If you want to change the way you feel about yourself, first you have to change the way you think about yourself. – Gavin Bird
In my coaching work with job seekers and developing leaders, I see primary emphasis placed on the external aspects of acquiring a new position or skill – developing an effective resume, LinkedIn profile, or consulting well-known authors on leadership principles. While these can all be key to achieving your professional goals, there is an often-overlooked set of inner techniques you can use to accelerate and strengthen your other efforts and help you move forward when your progress is stalled. One of these inner techniques is positive affirmations.
Positive Affirmations – What They Are
Jack Canfield (internationally recognized leader in personal development and peak performance and New York Times bestselling author, who also made use of positive affirmations in his own success journey) defines daily affirmations as, “simple, positive statements declaring specific goals in their completed states.”
These brief, positive phrases, repeated frequently, can have profound effects on your conscious and unconscious mind. They help you achieve your goals, gain confidence, and develop qualities you value.
Reciting affirmations has the power to release you from negativity, worry, and fear. They provide a simple strategy for taking charge of your thoughts, changing your pattern of thinking, and ultimately changing your life.
What Affirmations Do
Similar to exercise, positive affirmations can actually increase the amount of feel-good hormones in your brain and strengthen certain neural pathways. Positive thoughts create positive emotions, which can actually change our physiology and improve our mental, emotional, and physical health. They give you a means of taking charge of your own self-concept rather than defaulting to however the world may define you.
Repeating affirmations fosters a broader sense of yourself, reduces stress and rumination, and makes you more resilient to challenges.
How to Create and Use Affirmations
Keys to creating affirmations:
- Starting with “I am” is powerful.
- State the desired quality or goal in the present tense.
- Focus on qualities and goals that align with your personal values.
- Make them believable – focus on your real strengths or strengths you consider important.
While there is not one right way to use affirmations, you can think of it like a workout for your brain. The best results come from repeating them daily. The start, middle, and end of your day are particularly potent times. To make them even more powerful and effective, write them in a journal and practice saying them to yourself in the mirror (especially to start your day in the direction you want it to go). Another technique is writing them on cards you can keep with you and use them to recite aloud during the day. Affirmations said with enthusiasm energize them even more.
For a relaxing and soothing experience that can help with sleep quality, you can incorporate your affirmations into your meditation.
I am a talented professional with strengths that make a positive difference.
I am enough and appreciate my natural strengths.
I am healthy, wealthy, and wise.
My contributions and perspective are valued and compensated well.
Inside me I feel calm; no one can disturb my peacefulness.
My worry doesn’t control my life; I do.
This is just one moment in my life, and it doesn’t define who I am.
I have come this far and I am proud of myself.
I believe in who I am.
I am consistent in the things that I say and do.
I am always learning, growing, and getting better.
My best is always enough.
I’ve got this!
I can do this.
I am kind to myself no matter what.
I deserve good things.
I am a confident and capable person.
I am resilient and can handle problems with expertise.
ThinkUp – an app featuring affirmations that are personally used by dozens of notable people, including coaches, athletes, authors, and more. If it seems difficult at first to think of a meaningful set of affirmations, here is a great source of inspiration. You can also easily record your own affirmations and upload your own photos, and choose background music to make it more personalized.
I am – Positive Affirmations – an app that will send you viewable uplifting texts and reminders on a schedule you customize. They offer a 3-day free trial.
Suggested Affirmations from Louise Hay, Positive Thinking Expert
Life brings me only good experiences. I am open to new and wonderful changes.
I feel glorious, dynamic energy. I am active and alive.
Every experience I have is perfect for my growth.
Today I create a wonderful day and a wonderful new future.
Abundance flows freely through me.
My self-esteem is high because I honor who I am.
Positive Affirmation Guided Meditations on YouTube
Positive Thinking Meditation: Endorphin Meditation with Positive Affirmations – by meditation teacher and personal development coach, Linda Hall
Guided Meditation for Success, Confidence and Self-Esteem – by internationally known speaker, author and psychotherapist, Marissa Peer
Book on Affirmations
“You’re Strong, Smart, and You Got This” by Kate Allan. Her book is a source of validation and encouragement for those moments when you need a reminder of your worth.
Crafting Your Own
If you want to get yourself energized for something, or just want to be more optimistic in general, try coming up with your own affirmations.
What works for one person isn’t always going to work for the next. Feel free to create your own positive phrase. If you’re feeling a lack of some quality or focused on an uncompleted goal, affirm the quality, perspective, or completed goal that you desire. An affirmation can be one “for now,” it doesn’t have to be one “forever.”
A Success Story
A professional at one of my presentations told a story about how she had been frustrated and discouraged with her lengthy job search and decided to try using an affirmation. She affirmed something like, “I am a talented, capable, and knowledgeable professional. Prospective employers are seeing how I can make a valuable contribution to their organization and are compensating me well!” Within three weeks of using her daily affirmation she was offered, and accepted, a job she was excited about.
She said that the affirmation caused her to practice focusing on, and envisioning, what she wanted to have happen rather than what was not yet happening. Action and emotion follow thought.
You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens. – Louise Hay
Enjoy this nourishment for your mind and adding a simple and profound inner technique that will supercharge your focus, confidence, and ability to make progress on your professional goals!Career Advice | Job Search