The Power of Affirmations

Have you ever been stuck with the same negative thought running through your mind over and over again? Do you find that negative thoughts are influencing your behavior and your self-image?

It seems that even an unintentional negative remark can leave a lasting impression on us. Remarks and experiences build up throughout lives and settle in subconscious. It becomes a real problem when take those thoughts and make them own. What end up with is confusion and unhappiness. Our thoughts have limited us. But, there is a way out; affirmations can be the door to freedom from self-defeating thoughts.

Begin by taking some time alone. Write down your beliefs about men, women, work, your family, friends, your life in general, just anything that comes to mind. Make a special effort to write about things that you find yourself anxious about. Then carefully evaluate each statement that you've made. Is there room for a more positive view? If there is, write down the way you would like to think about that particular issue. This will be the start of a happier, healthier life. You will have personalized affirmations that meet your own life needs.

A key point to keep in mind is that things will change when persist in affirming the positive in lives. For example, at one time I was having a problem communicating with my daughters. I felt hopeless about relationship and decided to make the following affirmation a part of my life, "I loved and nurtured my children and we love and respect each other." Every time would have an unpleasant confrontation I would silently repeat my new affirmation that reflected the truth. I began to really believe it and it worked! Things began to change as I changed my attitude. I found myself responding less defensively and got a different response from them as a result.

The truth is, I had loved and nurtured my daughters, but I had also made some serious mistakes that affected their lives. It was important for me to accept responsibility for those errors, but not stay stuck in the negativity. The problem is that negative thinking can be partially true, but is usually taken to the extreme. I had to be willing to confront my beliefs about the situation and then change my thoughts to match the truth. This did not happen overnight. In fact, when I first began saying affirmations, I almost felt foolish. Yet, I finally realized that my thinking was keeping me stuck and that it was time to change my thoughts.

If stay bound in negative thinking it can cause emotional turmoil, inappropriate behavior and in some cases "mental illness." If I continually have stressful thoughts about my finances, I may find myself overspending in order to compensate for the anxiety. Then I could berate myself for being undisciplined. It doesn't make sense, but many of us have done that very thing. Instead I could reprogram myself to see myself as responsible with money. An affirmation could be, "I appreciate and value everything that I have and I use my money wisely."

You might find it helpful to make a list of situations that trigger your negative thoughts. In many cases, you can avoid these just by becoming aware of them. Accept the fact that you can change by consciously making the decisions that will bring about the life that you desire to have. Sometimes changing the way that you talk to yourself won't be enough; you will need to change your circumstances. But, this all begins with evaluating your beliefs.

If someone is angry with us, we might feel like it must be fault. Some of us need to see the difference between self-respect and selfishness. We don't have to please everyone else at own expense. This does not mean that don't love and care about others, but unless we honor our own lives, we will have nothing of value to give to others. There is great value in loving and accepting ourselves first. Some of us are trying so hard to win the approval of others that we have actually lost the essence of our own personalities and the gifts that we have to offer. Fortunate is the soul that stops and searches for solutions to the negativity in his or her life and then takes steps to change it.

There are many good books on the market today about taking charge of our lives. "Life Strategies" by Dr. Phillip C. McGraw is a very readable book that when applied can bring about very positive life changes. Audiences of Oprah know him as Dr. Phil and he has a very no-nonsense approach. According to Dr. Phil there are Life Laws that when broken can play havoc with our lives. Facing the truth is an important part of the mental health equation and takes time and energy to look beyond our denial. We all have blind spots, areas where our perceptions are incorrect. When we can finally identify them, we can begin to correct our thinking. Affirmations help to cement these new beliefs in minds.

Anthony Robbins, the success guru, has written two especially good books, "Unlimited Power" and "Awaken the Giant Within." One of the most relevant issues that Robbins deals with is how your unconscious beliefs control your life and that it is possible to change any habit or behavior right now. There was a time in my life when I took long walks and listened to his tapes over and over again. I was always impressed with the simple truth he conveyed. And, as I applied the things I learned, I got free from the limitations I had place upon my life.

Another good book from a Christian perspective is, "Telling Yourself the Truth" written by William Backus and Marie Chapian. The book's jacket says, "Find your way out of depression, anxiety, fear, anger and other common problems by applying the principles of misbelief therapy." In this book the emphasis is on the power that our beliefs have in our lives and how we can take charge of them. A quote from their book follows: "Did you know that God wants us to be able to control our feelings and actions? We can do it when we get rid of our misbeliefs and start paying attention to our self-talk." This book showed me that I needed to re-evaluate my thinking and helped me to design my own personal affirmations.

Those affirmations have really paid off in my life. I have gained new self-perceptions that have allowed me to do things that I would have never tried previously. I enjoy relationships with others that were either broken or that I may have never had and I have hope for the future. Life is an exciting journey and I am looking forward to every minute of it.

None of us totally live up to our values and beliefs. All of us have at one time or another let events or feelings control us. By doing the work of eliminating negative thoughts and creating our own personal affirmations we can move closer to the healthier and happier lives that we all would like to have. Here's my affirmation for you, "I know you can do it!"

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