Affirmations often seem so over-the-top and overly inspirational that they don’t feel real or true. And on difficult days it’s especially hard to believe them. It feels like an overly romanticized idea that can’t really be bought into.
But affirmations are practical and helpful. Why? Research shows that there are about 20,000 thoughts that run through our heads every day, and 75% of those ideas are just repeats of other ideas. Often, the thoughts that are repeated over and over are negative. This doesn't help us grow or move forward in life.
“If we’re going to make progress, maybe we need to examine some of these things and rewrite the negative things to be more helpful and more true.”
It’s important to examine the source of our actions.
Most of our actions come from three things: a thought, a feeling or emotion, or a habit. If the thoughts you’re thinking don’t support the actions you need to take in order to grow and move forward, then that’s a sign you need to reprogram them.
We can start by thinking about it as a “U” shape. On one side of the U, there are repetitive, negative thoughts that aren’t helpful. The mistake a lot of people make is swinging the pendulum all the way to the other side and thinking thoughts that are so unrealistic, they can’t really buy into them.
Money is one example. On one side of the U, people may say that they’re terrible and impulsive with money. Then, on the other side, they may that money is attracted to them and everything will work out perfectly.
It might work on a good day, but on a difficult day, there’s no way it’ll feel true or real.
Instead of putting your thoughts on either side of the U, write them down in the middle of the U. That’s where Jillian likes to put her affirmations. She has two rules: they have to be helpful and encouraging, and they must be true. Then, when you take action on it, it’ll become even more true.
It’s important to write affirmations around areas that you often get stuck in. It might be a difficult process at first because you have to retrain your mind to replace the negative thoughts over and over with the realistic affirmations.
“Say them often enough to rewrite that script where it really will influence your actions.”
Jillian has several practices that help her thoughts stay balanced. She usually starts her morning by repeating her affirmations. Also, she always tries to make sure that she celebrates her victories with joy and gratitude.
Taking the time to pause and be grateful for your victories helps make your positive affirmations feel all the more true.
Affirmations may also change over time. So it’s also good practice writing your affirmations around the areas you’re currently working on. O once you’ve mastered that area, you can move on to the next one.
We all have things that we wrestle with, but the trick is to reframe our thoughts and actions in a way that is real, effective, and helps us grow in the right direction.