Remember when music came from vinyl records? Maybe, you aren’t old enough to have experienced this firsthand, but I know you’ve seen the black discs with spiral grooves. Put the disc on a spinning table with a needle in the groove and wa-lah, music.
Now think of your brain as a vinyl record with thoughts about yourself that are deeply etched in the grooves. All thoughts, good or bad are called affirmations. You have good affirmations about yourself, but you also have some negative affirmations about yourself.
- I am stupid and clumsy.
- I can’t do anything right.
- I am a boring person.
- Nobody wants to be around me.
- I am such a looser.
- If I were smarter, I would go to college.
Again, consider the needle following the grooves on the vinyl record. Every time you think a thought it becomes further etched into your mind. If you bump the needle, it will drop back down into the groove…unless there is a major movement or an interruption. Same with our brains, barring some major event or activity, we will default back to the affirmations that we have etched into our brains.
Our Thoughts Control Our Actions
Not only do negative thoughts chip away at our self-esteem and destroy our happiness, but they determine our behavior. Our thoughts become a self-fulling prophecy. We act based upon our deepest thoughts and feelings.
Here’s a personal example. I have convinced myself over the years that I am a bad cook. My food never taste as good as when other people cook, even when using the same recipe. Sometimes, I start with good intentions, but something always goes wrong. In my frustration, I become careless and will just start throwing it all in the pot! After all, I know, it’s not going to be good! And when it gets to the table, I can say, “See, I told you I’m a bad cook!” Next mealtime, I have an excuse not to cook!
Do you see in the above example how a negative affirmation led to actions that led to reinforcement of the negative affirmation? It’s a vicious cycle.
Now, if you think, I’m going to change this self-image of myself, you are wrong! I like it this way!!! Actually, I just have wwaa…yy more serious self-image issues to work on.
What Behavior or Feeling Do You Want To Change?
What do you want to change about yourself? Nothing? Really?
If you need suggestions, here are a few ways that affirmations have been proven to be effective.
- reduce stress and improve job performance
- improving low self-esteem,
- weight loss,
- fear and anxiety
- improve job productivity,
- overcome bad habits,
- lower stress and rumination.
Normally, when we set out to change something, we start with a behavior to stop the undesired behavior. We plan healthy meals to replace our unhealthy meals. We adopt a program to stop smoking, drugs etc. We read books and plan activities to avoid depression. We snap a rubber band on our wrist instead of biting our fingernails. I’m not saying these activities are not worthy or valuable, but they usually fail until or unless you change how you see yourself. And that starts in the brain.
I'm beautiful no matter what. My curves are beautiful. I am who I am. Demi Lavato
Let’s Get Started
I recommend that you work on changing only one significant behavior or negative emotion at a time.
Write Your Positive Affirmation First! You must create a positive affirmation that drowns out the dominating negative affirmation.
Back to my personal example, what if I create a positive affirmation FIRST? “I make tasty and healthy meals that my family loves.” I repeat, repeat, repeat this phrase for days before I ever enter the kitchen. I start looking at easy recipes my family loves. I decide to make those again. I’m feeling optimistic and good about myself. But the negative affirmation is still playing in my mind, so I continually repeat my positive affirmation. “I make tasty and healthy meals that my family loves”. (Just typing this out, is encouraging me.) With this new attitude/belief, I’ll enjoy my time in the kitchen and create a delicious meal. Another affirmation that would help me at this time is, “This food is good enough, it does not have to be perfect”.
I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.
WHERE DO I GET AFFIRMATIONS?
Write Your Own
You can create your own. Start your sentence with “I am” or “I have” so they stay in the present tense. Never ever, say the word “try” as in “I will try”. Remember you are claiming your success, not trying for success.
Keep them short so you can remember them.
Add an emotion like, I am happy, or I feel energized to give it more power.
For many people, Bible Scriptures make excellent affirmations.
- I am wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
- I don’t worry about everyday life. God knows my needs and meets them because I make His Kingdom my primary concern. Matthew 6:25
- I am love because God is love and he is in me. 1 John 4:16
- I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
My favorite and the one I rely on for my business is
“I am bold and courageous, for God is with me wherever I go” Joshua 1:9
Use your internet to search for affirmations and you will find a bounty. You can narrow your search to whatever your issue is. You can find affirmations for kids and women as wells as for anxiety, low self-esteem, depression etc.
There’s An App For That!
We have a saying around our house, “There’s an app for that”. Sure enough, there is. Several, but I really like and recommend ...none of them. I have Think Up and Affirmations on my phone and have played around with them for months. They are very basic unless you purchase an upgrade.There’s A Book For That!
There is a whole bookshelf on the topic. One of the bestselling authors on the topic is Louise Hay. Her book You Can Heal Your Life is perhaps her best out of 5 books. It was also made into a movie. I have not read or seen the movie.
There’s A Video For That!
For a great series of messages on the power of the mind, click here for Mastermind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by Pastor Craig Groeschel. https://www.life.church/media/mastermind/ I have watched these and can strongly recommend them.
“If you want to change the way you feel about yourself, first you have to change the way you think about yourself.” Gavin Bird
In the same way, we exercise our bodies, we should exercise our minds. Over time, we can think differently and once we think differently, we act differently.
To start it takes about 15-30 minutes to choose/write out an affirmation. Post it where you will see it and be reminded of it. For maximum effectiveness, say it aloud in front of a mirror. It cost nothing, but you have so much to gain.
Set Reminders On Your Phone
Yep, it's right in front of you. Type in your affirmation and set it to remind you throughout the day.
You are already using affirmations every day, all throughout the day. You might as well be using positive ones.
Let that record player start etching a new song for you.