In our world of information overload, we can easily overlook the practice of affirmations, a technique that can calm and center us in the middle of the most chaotic situations. I suspect affirmations have been used since the beginning of time, all over the world. It is no secret that many successful Olympic athletes, for example, practice affirmations as part of their preparation for events. In this article I will share some problems beginners face using this technique, common mistakes, and some steps to get started, quickly and easily.
For a variety of reasons, adults can feel very uncomfortable trying something new – being a beginner. Typically fear is one of the major issues. We may feel uncomfortable sharing this with others – family, friends, and associates. For someone beginning to use affirmations, knowing what to do and how to do it play a part in our hesitation.
We may feel this has to be something someone else has written or described – some kind of formal exercise that takes time and energy – two of our most critical personal resources. We may feel a little silly, out of our normal comfort zone. We are also part of the instant gratification society and typically expect instantaneous results.
There are some simple steps to reduce the anxiety and improve the probability of success. Affirmations can be silent and no more than three words long. It can certainly be helpful to write them down and keep them with you; however you do not have to share them. For some, recording the affirmations to replay on a computer, notebook, iPod, iPad, or iPhone may help to reinforce the positive thoughts.
Additionally, when beginning, take baby steps to build personal confidence in the process. Try one simple affirmation when you wake and just before you go to sleep. It may take a week or two for this to become something you do each day, but practice will help with your comfort level. Know that it probably will take some time for your conscious mind to catch up with the changes being brought to your subconscious mind. Probably, when you least expect it, you will catch yourself replacing a negative thought with a positive one.
At some point you will no longer be a beginner in this process and may smile when reflecting on the early days of discovery. Louise Hay, who is one of the world’s premier authorities on this subject, recommends keeping the affirmations simple, focused and direct. Above all, she practices what she preaches consistently, each and every day – excellent advice!
One final thought for you, from Nora Roberts, a world-renowned fiction writer:
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”