A person’s mind stretched to a new idea can never return to its original dimension.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
A very powerful thought altering strategy is the use of affirmations. Affirmations will help you increase your enthusiasm, boost your confidence, get control over your emotions and build up your self-esteem.
The use of affirmations in personal growth and self-empowerment was invaluably propelled forward with the work of Doctor Emile Coue in Geneva in 1895. People in his clinic were recovering 5 times faster than the norm for other hospitals and clinics. He taught his patients to say, “Every day in every way, I’m feeling better.” The doctor and nurses would also use positive feedback and greet the patients saying “Every day, in every way, you are looking better and better.”
Repetition and re-enforcement is what makes affirmations work. A good program for affirmation is to say them 3 times a day; early in the morning and late at night, when you are more receptive to the power of suggestion, and once sometime during the middle of the day.
Some enthusiasts recommend saying affirmations 1,000 times a day. That’s a very powerful program but it also has a very high dropout rate.
I want to describe someone to you to help you understand the power of affirmations. I’m proud to tell you that I’m describing Kathy, my wife:
Warm, wonderful, genuine laugh
Very generous and feeling person
Possesses an incredibly high level of energy and passion for living
- Tremendous sense of humor
- Could be a stand up comedian
Been asked to develop and do talks on humor
Accomplished pianist- worked in piano bars
An authority on Broadway musicals
- Periodically does a radio show on musicals
Renowned and respected children’s librarian
- Nominated for librarian of the year
Gifted speaker on numerous subjects and always in demand
- Artistically talented
- Quilt maker
- Cake decorator
- Doll maker
Loves to travel
- Frequent trips all over the United States. Also has vacationed in England 9 times, Italy4 times and France 3 times
Co-founded the Maud Hart Lovelace literary society three years ago. It currently has 600 members
Co-authored the book – Gotcha (Nonfiction Booktalks To Get Kids Excited About Reading) and since has written 4 additional books on children’s literature
Been interviewed on numerous radio/TV shows
Several people have wanted to publish a book on her life story
Has been the principal speaker at numerous fashion shows for Nordstrom throughout the country.
Now I’m telling you this for a reason. Doesn’t Kathy sound like she has something going for her? Don’t you think there might be one or two men out there who might have some interest in Kathy? Kathy didn’t start dating until she was in her early forties, because Kathy had convinced herself that no man would find her attractive. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy; once you believe something you will take the necessary action to make it come true.
Whenever I tell this story in one of my Dare To Date seminars, I can see the wheels turning and can guess what the men are thinking – Yea, but what did she look like? Trust me! This wasn’t an issue.
Groucho Marx once said “ I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member”. My wife would say to herself that she wouldn’t want to go out with any man who had such bad taste as to ask her. With intensive counseling, she shed her negative self-image and replaced it with a much more positive self-image. Affirmations were one of the tools she used to create a positive belief system about herself. Kathy’s favorite affirmation is the following one:
I AM VIBRANTLY HEALTHY AND RADIANTLY BEAUTIFUL. I AM IRRESISTIBLY ATTRACTIVE TO MEN.
Did it work? It transformed how Kathy saw herself, how she dressed and how she interacted with men. Kathy got married after meeting and dating 107 men over a 4-year period (uh – this is a story for another time). I’m the lucky guy that married Kathy. In my Dare To Date class, I give Kathy’s favorite affirmation to the women and I recommend the following affirmation for men:
I AM AN ATTRACTIVE, HEALTHY AND INTERESTING MAN. WOMEN FIND IT EASY TO TALK TO ME.
Here are some additional affirmations:
- I deserve the best in life.
- Life is fun and pleasurable.
- I am responsible for creating my life.
- I am capable and competent.
- I can take care of myself.
- I deserve happiness and joy in my life.
- I can change my behavior when I need to.
- I can do anything I believe I can.
- I can create my life with my thoughts.
- I am the source of my power. My thoughts, words, imagination and beliefs are my power.
- I accept and believe in prosperity for myself.
- I am worthy of prosperity.
- I am worthy of abundance.
- I am worthy of joy.
- I am worthy of happiness.
- I am friendly, outgoing and confident.
- I have the ability to change anything in my life I choose to change.
- I take complete responsibility for my life.
- My life is getting easier and happier every day.
- I am becoming more and more focused everyday.
- I am a success in all that I do.
- I am free to be myself.
- I am a highly creative individual.
- I am free to choose the direction of my life.
- I am at peace with myself.
Identify the specific issue that you wish to work on and find or create the appropriate affirmations to support the change you wish to make.
These are my criteria for choosing affirmations:
Affirmations have to have some credibility. If you are unemployed or “between engagements” and your affirmation is “I’m going to be a billionaire in 3 months”, I don’t care how many times you say it, it’s probably not going to work for you because it lacks credibility. However, if your affirmation was “I am going to have a job in 3 months and be able to pay my bills and have a little left over to enjoy myself”; I think that has the necessary credibility to assist you in finding a job.
An affirmation should make you feel good when you say it. If it doesn’t, it’s too big of a stretch at that point in your life. Play with the wording and when you find that which makes you feel good, it’s a good affirmation for you.
When you begin to see the power of affirmations to reprogram you in a positive way and begin to believe in their power, you will want to try new affirmations. I am a big believer in affirmations, I have them scotch-taped on my bathroom mirror, displayed on my corkboard bulletin board in the bathroom, filed in my wallet, and present in my work place. I know they work.
After you experience using affirmations in a formal program (saying them each day at the same time and the same number of times), you will begin to believe in the use of informal affirmations. Two of mine are:
- I’m happily married and lucky to have Kathy in my life.
- Isn’t life great in the 21th century?
I say these to myself randomly throughout the day and guess what! I’m happily married and life is great for me.