Society today is fast-paced, hard-core and for the general part negative. Often people can be heard making comments such as “This year was a tough year”; “Finances are short”; “Life is hard and cruel”; “my marriage is rocky”; “my children never listen to me”; “I am a failure”. The list can go on. We hear on the radio or see on TV constant reminders of the crimes taking place, the political fights, and the economic downfall.
I am not saying that some of these things do not have merit in them nor am I asking you to be naive or unrealistic. What I am emphasizing is the constant bombardment of negativity we hear subconsciously or consciously every day.
Positive affirmation is geared to shifting our focus from the negative to the positive. It is the reaching for the gold within and pulling it out. Positive affirmation is a way for you to be your best friend instead of your worst enemy. Any good psychologist, life coach or counselor will tell you that you need to be kind to yourself, love yourself, and be your best friend. This is not to do away with any relationship rather it is coming from the old saying “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Yes it’s from the Bible. However both experts and studies show that it is true. What we believe about ourselves ripples into our behavior, worldview, and the life that we live. Positive affirmation is one of the many keys to living free and powerful.
Benefits of Positive Affirmation
Some of the benefits of positive affirmation include
- Changes to belief system
- Increased energy levels
- Strong muscles
- Higher success at achieving goals
- Decrease in depression, stress, and anxiety
- Improvement in workplace, relationships, and worldview
- Increased health
- Increased longevity
- Improved coping skills during stressful times
- Increased creativity
- Sharper focus
Positive Affirmation and your Family
Although positive affirmation is generally referred to as self-talk, I believe that it has a place in our family life. All of us have relationships from work to family. Positive affirmation not only changes our viewpoint of our friends and loved ones it also reminds them of the beauty and strengths within them. We all need encouragement from our loved ones; a gentle reminder to stay on course achieving our goals and believing in ourselves. When someone believes in you it helps direct your thoughts towards that belief.
For example, a couple of years ago I was at a Christian conference were the guest speaker spoke on strategists. While she was speaking about strategists, my instincts immediately identified that this person was speaking about a characteristic of my husband. The moment I got home I rushed to tell him that he was a strategist. My eyes sparkle with truth and excited conviction as I spoke to my husband. Judging from his body language I knew that it was resonating inside him. Within several weeks I could see he was verbally agreeing with the truth that he is a gifted strategist. Life began to confirm this for him and his confidence went up several notches.
Affirming our loved ones is the skill of revealing the truth of who they really are. Some of this truth is hidden from them – a blind spot – whereas others are truths that are forgotten. Either way it shifts people’s views off the negative onto the positive.
Positive affirmation works the same way for children. We tell them the truth about who they are focusing on the positive behavior and characteristics. Let’s be honest, nobody needs to tell us what we are bad at; we already know that. What we all need is someone to believe in us. This is crucial for our children. When they say “I can’t” we tell them “You can; just keep trying”.
We recently bought the latest Rayman video game for our XBOX One mainly for me to play but also for the boys to learn a bit more about the hand-eye-coordination required in video games. This game targets children from nine years of age, my eldest son is five. Yesterday he hit a hurdle on one of the stages. His words were “I can’t”. My words to him were “You can! I know you can. Never think you can’t because you always can, it just takes some practice.” Within the hour he did get past his hurdle. Yes I did help him by showing him a few techniques to make the character jump and bounce. What can I say, my boys are fast learners.
Another example is from my middle son (three years old) who on the surface doesn’t seem to listen to his parents. One day I had a brainwave. Every time I tell him something or answer his questions, usually resulting in the same question being asked repeatedly (or coming across as ignoring us), I ask him “what did Mommy say?” He immediately tells me. I then affirm him with “you are a good listener, my boy” or something similar. This is much better than becoming frustrated and telling him he never listens to us.
My point is this, we teach children positive affirmation by modelling it and affirming them until they are old enough to affirm themselves. Like everything it is a skill that needs to be learned.
Practical Ways to Positive Affirmation
To positively affirm yourself, look at your goals, dreams, aspirations and strengths. What positive things do people say about you? For example, I have been told by several people that I am going to be a writer and illustrator both of which are strengths of mine. My positive affirmation “I am a best-selling writer. I write simple but deep profound writings”, or, “I am a gifted artist whose drawings speak to many”.
The key is keeping the affirmations short and simple. Focus your thoughts onto those affirmations and where possible declare them over yourself.
Other ideas are to write them down on sticky notes where you can see them frequently. There are many ways that you can creatively remind yourself. I find photos or sketch the pictures I have that are about my future and character. Sometimes I paint my nails specific colours to remind me of something important and positive. If you sew, make an outfit that matches the affirmation. If you like jewellery make or buy yourself a piece of jewellery that you can use to remind you of your positive affirmations. Perhaps you like food in that case make a meal that summarizes or describes your affirmation effectively. You could even buy a fragrance. There are countless creative ways to affirm yourself both verbally and visually. Try and engage all your senses and the affirmation will sink even deeper into your belief system.
For my children and husband, I print photos and draw images for them. I also keep a book for each of my sons and my husband where I can write positive words in or letters to them.
The words we speak over ourselves, our children, our partners, and other loved ones will affect their self-worth and the overall relationship. The only power people have over us is the power that we give them by entertaining the things that they speak over us. With positive affirmation you can declare over yourself, your relationships, and life the positive truth about each situation and person. Positive affirmation shifts the negative aside to make room for the positive. As human beings our brains are wired to behave on a superior level when we think positively. Positive affirmations (prophetic declarations for those of you who are Christian) empower us to walk into our destiny with boldness and confidence.
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