Affirmations are simply statements that we make to ourselves; it's our self-talk. You use affirmations all the time, whether you're doing so intentionally or unintentionally. If you make a mistake and you think to yourself, "I'm always making mistakes, I never do anything right", you've just made a negative affirmation. If instead you make a mistake and you think to yourself, "That's OK, I have the ability to correct this", you've just made a positive affirmation.

Your self-talk has an enormous impact on your conscious and subconscious minds. By repeating positive affirmations you can reprogram your thought patterns. Creating new thought patterns will allow you to begin to change your underlying beliefs and the way that you think and feel about yourself, others, and your place in the world. In this way, you can improve your life dramatically through the use of daily positive affirmations.

Choosing Your Affirmations

Shakti Gawain, author of Creative Visualization, offers the following advice for choosing your affirmations:

• Always phrase your affirmations in the present tense, as if it already exists. Say "I enjoy being at my ideal weight" instead of saying "I will reach my ideal weight."

• Affirm what you want, not what you don't want. Instead of saying "I am no longer a procrastinator", say "I always get things done on time."

• Don't simply go through your affirmations by rote; add positive feelings and emotions to your affirmations.

• Choose affirmations that feel right for you. If you come across an affirmation that you like but you would feel more comfortable changing a couple of words, go right ahead.

Use Three Different Pronouns

A technique that you can apply to make your affirmations more effective is to write down the same affirmation using different pronouns. For example, if you want to affirm that you're surrounded by positive people who want the best for you, you can write down the following three affirmations:

• I am surrounded by positive people who want the best for me.

• Joan, you are surrounded by positive people who want the best for you.

• Joan is surrounded by positive people who want the best for her.

When you say affirmations in the second and third person it's as if someone else is talking to you or about you. Your internal critic is less apt to interject a negative comment if it thinks someone else is making these positive affirmations about you.

Affirmations Can Be General or Specific

Affirmations can be general or they can be very specific. Some examples of general affirmations are the following:

Abundance is all around me.

Abundance is my birthright.

• There is more than enough for all.

Use general affirmations to “set the stage”. Once you've established clear, well-defined goals for yourself you can create specific affirmations to help keep you focused on your goals and to strengthen your belief in your ability to reach your goals. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds in the next three months by exercising, your affirmations could be the following:

• I now jog for 40 minutes, 4 times a week.

• Jogging helps me to lose weight and makes me healthy and fit.

• I am now lifting weights 3 times a week.

• I enjoy going to the gym and lifting weights.

• I am getting excellent results from jogging and weight lifting, and it shows.

• Every day I am getting fitter and fitter.

• I now weigh X amount of pounds (your target weight).

• People comment on how much thinner I am and how good I look.

You Have To Be Able to Believe Your Affirmations

Whenever you choose to change anything in your life, you’re choosing to move out of your present comfort zone. We should always strive to grow and expand our definition of ourselves and of what we are capable of. However, you have to make sure that your affirmations are not so far off from where you are at the moment that there’s no way you can get yourself to believe what you’re affirming.

If you don't believe the affirmations you're saying to yourself, then you need to start with a less ambitious affirmation and gradually make your affirmations bigger and bigger. For example, if you currently make $3,000.00 a month, it may be difficult for you to believe "I am now making $50,000.00 a month". However, you can probably believe the following affirmation: "I am now making $4,500.00, or more, a month". As you move forward and begin to see results you can progressively increase this number until you do feel comfortable affirming that you make over half a million dollars a year.

Repeat Your Affirmations Often

There is much power in repetition. Positive affirmations are not something that you do once in a while, instead, you should expose your mind to the affirmations that you choose for yourself as often as possible. In the words of Robert Collier: “Constant repetition carries conviction.”

Write down your affirmations and place them where you can refer to them often (you can even carry them around in your wallet). You can say them out loud to yourself every morning when you wake up and at night before going to bed, or you can set aside a few minutes each day to scribble them on a sheet of paper several times to help reinforce the message in your mind.

Taping the affirmations in your own voice and listening to the tape while you're relaxing—or, even better, meditating-- has had extraordinary effects for countless people. Louise Hay, author of the International bestseller “You Can Heal Your Life”, recommends that you sing or chant your affirmations. Some people leave a CD with positive affirmations playing softly in the background while they sleep at night.

In addition, there are several programs that allow affirmations to flash on and off on your computer screen unobtrusively, helping to program these affirmations into your subconscious.

Affirmation Bath

Practitioners who offer healing workshops often use a technique called "affirmation bath". Basically, several people stand around one person and they all begin saying positive affirmations directed toward that person. The person is "engulfed" by positive messages from others. You can try this technique if you can find several like-minded people to participate in this exercise with you.

Release Any Negative Feelings that Arise

Negative feelings can act as self-imposed stop signs to getting what you want in life. If you feel any discomfort, self-doubt, fear, anger, and so on when saying your affirmations, you need to let go or release these negative feelings. One way to do this is by using the Sedona Method. As stated before, you have to add positive feelings and emotions to your affirmations, and if negative feelings are getting in the way, you need to be able to let go of them.

Your self-talk can either prevent you from getting what you want in life, or it can be a powerful catalyst for creating the life you’ve always wanted. Create a daily practice of using positive affirmations to help motivate, support, and inspire you to go after your dreams.

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