourselves, even when it’s to ourselves. We were taught that it demonstrates a pretentiousness and a lack of humility. On the other hand, it’s often considered very acceptable to talk negatively about ourselves, and self-deprecating humor is even encouraged and celebrated.
So, it’s no wonder that affirming ourselves would feel uncomfortable, weird, or rude.
Recently, I even heard a coaching colleague, who I admire, say that she doesn’t believe in affirmations. This really surprised me because she is a mindset coach who talks about the power of intentional thought as the key for creating change.
This coach apparently doesn’t realize that an affirmation IS an intentional thought that is practiced repeatedly until it becomes a familiar belief.
It’s how we recondition our beliefs and reshape our identity. It is the basis for transformation.
Quite simply, it’s because your thoughts generate your feelings that inspire your actions that create your results. What you think about matters, and what you think about yourself matters the most!
The good news is… you believe yourself above all else! We humans want to be “right”, and you are no exception. When you have a “story” about yourself, your brain subconsciously collects “proof” to support and solidify your belief. And this is great when you are kind and encouraging to yourself and your story builds up your self-concept.
However, the bad news is… the primal brain has a negative bias, meaning that it defaults to the negative every time. This was helpful in keeping early humans safe, but it does not serve us well anymore.
Have you ever had a day where you’ve accomplished almost everything on your “to-do” list, but your brain wants to ruminate on the one thing that didn’t get done? That’s your brain defaulting to its negative bias.
Well, affirmations can redirect your thoughts back to the positive, sparking the kind of inspiration that will keep you moving forward rather than spinning on your flaws.
I should also point out that much of the way you think about yourself (aka your identity) was created during early childhood by the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of the people in your life. Your young mind interpreted this data in its unsophisticated way and stored it in your subconscious mind. And now, all these years later, you most likely see this identity as a fact, and rarely think to challenge it.
And that’s all fine and good, unless your beliefs about yourself and the world are getting in the way of what you want for your life. If you’re not happy with where you are at, chances are, limiting beliefs are the problem.
But here’s more good news… affirmations that align with your goals will help you recondition your mind to intentionally create the identity and beliefs that will serve you.
Ready to give it a try?
Here’s how to write a basic affirmation:
- Think about how you want to show up in the world or who you need to be to achieve your goals.
- Then, start with “I am”, such as: “I am bold and courageous”.
- Use present tense, such as: “I am an accomplished writer who sticks with her plan.”
- Stay positive.
- Keep it brief and specific.
- And, if you find it challenging to believe “I am”, try instead: “I am determined to” or “I am committed to”. For instance, “I am determined to be a successful entrepreneur.”
Once you have created about five solid affirmations, then the next step is to repeat them over and over again throughout the day. And if you write them out, even better.
I encourage you to give it a go and see what magic unfolds for you.
I mean, what do you have to lose other than your limiting beliefs?
And if you have any questions as you are creating your new affirmations, let’s connect and talk about life coaching together. I’m glad to help out, because as the deer, birds, and beavers can attest to, I wholeheartedly believe in the power of affirmations!