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If you want to adopt a growth mindset and achieve those goals and dreams, you can start with positive affirmations to uplift your spirit and claim your inner strength because words are very powerful, especially those you tell yourself.
Watch your thoughts. They become your words; watch your words. They become your actions; watch your actions. They become your habits; watch your habits. They become your character; watch your character. It becomes your destiny.Lao Tzu
But most importantly you need to believe in yourself and your capabilities to get where you want.
In this article, we’ll learn what these famous affirmations are and how they can help you shift to a positive mindset and eventually achieve your goals.
What are positive affirmations?
In simple words, positive affirmations are positive statements or expressions that can be used to challenge and replace negative thinking.
Sometimes negative thoughts can invade our spirits without invitation, and we can’t help it. It’s a human thing. Our minds are always searching for problems instead of enjoying peace.
What we can do about it is to outweigh the negative thoughts with positive ones.
That’s one thing positive affirmations can do.
Another thing that affirmations can help with is rewiring our brains completely. It’s like tricking our minds into believing that we feel a certain way or that we possess certain assets and capabilities.
Positive affirmations can help us create a mental image that the brain will accept as fact, which will help us achieve our goals and adopt a growth mindset.
I know how this sounds but it really works with a lot of practice.
Our brains are especially skilled at imagining hypothetical situations. So good, in fact, that we can’t tell the difference between what actually happened and what we imagined. This is due to the fact that vividly visualizing a situation activates the same neural pathways as it would do in reality.
Positive affirmations are beneficial for motivating oneself and boosting self-confidence.
If you’re still not convinced that saying a few sentences will make any difference, keep reading. You’ll see that there’s actually science behind it.
And I’ll show you how to properly set affirmations that will really help you out. and not just repeat a bunch of sentences that feel awkward and don’t resonate with you at all.
But first, let’s see where these affirmations come from.
Where did positive affirmations come from?
The French psychologist and pharmacist Émile Coué is recognized by many as the originator of affirmations. Early in the 20th century, Coué realized that his patients’ results were significantly better when he explained to them how effective treatment was as he administered it to them.
He invented a type of autosuggestion and asked his patients to repeat the phrase “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better” to themselves every day after realizing that the thoughts that fill our brains can become reality.
Throughout the course of his life’s work, Coué used his methods to accomplish many spectacular cures. He claimed to have effected organic changes through this autosuggestion.
Coué argued that altering our unconscious thought is necessary for some of our problems to be resolved and that this can only be done through the use of imagination.
In the end, Coué found that if his patients formed an independent opinion on their affirmation, his techniques would fail. This led him to the conclusion that you had to truly believe what you were saying in order for it to happen.
Do positive affirmations really work?
In fact, there is a fair amount of research that can back up this practice.
Neuroscience has proven that self-affirmations can activate parts of the brain associated with self-processing and valuation systems when reflecting on future-oriented core values.
With the aid of MRI evidence, the researchers found that the neural pathways in the cortex associated with self-related information processing and positive valuation increase when a person practices self-affirmation.
A study by Lightsey shows that “thinking positive” can reduce stress levels and is highly associated with happiness.
Another study shows that self-affirmations benefit one’s self-integrity in challenging environmental situations. It can enhance academic achievement, health, and relationships.
Your brain believes what you say about yourself and what you think affects what you achieve.
According to a study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, self-affirmation can result in significantly higher levels of physical activity and positive attitudes toward it.
Researchers have found that self-affirmations can widen a person’s perspective and reduce the effect of negative emotions.
Positive affirmations can be used to boost your confidence, fight negative thinking, and motivate yourself to achieve your goals and do new and better things in life.
How to set positive affirmations to help you achieve your goals
You need to believe what you are saying
Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind, you will hold it in your hand.Bob Proctor
Your positive affirmation must be realistic and believable in order for your brain to be convinced.
If you don’t believe what you’re saying is possible, practicing positive self-affirmations won’t work as intended.
In fact, according to a study, positive self-statements can work for people who already have high self-esteem but can be ineffective or even harmful to others.
For example, as the study showed, if people who have low self-esteem and don’t believe they’re lovable repeat “I’m a lovable person” will end up feeling worse.
So the key is to believe what you are saying.
Use personalized affirmations.
You’ll find next some examples of self-affirmations. You can use some of them as they are if they inspire you, or you can modify them as you please or create new ones that really speak to you depending on your goals and aspirations.
You can create affirmations that match your SMART goals (one that’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-related)
[Here is where you can find out how to set SMART goals.]
Focus on the positive things in your life, like “I have a loving family” or “I have a successful career”
Remind yourself of your strengths and capabilities. What makes you unique? Only you know what that is.
This will help you gain more confidence.
Make practicing positive affirmations a habit
It’s best if you repeat your positive affirmations every day in order to help rewire your brain faster and make the statements become a part of your subconscious mind.
The negative thoughts and everything that’s preventing you from achieving your goals will be replaced little by little until your mind is completely rewired and focused on your end goal.
Keep your positive affirmations positive
For example, instead of saying ” I will not fail again,” which focuses on what you don’t want to do and is itself a negative statement, you can say “I will succeed.”
So, it’s better to use positive statements.
Focus on effort rather than competence
When writing your daily affirmations, focus on the effort that you can provide instead of a certain competence that you presumably possess.
A recent study about the benefits of self-talk on children’s math performance, compared affirmations focused on effort (“I will do my very best!”) with affirmations focused on competence (“I am very good at this!”)
The study came to the conclusion that children with negative competence beliefs could improve their academic performance by internally affirming that they will deliver effort.
Follow positive affirmations with action
Rewiring your mind and spirit should be followed by taking action, and that’s the only way repeating daily positive affirmations will get you to your goals.
Maybe taking action is what you want from repeating daily affirmations but if you seek the motivation to get up and work you need to GET UP and WORK!
Action is what leads to more action.
Some examples of goal affirmations
First, think about the goals you want to achieve, then write positive affirmations for each one. Something that resonates with you and what you want to achieve.
These are some general examples of goal affirmations that you can specify and make more personal to meet your goals and dreams.
- Now is my time. I am ready to succeed.
- I feel confident I can do anything I set my mind to.
- I know what I want, and I’m going to take at least one step toward it every day.
- I turn my goals and dreams into actionable plans.
- I have everything I need to succeed.
- I am confident, persistent, and fearless.
- I believe in my ability to achieve this goal.
- I know I have what it takes to make it happen.
- I refuse to settle for less than what I deserve.
- I am on a journey to reaching my goals.
- I am worthy of my greatest goals and dreams.
- I finish what’s important and let go of what’s not.
- The success of others inspires me.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
[Here I have an amazing list of inspirational quotes about achieving goals that can inspire you to achieve your goals. Check it out!]
Examples of positive affirmations to help you adopt a growth mindset
- I can learn anything.
- When I get tired, I don’t quit; I take a break.
- When I make a mistake, I learn from it and move forward.
- I can start again.
- I am happy to try new things.
- Growth happens when I step out of my comfort zone.
- I am growing and I am going at my own pace
- I only compare myself to myself in the past.
- I am intelligent and focused.
- I am constantly growing and evolving into a better person
- I am proud of myself.
Positive affirmations need time to work on an unconscious level. So, if you are determined to achieve your goals, try them out and give them enough time to rewire your brain and help you adopt a growth mindset.
The key to getting them to work is to believe what you are saying and to follow them with action.
Tweak the affirmation examples I gave above or write your own and appreciate that new optimistic inner voice assisting you in making progress toward the goal that you desire.
Positive mind! Positive life!
What’s your favorite affirmation? Please share it in the comment section below!