After reading these two posts on Mind Body Green and having to do a 21 day affirmation project for one of my classes this semester, I've had affirmations on my mind a lot recently. Now first of all, I'm not one for all those motivational quotes and inspiration images you see all over Pinterest and Instagram. Quite frankly, I hate them most of the time.
So when I was forced to do a project with creating an affirmation and saying it everyday for 21 days, I didn't like it. I think that fact that we crafted our own affirmations instead of using some cheesy "over said" one you might find online, it was a bit better, but still not for me. I thought after 3 weeks I might find it more pleasant, but still not for me.
The problem I find and which is touched upon in those articles from Mind Body Green, is that simply saying something isn't going to change a thing. You can't expect to say something a have it magically happen or even change your mindset. Just like you can't say you're going to run a marathon tomorrow with no prior training and survive. It's just not realistic.
Affirmations are supposed to be used to create a positive change in mindset and affirm, "declare", something. It's a declaration or supportive statement. But that's all it is support. It's really just strung together words that have no meaning if you don't take action on them (and fully believe them!). It's the passive "Have a good day!" from the cashier after you check-out at the grocery. That's great that you should have a good day, it may even put a smile on your face, but if you don't actually do anything to MAKE it a great day, it's not just going to happen.
Too many people think that by adopting a daily affirmation practice, they will automatically find all the answers to happiness, peace, and success. Some may find that having a personal affirmation does help them set the tone for the day, but other's, (like me) don't find them helpful and know that they are not a magic elixir.
To truly achieve the happiness, peace, and success we all strive for and the positive mindset we want to cultivate everyday, we need to do more. We need to take ACTION. Not just AFFIRMATION. However, to get yourself to take action, that does start with getting your mindset in the right place. You can do that by saying an affirmation, motto, hat have you, or by making goals, beginning the day with mediation, unplugging, going for a walk, etc. Just something to set your day, you week, with a simple "noise-free" tone and attitude.
Once you have yourself thinking clearly, you can now take action to make your "affirmation" a reality. If you still want to say an affirmation each day, after you say it, take one step or action toward bettering yourself. Whether it be having a healthy breakfast to promote your goal of eating healthier, a workout to build some strength, writing to that publisher about that book deal you want, even writing a page of that novel, painting your nails to give you a boost of confidence, whatever! Just take one small action and make that "good day" a reality and not just a stung together phrase of inactive words.
Over time, each day, you will be creating the happiness, peace, and success you want actively. You're turning your affirmation into an action that will produce results. If you want to not only believe your affirmation will be a real manifestation, then you need to take action. The only way you will be "confident", "healthy", "successful", "not let stress consume you", "be present and mindful in your day", you need to take real actions in doing so and not just say it.
So in a way, affirmations have potential, you just have to make them a reality and physically work toward making them happen. It's not enough to look in the mirror and speak you success or happiness. I wish you should simply say "I have peace and I am a being of kindness, beauty, and confidence," and have it become a reality. But with everything in life, it's going to take work, hard work, each and every day.
So, do I like affirmations? Do they always work? No, but they can if they are acted upon. That's why I like activity, I hate idle behavior. I'm sick of saying something, hearing something, and having it not happen....when it 100% could! Next time you say your affirmation or you even think about starting an affirmation practice, keep this in mind: every small ACTION creates a CHAIN REACTION to making your affirmation a reality.
So tell me:
+ Do you have a daily affirmation practice?
+ If so, do you find them effective? Do you combine them with taking real action?
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