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You know by now that affirmations are a powerful and positive way to rewire your brain and change your reality. But did you know that it’s not enough to have a generic affirmation on your wall? Experts have found that affirmations are much more effective if they are custom-tailored for your particular needs. Designing your own, personal affirmations will allow you to transform your life because they reflect your values and respond to what you need to hear to deal with your own self-doubts.

Here are five immediately applicable tips to turn your affirmations into powerhouses for change in your life.

Step #1: Notice and Write Down Your Negative Self-Talk

This might seem counter-intuitive but think about it for a moment. Most people have a negative mixtape that runs constantly in their heads. All the mean or critical things anyone has ever said to you stay in your memory. Think of all the things your Inner Critic says to keep you down.

Write down those negative beliefs and have a good look at them. Which criticisms have really stuck with you? How do they make you feel? What physical effect do you notice in your body? Notice where you feel that physical effect – you’ll need that information for Step #4. Is there a theme for those negative beliefs like work, study, or your relationships? Do you see a pattern in your life? List the ways the negative beliefs have affected you in the past, or right now in the present moment.

Step #2: Turn Those Negatives into Positives

The next step is to turn the negative, limiting beliefs that impact your self-esteem into positive statements by turning them around. Instead of, “I don’t deserve to succeed,” or some version of that, try saying, “I’m a good person who deserves good things in my life.” Notice how the positive flip of your negative belief makes you feel now. If saying your new, positive affirmation makes you smile, you’re onto something.

Step #3: Rinse and Repeat

The key to effective affirmations and their life-changing effect is to practice saying them out loud – regularly and consistently. Try scheduling your affirmation time, so it doesn’t slip off your schedule. Put a reminder on your computer or in your cellphone, or both! Attach your affirmation practice to an existing habit like brushing your teeth or shaving to help you get into the daily habit.

Repeating your affirmations while looking into your eyes in the mirror also increases their transformative power. this might be challenging at first, but hold that eye contact with yourself, and focus.

woman wearing black sports braStep #4: Feel your affirmations in your body

When you practice your affirmations, place your hand on the spot in your body that reacted to the negative belief in Step #1. Many people experience a heaviness in their stomach or around their heart, for example, or you might feel your expression change to a frown, or a tightness in your jaw. Pay attention to your breath and notice how you feel physically when you say the positive affirmation. This action anchors the belief in your body and makes it easier to internalize physically as well as in your subconscious.

Step #5: Ask a positive, supportive friend to help

Another way of bringing your positive affirmations into the real world is to ask someone to repeat your affirmation to you. Find someone you trust, a friend or perhaps your life coach, to look you in the eye and say your affirmation out loud. With their permission, you can even record an audio of them repeating your affirmations to you and keep it handy on your smartphone or tablet. Sometimes hearing the affirmation from someone else helps US to believe the positive statement about ourselves.

My final suggestion to you – actually, more of a challenge – is to start this process RIGHT NOW. Take just a few minutes to move through this process, starting with step 1, and let me know in the comments how it goes. If you  need additional help in creating affirmations for your personal practice, check out my article “5 Powerhouse Tips for Using Positive Affirmations” or “What are Positive Affirmations?” or take a look at my Affirmations index page HERE.


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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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