“I know that greatness begins in the mind. I know that what I believe about myself, I will become. So, I believe great things about myself and my future.”
One of the things I’ve learned so far in life is the power of positive affirmations. When it comes to self-care and self-love, positive affirmations can be the difference between a negative outlook or a positive outlook on your life’s circumstances.
Let’s take a look at what God says about a positive mindset. In Philippians 4:8 (NLT) we read, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
God knows we are imperfect beings predisposed towards negativity and sin. Luckily for us His Holy Spirit lives within us and can help guide us towards a life honoring Him.
Digging into God’s Word and allowing the Spirit to lead us helps us focus on God’s promises for our lives. He wants us to focus on “what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.” He wants us to “think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” For me, this means including God’s promises in my positive affirmations.
The Do’s and Dont’s of Writing Affirmations
Do make them clear and concise. You want your affirmations to be memorable. You want to speak them enough times to be able to recall them without reading them. When my anxiety is high and I’m having a hard time going to sleep, I have several affirmations that I repeat to myself from memory. When they are engrained in your memory, your brain starts believing that they are true. Your positive affirmations have a great calming power over your mind and life.
Don’t make them negative. What I mean is, don’t include the word “not” in your affirmations. Your brain skips over the word “not” in your head and starts reinforcing negative affirmations. Instead of “I am not a loser,” say “I am a winner.“
Do use biblical truths to help form your affirmations. Your affirmations don’t all have to be derived from Bible verses but having those mingled in your affirmations helps affirm God’s truths for your life. Let’s look at an example:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” -Proverbs 3:5 NLT
“I trust in the Lord with all my heart. I lean on God for understanding and knowledge.”
Do incorporate your SMART goals into your affirmations. Affirming your goals helps your mind start believing that you will actually achieve them which in turn will help you make daily choices accordingly.
“I am committed to nurturing and deepening my relationship with my husband. I make date-nights and quality time a priority.”
“I live a Spirit-led life of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
Don’t speak in past or future tense. Speak in present tense as if your affirmations and goals are true right now. Start your affirmations with phrases like,
How to Practice Positive Affirmations
Once you have written life-giving affirmations, it’s time to start speaking them over your life. What you think and speak about in your life is what you bring about in your life.
When practicing your affirmations, it’s important to say them out loud. When your brain reads, speaks, and hears something, it’s more likely to start creating positive subconscious thought patterns. It may feel silly at first but in time, you will start seeing the benefits of your affirmations and the silliness of it will subside.
Say them daily if not multiple times per day. I like to say my affirmations in the quiet silence of my morning routine. Occasionally, if there is a certain affirmation that I need to focus on more, I will write it on a post-it note. When I come across the post-it note in the course of my day, I will read it either verbally or silently. I may have the post-it note on my bathroom mirror, my computer monitor, in my car or in my planner.
Record your affirmations. Another really good use of time is to record yourself speaking your affirmations on the voice recorder app on your mobile phone. When you are driving in the car, cooking, or just simply multi-tasking elsewhere, play your affirmations and just listen to them. If you do this multiple times daily, your brain is hearing your affirmations repeatly helping them flood your subconscious with positive thoughts. This is also useful for when you didn’t have time to read and speak your affirmations during your morning routine but still want to get them in before work.
Shown below is a small example of my affirmations. Read them, use them as-is or edit them, and add to them to write your own positive affirmations. Then, start practicing them daily by speaking them out loud, record them and start listening to them while you go about your daily tasks.