When I was five, my dad lost his job and began the long process of building his own business. Times were hard for a while. Years later, I asked him how he had lived through that difficult period. He replied,
“I kept telling myself, ‘I’m good at this. I’ll show clients how good I am.’”
Chances are, you’ve talked to yourself at a difficult time. You may have said, “I can get through this,” or “I have what it takes to succeed,” or “I bring out strengths in my team.” If so, you’re using what psychologists call positive self-talk, or affirmations.
Research shows that affirmations actually cause positive changes in the pathways of the brain, with measurable reduction in stress levels. By replacing self-defeating thought patterns with constructive thoughts and beliefs, we can in turn change our lives.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
Today we have new tools to amplify the power of affirmations.
One of the most effective ways to use positive self-talk is through an app I discovered called ThinkUp.
It allows you to record affirmations in your own voice and set them to music that is meaningful to you.
Then you can listen to them regularly, especially at times when you may not have the strength to tell them to yourself.
My Top 5 Tips to Kick Your “Affs” Up a Notch
1. Jot down a short list of personal goals—for example, stop putting yourself down or start feeling more confident.
2. Word your affirmations in the present, as though you’re already there. For example, say, “I am confident.”
3. Say the words to yourself before you record your voice. If the words don’t feel right, change them until they do. For example, you might change “I am confident” to “I am becoming more confident every day.”
4. Record your affirmations, then listen to them as often as possible. By listening to your own voice, you can change your thought patterns.
5. Update your affirmations whenever it is helpful, to fit what you need at the moment.
There is nothing more powerful than hearing words of encouragement in your own voice. I tried it myself and experienced marked improvement in my overall well-being. I now use it as part of my counseling and executive life coaching practice, and want to share it with everyone.
When used as part of life coaching or therapy, affirmations can be life-altering. If you are in need of inspiration or guidance toward achieving your goals, get in touch. (Sessions include customized affirmations!)
Mary Remon is a licensed private practice counselor and certified executive/ life coach with 20+ years’ experience helping people live happier, more productive lives.