I flirted with the idea of starting an affirmations practice for years before I actually did it.
I learned about the power of positive thinking and positive self-talk in ninth grade from my Trigonometry teacher. However, I didn’t really learn what an affirmation was until many years later while I was living in Miami. At the time, I was working in the music business and learning as much as I could about pretty much anything that I thought would uplevel my life, including affirmations.
An affirmation is a powerful sentence that we repeat several times. An affirmation is also known as a mantra (a Sanskrit word for “mind vehicle”). Affirmations help us to create the life we want because they point us in the direction we really want to go, regardless of where we are right now.
When I first learned about affirmations, I thought they sounded like a good idea in theory. However, there was always a part of me that resisted taking this practice seriously because it sounded too New Age woo woo for my taste.
“Speak something over and over again and it’ll happen? Sure, and the moon is made of cheese.”
My logical mind rejected affirmations because that’s not how life works. Our lives are some sort of combination of free will, fate, luck of the draw, God’s blessings, and shit happens.
Magic? Miracles? Co-creation with the Universe? Girl, bye. Insert Prince’s infamous side-eye.
The turning point for me was in 2016. I had just quit my stressful job in Corporate Finance to focus on my health and my life coaching practice.
I had a Southwest Airlines credit that was about to expire, so I used it to visit my dear friend, Princess (hey, boo! Love you!), in New York City. Oh, how I love New York City. I’m always inspired by this concrete jungle where dreams are made of -- people are moving and grooving, making it happen.
Anyhoo, I had just met with a potential client in Union Square and wandered on over to the Barnes and Noble to spend time browsing books. That’s where I found a book by Louise Hay that changed my life.
Believe it or not, I found out about Louise Hay thru Jennifer Lopez. In her book, True Love, Jennifer wrote about meeting with Louise Hay. I had never read Louise’s work before, I so purchased You Can Heal Your Life and headed to a quiet vegetarian restaurant nearby so I could start reading.
I could not put it down and wanted to highlight the entire book, passage by passage. Everything Louise said made sense to me and she convinced me that affirmations weren’t woo woo, but rather a sensible tool to incorporate into any personal development program.
I am so glad I took the plunge and started an affirmations practice because it has made all the difference. My Ulcerative Colitis is in remission. My beautiful daughter was born healthy in July of 2017 and we have been on our breastfeeding journey for over a year now. My business is thriving and I am working with the most amazing clients.
More importantly, my mental landscape is beautiful and I feel more confident than I have in years.
I finally understand that I am the only thinker in my mind and I can use this power to think life changing thoughts. As Eckhart Tolle said in The Power of Now, “If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.”
Now that I have an established affirmations practice, I think back to when I first started and what I wish I had known at the time. I’m sharing this information with you today so that you can hit the ground running and avoid this pitfall that I encountered (and that almost took me out of my practice).
Here is what I wish I had known about starting an affirmations practice:
QUITE SIMPLY, IT TAKES TIME.
In theory, I understood this because starting an affirmations practice is a lot like planting a seed.
You see, when you plant a seed, you don’t expect it to bloom five minutes later. You don’t say, “Oh, it’s been five minutes and it still hasn’t bloomed. This is nonsense. I give up.” Not at all. You let the seed take root and give it time to grow. It may be weeks before you even see the first sprout. What you don't see is that the seed is hard at work behind the scenes, cracking open, multiplying cells, and growing every day.
The same thing goes with affirmations. When you recite an affirmation, you are planting a seed in your mind.
I’ve seen a lot of people start out strong with their affirmations and then lose steam really quickly because their life isn’t immediately changed. They then become disheartened and write affirmations off as New Age garbage.
Real talk: that was almost me. I started out strong and then when I didn’t see immediate results, I said, “I call bullshit.” I almost quit.
However, I thought back to my high school and college days when I did Taebo pretty much every single day. One of the things that Billy Blanks always said was, “It took you time to get out of shape. It’s gonna take you time to get back into shape.” This always encouraged me to keep going even if I wasn’t where I wanted to be.
The same goes with your affirmations practice.
If you really want to be successful with your affirmations, you’ve got to give yourself time to let the seed sink down into your subconscious and take root. Your practice lasts a lifetime, so don’t get discouraged and quit five minutes into it (like I almost did).
Now it’s your turn. Comment below and tell me what you wish you already knew about starting an affirmations practice.
I’m cheering for you. Like your prize roses are blooming.