It’s all Stuart Smalley’s fault.
That’s right, Stuart Smalley. His famed Saturday Night Live skit almost single handedly drove the status of the affirmation into the ground. No longer can we look in the mirror and verbalize our desired attributes without remembering that he’s “good enough, smart enough and, gosh darnit people like <him>!”.
We need to forget Stuart Smalley.
The fact is, affirmations are one of the most powerful tools in your personal development arsenal. If you are looking to make significant change this year, the use of affirmations as a catalyst cannot be overlooked.
Affirmation have been proven repeatedly to help people change their image of themselves. Ronald Alexander, PhD in his August 2011 article in Psychology Today states that:
“An affirmation can work as it has the ability to program your mind into believing the stated concept. This is because the mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real or fantasy.”
But let’s back up a moment…what exactly is an affirmation. Whether you know it or not, your affirmations are having a giant impact on everything you do. Now. Always. Affirmations are that little voice in your head that is constantly talking to you. Sometimes your little voice serves you, sometimes it limits you.
Affirmations are the story you tell yourself about yourself.
This is the most important story your will ever hear. Your little voice answers all your questions from “am I qualified?”, “do I deserve this?” to “what does that person think of me?”. It sets your expectations of yourself, forms your identity and predicates whether you will live up to your capabilities.
What you need to ask yourself is, who is writing your story?
Unfortunately for most people, this story is being written by their associations and environment. Whomever they spend the most time with and what is filling their mind. This includes what they read, watch and listen to. We all must choose these influences very carefully.
By writing affirmations, you are choosing what your little voice says. Look back at the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year and write your own affirmation. We have included some examples at the bottom of the page. Steal them, copy them, use them. Another approach is to identify something that you would like to change about yourself. List all the values, actions and character traits of someone who exemplifies that change. Build that into an affirmation.
Once you have written your affirmation, read it everyday.
What if it’s crazy voodoo? More importantly, what if it works?
What if you can create a whole new you?