The Power of Affirmations

Embrace the glorious mess that you are.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Affirmations (meaning statements said with confidence about a perceived truth) have helped thousands of people make significant changes. But they don’t always work for everyone. How can one person have great success using this tool, while another sees no results at all?

An affirmation can work because it can program your mind into believing the stated concept. This is because the brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real or what is fantasy.

When you watch a movie and start to laugh or cry, your mind empathizes with the characters on the screen even though it is only Hollywood magic. There are both positive and negative types of affirmations. 

Positive affirmations

I’m sure many of us can remember being told as a child by a teacher, parent, or coach that we couldn’t do something (we were fat, clumsy, etc.). These unwholesome statements can stay with us in the conscious or unconscious mind, which we then reinforce throughout our lives.

For example, the fear of failure, according to Heinz Kohut, the grandfather of the psychology of the self, is often intimately connected to a childhood fear of being abandoned, either physically or emotionally. When we fear failure, we tend to overestimate the risk we’re taking and imagine the worst possible scenario—the emotional equivalent of our primary caretakers deserting us.

What we picture is so dreadful that we convince ourselves we shouldn’t even try to change. We avoid opportunities for success. When we fail, the unwholesome affirmation we unwittingly re-confirm is, “Success just isn’t written in my stars,” or “It’s just not in my karma!”

If an unwholesome belief is deeply rooted in our unconscious mind, it can override a positive affirmation, even if we aren’t aware of it. This is why, for many people, affirmations don’t seem to work: Their afflicted thought patterns are so strong that they knock out the positive statement’s effect.

Journaling in relaxing bathtub

How can we add more muscle to an affirmation, so that it has the power to triumph over our negative thinking? 

Please work on the following tools:

Emotional connection. Find an affirmation that sticks the cord emotionally. Feel comfortable saying it out loud. 

Habit-forming. Keep a daily journal to develop a habit of repeating the affirmation twice a day, once in the morning, when you wake up and once before going to bed. You have nothing to lose, and it will be worth it in the end.

Practice. After months of practice, you will find that affirmations are among the most effective ways to rewire the subconscious mind. It didn’t take long for them to start having a positive effect on the way one thinks about myself and, consequently, how one lives life. It helps refocus and get that annoying, insistent negativity out the way so that one can get back on track with achieving goals.

Self-love. Through practicing affirmations, you develop an increase in self-love and positivity that helps recover from any emotional wobbles more quickly. There is something much more grounding when you validate yourself through personal affirmations.

Listen to: The Modern Definition of Self-Love

Here are 20 uplifting affirmations that will help you manifest self-love in your life:

  1. I love and appreciate myself.  
  2. I am accepting of myself and my abilities.
  3. I will always create a way for me.
  4. I emit love and respect for others, and in return, I receive love and respect.
  5. I will let go of any negative thoughts about myself and replace them with positive ones.
  6. I am a well educated and talented and yet, humble person.
  7. I can create a positive change in the world.
  8. I acknowledge my worthiness. I am confident and courageous.
  9. I am uniquely created and worthy of respect from others.
  10. My high self-esteem allows me to be receiving and giving of compliments.
  11. I encourage others to be themselves, and they, in return, encourage me to by myself.
  12. It does not matter what people say. What matters is what I believe and how I respond.
  13. Positive things are taking place in the world, and the universe is radiating love & acceptance.
  14. I have high self-esteem, as I appreciate myself.
  15. I deserve all that is good in the world and will let go of any need for negativity and suffering.
  16. I do not have to prove myself to anyone. I know my self-worth, and I love me.
  17. I am at peace with my past. Everything that is happening is happening for a good reason.  
  18. I am not alone. The universe is guiding me and encouraging me every step of the way.
  19. My mind and heart are filled with only loving, positive, joyous, and fulfilling thoughts that will manifest in my life experiences.  
  20. My mind and heart are grateful for a happy and fulfilling life.

How positive affirmations can keep you focused

Affirmations remind your unconscious mind to stay focused on your goals and come up with solutions to challenges and obstacles that might get in the way.

They can also create higher vibrations for happiness, joy, appreciation, and gratitude. Then, through the law of attraction, magnetize people, resources, and opportunities to come to you to help you achieve your goals.

Whether you know it or not, you are always using affirmations… but usually not ones that will bring you what you want.

Affirmations and journaling

So, how do affirmations work?

When you engage in positive affirmations over time, you make new and stronger neural connections and chemical pathways. Many scientists refer to these changes in the brain as neuroplasticity.

In brief, we have realized that ‘neuroplasticity,’ the ongoing remodeling of brain structure and function, occurs throughout life. It can be affected by life experiences, genes, biological agents, and by behavior, as well as by thought patterns.”

Why positive affirmations are so important during childhood

A lot of research shows that we create our belief systems in childhood. This is the power of the belief that functions as our base for our whole life. This means we go through our adult life trying to experience situations that coincide with the views gained in our childhood.

This also means we are often tied to our beliefs’ limitations, depending on what we have experienced in childhood. These negative thoughts are often with us, even when we don’t realize it and call them negative beliefs.

This is why it is essential to be supportive and help children build a secure belief system with a positive attitude towards life. This way, we can help our children gain strong, healthy values and positive beliefs, which would allow them to gain confidence and a healthy dose of self-respect.

Benefits of positive affirmations

We all have long-term goals in life we want to achieve that may seem out of reach, and sometimes we may be reluctant to take even that first step. Certainly, affirmations can be helpful in those situations. They can improve our self-confidence and ability to overcome obstacles. But positive self-talk also allows us to deal with even more immediate mental and physical health concerns.

For instance, affirmations are helpful for depression and anxiety, often with repeated, negative thoughts that reinforce difficult emotions. Adding a positive mantra to your routine can work for anyone because you don’t have to feel that it’s true. Simply say it, and the brain and emotional benefits will follow.

And you know what’s even more powerful?

When you combine the power of affirmations with personal growth tools to amplify your manifestations! Because then you have two tools working on reprogramming your subconscious mind at the same time!

What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create. – Buddha

Trishna Patnaik Headshot

Trishna Patnaik, a BSc (in Life Sciences) and MBA (in Marketing) by qualification but an artist by choice. A self-taught artist based in Mumbai, Trishna has been practising art for over 14 years. After she had a professional stint in various reputed corporates, she realised that she wanted to do something more meaningful. She found her true calling in her passion that is painting. Trishna is now a full-time professional painter pursuing her passion to create and explore to the fullest. She says, “It’s a road less travelled but a journey that I look forward to everyday.” Trishna also conducts painting workshops across Mumbai and other metropolitan cities of India.

Trishna is an art therapist and healer. She works with clients on a one on one basis in Mumbai.

Trishna fancies the art of expressive writing and creative writing and is dappling her hands in that too, to soak in the experience and have an engagement with readers, wanderers and thinkers.


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