One of the books on my bookshelf that I consider a top ten book for personal development is Louise L. Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”. I first read this book about 15 years ago and it changed my life. Louise is known as the Queen of Affirmations.
You have no doubt heard of affirmations or even use them yourself. I have found they are best used with a meaningful goal you want to achieve. If you have a strong desire for something and you keep sabotaging yourself or continue getting stuck, affirmations can help by getting you to move past your self-limiting thoughts and beliefs and realize your full power and potential in whatever area in life you find the most challenging.
Here are five tips that have served me and my coaching clients:
- Your goal must be meaningful. You must want to change for yourself, not for someone else and your desire for change must be very strong. For example, if you’ve been struggling with your weight for a long time, and you’ve decided once and for all, you are going to find the best weight loss solution for you, and you KNOW why this goal is important to you, then you can create powerful affirmations to support your journey. Let’s say you want to be healthy and fit so you can do certain activities that would add so much quality to your life. Your new affirmation would be “I am so happy now that I am healthy and fit and able to travel comfortably and with ease”.
- Your goal must come from love for yourself. If your goal is to lose weight so your husband won’t leave you, you are coming from a place of fear. But if you want to lose weight so you can give yourself the best quality of life possible, then you are coming from love. One of my favorite exercises is to finish this sentence “I love and approve of myself, therefore I…will make healthy food choices and go for a walk today” or “I love and approve of myself, therefore I…will abstain from alcohol today”.
- You must learn to pay attention to and be aware of any negative thought patterns that don’t serve you. Trying out a new affirmation, one you are not used to telling yourself, Louise says is a surefire way to bring up everything buried in your subconscious that is in opposition to that. If you are working on self-love and you are saying everyday “I love and approve of myself” and the negative babble wants to contradict those thoughts, just see them for what they are – a way to keep you stuck in the past. Choose to give them no importance and let them go. Then continue practicing your new thoughts.
- You must be consistent (creating new pathways). Affirmations can feel silly because they won’t often feel true at first. But say them anyway and often! Scientifically, when you can stay consistent, you can train your brain to look at life differently. Your negative beliefs or habitual thought patterns were shaped when you were young, before the age of 7. Once you learn to recognize which ones are causing you to stay stuck, you can start re-creating the neuro-pathways in your brain. As you let go of the old thoughts and replace them with the new ones, you are literally “changing your mind” about what’s possible.
- Adding meditation and visualization to amplify your affirmation is a powerful way to strengthen your new belief. The reason your past limiting beliefs were so strongly formed before the age of 7 is that your brain was mostly in a Theta brain wave state. If you can get into a Theta brain wave state, which is done through relaxation and meditation, as you say and visualize your affirmations, you are creating a potent message to your brain and you will find yourself believing your affirmations are true, your goals are possible and you will start acting accordingly.
Debra Betterly, PhD is an Integrative Wellness & Life Coach and Metaphysician whose passion is to help women in midlife master their body, mind and spirit.
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