Affirmations are positive thoughts or statements on a desired state or outcome.

Affirmations are not silly little positive sayings, rather they are focused antidotes to all the negative programming that gets thrown at us in life. Affirmations are reminders of possibility, they are a way of keeping vital truths firmly in the forefront of our minds so that we can “do as well as we know” in the critical moments of stress, the crucial moments of decision. Affirmations are powerful because consistent thoughts can become realities. The more often you reinforce the positive things and people in your life, the more likely it is that you will attract more good things in your life. Smile and the whole world smiles with you!

Most of us like to think of ourselves as reasonably positive people. Truth be told, most of us have rented space in our minds to our vicious internal critics, to self-sabotaging thoughts, to limiting beliefs. An amazing amount of our pain is self-inflicted. What we focus on expands, thoughts held in mind attract in kind, birds of a feather tend to flock together. Your thoughts today become your actions tomorrow. Affirmations are a path to freedom, peace of mind, contentment, and greatness, a way to ensure that you are more frequently your best self.

Affirmations are a form of self-programming. Like anything else in life, there is a skill to be learned in self-programming and designing your personalized affirmations. Affirmations are best when they are personalized to you. When I hear a saying that rings true to me, that trips an emotional chord, I will often personalize it by changing a few words to make it mine, to make it more specifically applicable to my individual situation.

Over time, you can accumulate a library of personalized affirmations, each strongly linked to a positive belief system that can be triggered by remembering the affirmation. One of my affirmations is related to racquetball and physical activity: “The longer the game, the stronger I get.” This affirmation is founded on the belief that the longer the game, the more physically tired the players are, the more important the mental aspect of the game becomes, and mental toughness becomes vital. The mental area of life is something I consider a personal strength so when I am weary at the end of a long racquetball match, I remember this affirmation, and it and the belief system (and the self image I have created and desire to live up to) it triggers, gives me a burst of energy, resolve, and strength.

Five closing quotes (including two from my grandfather):

“I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest.” – Muhammad Ali

“Any thought that is passed on to the subconscious often enough and convincingly enough is finally accepted. Constant repetition carries conviction.” – Robert Collier

“We are what we think. All that we are arises. With our thoughts, we make our world.” – Buddha

“An affirmation opens the door. It’s a beginning point on the path to change. Affirmation statements are going beyond the reality of the present into the creation of the future through the words you use in the now. When I talk about doing affirmations, I mean consciously choosing words that will either help eliminate something from your life or help create something new in your life. Affirmations are like seed planted in soil. Poor soil, poor growth. Rich soil, abundant growth. The more you choose to think thoughts that make you feel good, the quicker the affirmations work.” – Louise L. Hay

“One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true of false. It comes to be a dominating thought in one’s mind.” – Robert Collier