Affirmations are powerful statements that can affect your emotional state and, some would say, your relationship with yourself and with reality. How so? In the best of situations, affirming something to yourself, whether silently or aloud, affects how your react to it and increases the likelihood it will come true.
In short, some people, including myself, believe you can will your greatest hopes into reality by thinking, saying, and ultimately doing things to make them come to pass.
This can be a blessing or a curse, but the point is this – you are what you think. Believe in what is possible and you shape your own reality. If you believe it is, it is.
Modern pop culture often shows us how to doubt ourselves and compare ourselves to others, allowing self-defeating thoughts and emotions to dominate our consciousness and limit our potential as human beings. In this context, adopting The Little Engine That Could’s notion of “I think I can, I think I can,” matters, in terms of emotional balance, self-worth, and success.
An April 2015 article on the personal wellness website mindbodygreen.com talks about a study on why affirmations work so well in power-based situations on the job. One quote from lead researcher and University of Toronto professor Sonia Kang stands out. “Anytime you have low expectations for your performance, you tend to sink down and meet those low expectations.” “Self-affirmation is a way to neutralize that threat.”
This is huge for someone who’s claustrophobic, for example – convinced they won’t be able to sit quietly with a large crowd of people at a concert. They might easily develop a negative mindset towards going to that event, snuffing out their confidence long before the thrill of attending outweighs the fear of dealing with momentary discomfort.
This leads to an important equation for rational thought – affirmation creates learned behavior, which then affects your reality. People can do amazing things and make it through a number of potentially stressful situations by separating themselves from the anxiety, tension, and stress they experience “in the moment.” There are a number of specific ways to do this, if you care to research them further.
The human mind is a powerful instrument, capable of experiencing great pleasure and extreme pain, whether real or imagined. People can program or condition themselves to do things they might think impossible. Using affirmations effectively allows a person to overcome self- imposed limitations and conquer things like shyness, anxiety, depression, fear, and self-doubt.
If you believe that affirmations work, you’ve already taken the most important step to making them come true for you. The possibilities, alone, are worth the effort to make something amazing happen, to “pay it forward” to yourself. Who knows what we might achieve, if we give ourselves the chance.