Affirmations bring conscious awareness to your thoughts. Interestingly when you start making conscious positive thoughts, you actually become more aware of the negative thoughts that often threaten to take over. It’s like having a little gremlin sitting on your shoulder, saying ‘no you can’t.
Dr. Joanne Wood at the University of Waterloo examined whether affirmations made students feel better. 68 students were asked to repeat to themselves every 15 seconds, “I am a lovable person.” Those with high self-esteem felt better, those with low self-esteem felt worse. She theorizes that those with low self-esteem feel worse because they did not believe the statements and also they could not resist negative thoughts. First, they felt bad because they had not responded to the affirmations as they thought they should, and second, they had negative thoughts.
She does go on to say that “positive affirmations can help when they are part of a broader program of intervention.”
If you haven’t put pen to paper yet and are saying ‘I am an writer’ you may feel like a bit of a fraud every time you look at the blank page. Unless you take some kind of action, those thoughts will never become a reality.
There is plenty of research that tells us action follows thought whether by design or desire. We are our thoughts. Thoughts can and do control so much of us. It is estimated that we have over 70,000 thoughts a day, though goodness only knows how the scientists work this out.
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha
How are thoughts carried around?
Our nervous system, contains cells called neurons and glia (astrocytes), these cells are our messengers. Neurons make the connections and deliver the action and glia are the support team. It is estimated that the brain alone consists of at least 100 billion neurons. That’s a lot of cells doing a mass of complicated work on our behalf.
Thoughts are messengers, some conscious, some unconscious, some mind chatter, some highly trained and focused and some simply wandering, all being carried along by neurons who signal action.
In this moment whilst reading this, what thoughts are rattling around your brain?
Your brain, both hemispheres are doing a lot of work. Right hemisphere is in the moment and left is more considered, the right big picture, the left detail and this amazing organ, which still confounds man is your very large thought processing machine.
Ian McGilchrist (The Master and his Emissary) shares with us that the right hemisphere contributes to a way of being that senses context and the interrelated whole nature of reality, whereas the left focuses on text and the individual parts that comprises the world. Despite our tendency to split the brain operation, it must be remembered that at anyone time the whole brain is being used.
Naturally thoughts about, for example how to plan your day may account for a lot of your thoughts. Thinking about resolving a problem (how to plan an outline) or how to create something new (a unique way to deliver a workshop) will occupy another large chunk, Making our body do it’s day to day tasks and responding to stimuli account for some more and then there are the gremlins that lurk.
Creating affirmations and overcoming gremlins
It is these wretched gremlins that sabotage our affirmations.
Sometime ago I was invited to a five day challenge where I had to write five days of affirmations and that each affirmation had to be hand written 55 times, in the following format.
Dear universe, god, grace or source, I am grateful for xxx and I feel yyy.
After some reflection, my first affirmation was:-
Universe, I am grateful for having optimum health, wealth and energy. I feel amazing and I can achieve anything.
Before I started I was thinking of all of the things that I would love to manifest, I concluded that unless I had optimum health, wealth and energy, everything else that I might affirm could be a waste of time.
The key is that I actually take steps every day to improve my health, wealth and energy. I have a great diet, drink lots of water, walk daily, go to yoga and I am mindful about what I do.
When set in the context of an achievable goal, affirmations can be positive and life changing. Affirmations can re program what we believe about ourselves and if done for the greater good or our higher self, then that can only be good.
You can use daily affirmations and no you don’t have to do 55 lines of the same sentence to get your writing time off to a positive start. If you are writing a book, use the process to ensure that it is something that gets you motivated to tackle whichever part of the book you are on. If you are stuck, then you can use affirmations to get over what is getting in your way.
How to kickstart your writing with affirmations
Use journaling to overcome your gremlins
Journaling affirmations is really effective. Journaling has the added benefit that you are writing (job done!)
- Take a step back; identify what your writing gremlins are
- Add in the facts, as you perceive them
- State what your gremlins are and are not
- Now detach yourself and look at them as if they were in a movie and happening to someone else, what do you notice in observing them from a distance?
- Take some time out and reflect – what do you learn?
- How might you advise someone else with this particular gremlin fever?
In doing this exercise you are allowing yourself and your thoughts to gain some insight into your perceived issue, which will allow you the opportunity of creating a well formed affirmation that wont get attacked and sabotaged.
Use journaling to set up your day
When you go to bed make a note in your journal about what you would like to achieve the following day. Sleep on those thoughts and in the morning construct your positive daily affirmation.
You are more likely to be able to create positive affirmations if you are in a positive frame of mind.
Setting goals, affirmations and action plans
- Create a goal for what you want – this could be your end goal – getting to first draft
- Identify a daily writing (editing, planning, other publishing) goal (e.g. you want to write 2000 words a day)
- Make sure your affirmations are something that believe you can do
- Build on the series, so that each time you re-affirm you make it just a little bit more stretching, whilst still being believable
- Use visualization to create a mental picture of what it would be like when you are / have what you want – make it bigger and brighter
- Be open to opportunities and possibilities
- Make sure you hand write your affirmations, 55 words seems like a good a number as any
- Set them using I AM statements, always make your affirmations in the present tense
- Add in the emotions you feel when you have achieved your goal
- Say your affirmation out loud to yourself a few times during the day
- Then identify the actions you are going to take to make this a reality
- Do them!
Write your affirmation in 55 words
For the challenge I was intrigued about the number 55. Why I wondered did I need to write it 55 times and did 55 hold any energetic vibration that would make this a more powerful activity?
According to Angel Numbers, 55 is a potent number as it carries twice the vibration of a number five.
“Angel Number 55 is a message from your angels that it is time to let go of the ‘old’ that is no longer positively serving you, and get ready for big changes to take place in your life. Release old doubts, fears and perceived obstacles and look forward to wonderful new opportunities.”
Which makes sense if you consider that by creating really powerful, well constructed affirmations we are telling ourselves that we want to make changes and we are willing to take action. That works for me.
The writing part also makes sense to me. Writing is cathartic and connects you to your thoughts. The act of writing enables you to link up with your mind machine and lock into place the positive thoughts that you want to use to re programme your unconscious mind, for positive outcomes.
Set up an automatic reminder system
Send yourself an email. Tweet yourself, in fact several times and ask others to re tweet you as the day goes on. There are so many ways that you can remind yourself of your affirmation during the day. What about putting post it notes around the house so that you can see what you are aiming for, as you go about your daily activities.
Affirmations can create the energy you need to set fire to your goals and light the way to your dream of becoming a published author.
What about you, what would you like to manifest through your well-formed affirmations?