One of the occupational hazards of being a life coach is straying into Saturday Night Live Stuart Smiley territory, and today’s topic –affirmations – almost begs to be mocked. I’m going there anyway, because…doggone it…they work. Here’s why affirmations make life better:
- Your brain is continuously seeking evidence to confirm your existing worldview. (See this great Forbes article for more on this.) If you are continuously repeating to yourself “I’m so bad at this, people at work are talking about how incompetent I am.” – you will screen out evidence of people who think you are competent and zone in on any criticism, proving your belief.
Affirmations help to loosen these beliefs and begin to change your brain’s filters, allowing you to see more positive results.
- As you continue to gather evidence of your affirmation, your confidence grows. As your confidence grows, your joy, happiness, and ability to stretch out of your comfort zone expands.
Often we give up on affirmations before this stage even begins, but trust me on this one, persevere. (Check out my post on the cheesiest of all affirmations to see how sticking with it changed me.)
- You uplift the people in your energy field. Before you scoff, bring to mind someone you know who is extremely negative. It might be the person at the office who is forever whining about her life, her boss, her work, her car, her injuries, etc. It might be the scary neighbor who screams at passing children.
We all know someone who is habitually negative – and I’m guessing you try to avoid them as much as possible. Imagine standing next to someone who is endlessly thinking about how horrible everything and everyone is, and then contrast it to someone who is thinking a (cheesy) affirmation like, “everyone in this room loves me.”
Are they not far more likely to act in way that makes you actually like (if not love) them, by smiling, seeming happy, and being interested in speaking to you? Even if they don’t speak to you, you are far more likely to walk away from someone thinking happy thoughts happier yourself.
So, give it a try and see what you think. It’s ideal to come up with an affirmation that resonates with you, that you can at least sort-of believe. If “everyone in this room loves me” is too much for you, dim it to “everyone in this room would like me if they knew me.”
If you would like some help, I’ve made a 3 min audio with the following phrases interspersed:
I am loved.
I am lovable.
I am loving.
I am love.
You can play it in the background as you are working, cleaning, driving, etc. – of course it’s far more powerful if you say it along with me! Click to download the MP3. (or click on the image below.)