Language is powerful. It triggers emotion, allows us to communicate, and puts subtle thoughts into action. The nature of the language that we use to speak to ourselves affirms whatever we are already feeling, and coaxes specific emotions to come forward.
As researchers dive deeper into the science of self talk, they’ve uncovered more and more how the way we speak to ourselves influences our reality and wellbeing. Even the most subtle of linguistic changes can impact how you feel about yourself, and how you go through life.
Making New Pathways
You have the power to control the content and direction of your thoughts and how you speak to yourself.
This might seem easier said than done.
If you think of your brain like a forest you can imagine all these different trails. These trails are the neural pathways that are formed when you’re used to thinking a certain way, or talking to yourself a certain way. When you don’t use the other pathways as often, or ever, they tend to get overgrown and difficult to see.
When you’re used to using critical language towards yourself, the overgrown paths represents your positive self-talk. But the more you start to go down those paths, and use positive self-talk, the easier they become to navigate.
A whopping 33% of how we are feeling comes from our language. Having this awareness can help motivate you to put more time, effort and energy into developing positive self talk through affirmations.
The Power of Affirmations
Affirmations are a tool that allow you to rapidly clear out those clogged up pathways and train yourself to be in the habit of positive self-talk.
Affirmations are words or phrases that you repeat to yourself to help ground, motivate, and inspire yourself. Affirmations are a tool we can use to help us grow into who we want to be and reach our goals. They’re also a powerful tool to step more into your masculine or feminine energies depending on what you need at the moment.
The more you use specific affirmations, the more familiar you become with them. This helps you build a relationship with them, and when you repeat them to yourself it’s like turning to a friend for support, courage, or whatever else you need.
I Shifted My Life Through Affirmations
It probably comes at no surprise that I’ve been using affirmations to train my brain for years. When I first got started I used affirmations that helped me step more into my masculine so that I could perform.
One of my go-to’s was “I am confident, I am capable, I am filled with potential, I have insurmountable energy and I freaking rock!”
At one point, I was feeling confused about how to step more into my femiine side so that I could experience more reflection, feeling, and meditative states. So I shifted my affirmations to statements like “I, Mike, see, feel, hear, and know that I am influential. I am fun. I am faithful. I am love. I am courageous. I am free. And the purpose of my life is to educate, inspire, and be a force for others.”
Affirmations don’t have to be complicated. A simple “I am” statement can be incredibly profound and impactful. These are some that I use:
- I am a healthy CEO Dad.
- I am a great father.
- I am a great husband.
- I am a great mentor.
- I love my life.
See how simple it can be?
Building Your Own Affirmation Practice
Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice, and see just how much can shift from implementing your own affirmation practice.
- Create Your Affirmations: Ask yourself how you want to feel and what goals you want to reach, then build affirmations that help align you with that energy. Write down your affirmations in a journal, in your phone, anywhere handy.
- Calm Your Nervous System: It can help to put your body in a relaxed state so that you can properly receive the affirmations you say to yourself. You can do this by going for a walk and tapping into your breath with a simple four count breath (slowly inhale four counts, exhale four counts, then repeat).
- Use Your Affirmations: Now that you’re ready repeat your affirmation to yourself again and again until it feels settled and true. You can do this in your head or out loud. You could also set a timer for a minute or so and repeat it to yourself again and again until the timer is up.
- Bonus Points: Another way you can use affirmations is by writing them on a piece of paper and placing it somewhere like your mirror so that you’re reminded every time you look there. Alternatively you can record yourself saying your affirmations in the voice notes in your phone and play them in the morning, evening, or whenever you need a boost.
Some other powerful times you can use affirmations is when:
- You’re about to have a conversation you’re nervous about.
- You need to cultivate energy to get things done.
- You want to feel more connected to whoever you’re with.
- You want to switch your narrative from “Have to” to “Get to” .
Changing how you speak to yourself is essential for feeling like you have control over your mind, your life, and the direction you steer yourself each and every day.