When many people think of affirmations, they immediately think of SNL’s, hilarious mockery of self-help, Stuart Smalley.
Affirmations have gained a lot of ground since then, but not without having to overcome some serious stereotypes.
So now that you have the picture of Stuart Smalley in your mind, now think of a football player in the huddle. I give you my homeboy Ray-Ray:
Nothing cheesy about that, right?
My favorite workout affirmation, “I got this!” works every time. I’ve never quit mid-run, mid-weights, mid-nothin’ with that simple mindset, “I GOT this!”
So what is an affirmation anyway? The word itself is derived from the Latin affirmare, meaning “to make steady, strengthen.”
Affirmations then can be seen as the perfect mental workout. As Zig Ziglar said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily.”
Just like getting in shape physically requires consistency, so does your mindfulness practice, affirmations or other. Especially in a world where negative vibes are a constant hurdle, skipping happy-go-luckily through your day/month/year may get a little dicey.
Much like exercise too, affirmations raise the level of feel-good hormones and push our brains to form new clusters of “positive thought” neurons. BOOM!
Can’t argue with that.
Affirmations also break patterns. When our thoughts are negative, our actions (subconsciously) manifest in their likeness. Therefore, by changing our thoughts, so shall our speech, so shall our actions.
And remember, words are tangible. Sound waves are energy. Thoughts too carry their own signals, manifesting in body language and even at the core of our cellular structure. Think water study; I never tire thinking of the water study;)
*Humans are about 60% water, just FYI.
I love this thought from Neville; Wishes Fulfilled, by Wayne Dyer:
“Every feeling makes a subconscious impression and, unless it is counteracted by a more powerful feeling of an opposite nature, must be expressed. The dominant of the two feelings is the one expressed. I am healthy is a stronger feeling than I will be healthy. To feel I will be is to confess I am not. What you feel you are always dominates what you feel you would like to be; therefore, to be realized, the wish must be felt as a state that is rather than a state that is not.”
“Sensation precedes manifestation and is the foundation upon which all manifestation rests.”
I must say I feel a huge shift in me after switching my thinking/feeling from “I will be” to “I AM.”
Now there is a strategy of sorts to affirmations. I don’t suggest for someone who struggles with weight to go right for the kicker, “I am skinny.” Instead, I would call up situations where you feel strong, easily conjuring up the feeling, “I am strong” with the statement. Same with confidence; think of situations in life where you are confident, no matter how minute they may seem, and conjure up the feelings with the statement: “I am confident.” Or, “I am healthy.” Or, “I am badass.”
Always using the present tense: “I am … ” or “Life is …”, and so forth.
Alright, now that you’ve got the basics, let’s crank it up a notch. Here are some killer affirmations for kicking ass:
1. The Universe has my back.
2. Go BIG or go back to sleep.
3. My life, my mission, thou will be done.
4. Peace begins with me.
5. I believe.
6. I step into my own greatness, with graciousness and gratitude.
7. Life is my creation; I choose happiness.
8. I AM _______________________ (insert language of kick-assery: fierce, unstoppable, fearless, powerful, etc.)
9. I was born for this.
10. In accordance with perfect nature, I am beautiful; I am strong; I am wise.
If you’re new to affirmations, like me, I would pick one a day. You can use it as sort of an intention setting practice. And as the day unfolds, your affirmation may act as a mental karate chop for anything that comes your way–especially, YOU getting in your own way.
I leave you with this: I AM beast at _______________________ . I AM boss of _______________________. I rock this shit!