In the previous post, we considered the value and importance of affirmations. The basic characteristics of writing an affirmation for yourself are that it must be: Personal, Positive and in the Present tense. These are the first three P’s that characterize a good affirmation. There are 15 all together.
This means that it has to clearly refer to you. The best way to do that is to start with the word “I” and make some statement about yourself. For example:
“I am on time” instead of “It is good to be on time”
You may initially feel uncomfortable with a Personal statement like this because many of us were taught as children to be humble and not talk about ourselves. This doesn’t apply here because you should keep your affirmations almost exclusively to yourself. With practice you will get used to talking about yourself to yourself. This may lead to talking more about yourself to others. This can be a good thing in moderation, but only share your affirmations with your very closest friends, if anyone.
The affirmation is a positive/affirmative statement about what you want rather than what you don’t want. For example:
“I am always on time” instead of “I am never late”
We are so used to talking to ourselves and others about what we DON’T want that it can be difficult to say what we do want. When I wanted to quit smoking, I found it very difficult to state what I DID want rather than saying: “I am not smoking”. I finally wound up using: “I breathe clean, fresh air.”
This is important because our mind thinks with images and there is no image of a negative like “not smoking”. So we wind up with a mental image of smoking, which reinforces the behavior we are trying to eliminate. Make positive statements about yourself. Encourage those around you to speak about what they want rather than what they don’t want. That eliminates a lot of complaining from our conversations which is a good thing.
This requires your statement to be about what you desire in your present condition rather than something you plan to achieve in the future. For example:
“I am always on time” instead of “I will be on time” or “I want to be on time”
This may feel difficult at first because when you first say: “I am always on time”, you are not, which is why you are saying this. But this is not a lie. You are saying this to yourself. If you said it to your boss now, that would be a lie. If you said it to yourself to try to make an excuse, that would be a lie. But in this case you are saying it to yourself to improve your behavior. This is another reason to be careful about sharing these affirmations. Keep repeating your affirmation to yourself and you will soon feel more comfortable telling yourself this.
This is important because statements about the future are not in the present moment and when we make a present tense statement, our mind starts looking for ways to make it true right now. If you say it in the future tense, it will always be in the future and will not become a reality for you. If you say it as a “want”, it will remain something that you want rather than something you have or are.
This may set off a flurry of arguments in your mind. If you can’t work past those inner critical voices, you may need to rewrite your affirmation to focus on the process of becoming what you want to be. For example:
“I am focused on always being on time” or “I am learning to always be punctual.”
In the next post I will discuss a few more of the P’s of writing a good affirmation. In the meantime, see what you can do to begin with the first three: Personal, Positive, and Present tense. They are the basic building blocks of a great affirmation. Write three to five for things that you want to accomplish in your life and see how they feel. Repeat them throughout the day to yourself.
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