We have all heard that repeating affirmations such as “I am beautiful, I am worthy of my success, and I am a good person” can boost our self worth and confidence. But there is much more to affirmations than just wishful thinking. There is a science behind how they work, and used well, they are a powerful tool for success. In this article happiness evangelist & life coach Julie Leonard explains how you can use affirmations for professional success.
What are affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements that can help overcome negative thinking and create and maintain positive thoughts. Just like physical exercise, affirmations are a workout for our brain. Used consistently and properly, they can support you to overcome obstacles that many entrepreneurs face, such as increasing your confidence before a presentation or speaking event, increase productivity, change habits, keep you on track with your goals, keep you motivated, improve your self esteem and belief in yourself and to push yourself out of your comfort zone (which entrepreneurs have to do every single day).
How do affirmations work?
- Creates strong neural pathways
- Affirmations are not just fantasy thinking, they are a technique that harnesses neuroplasticity. In fact, they aren’t simply about dreaming and hoping, they are actually a neuroscience technique that reshapes your brain by creating and strengthening strong neural pathways of positive thinking.
- Creates a positive inner dialogue
- By developing these strong neural pathways in the brain, you begin to change your inner dialogue too. Instead of the inner critic, you can more quickly think on the positive and begin to talk to yourself in a kinder and more confident way.
- Sets intention with clarity
- When you create your affirmations they usually are in alignment with your goals. Therefore, they help you get clarity on what you want and then to become consciously aware of your goals and to become intentional about achieving them.
- Builds resilience
- Developing a positive mindset through affirmations will support you to build more resilience and to move forward as life throws out challenges.
- Reduces stress
- Positive thoughts lead to positive feelings and reduce the cortisol in your body and increase the feel good hormone oxytocin.
How to create your affirmations for success
- Transform negative thoughts
- It’s time to dig deep, what are the negative thoughts and limiting beliefs you have that hold you back from truly going for it? Perhaps you learned that work is hard and therefore struggle to delegate or to believe you can earn well and work less. Maybe you believe you are not good enough and that someone like you can’t earn 6 or 7 or more figures. Ask yourself, what messages and thoughts have you been told directly by others? What negative thoughts have you internalised? How different would your life and your business be if you change your thoughts?
- Focus on areas you wish to change
- Take some time to think about what is holding you back. Which areas of yourself or your business would you like to change? For example, maybe you feel like an imposter and want to tell yourself I am passionate about helping others or I believe in my product or I am worthy of my success.
- Write them in first person present tense
- Always write your affirmation in the present tense and in the first person so that it feels like it is already true such as I am well-prepared and ready or I am good enough.
- Focus on progress not perfection
- Let go of perfectionism and make your affirmations realistic.You can still dream big but make them attainable. Maybe you would like to be a billionaire but are currently struggling to pay your bills then an affirmation of I will earn 6 figures could be a great first step.
- Pair them with other positive thinking techniques
- There is evidence that affirmations can be even more effective when you combine them with tools such as visualization and meditation. For example, try seeing yourself confidently giving a presentation as you repeat your affirmation that you are well prepared and ready. This will enhance their power.
Like all great well-being tools, the key is to be consistent and repeat your affirmations several times a day, every day. Understanding how powerful affirmations are will motivate you to use them to transform your mindset and your life.