1. An affirmation should be short, simple, and direct. “I believe in myself” is preferable to “There are a lot of good qualities I have that I believe in.”
2. Keep affirmations in the present tense (“I am prosperous”) or present progressive tense (I am becoming prosperous”). Telling yourself that some change you desire will happen in the future always keeps it one step removed.
3. Try to avoid negatives. Instead of saying “I am no longer afraid of public speaking,” try”I am free of fear about public speaking” or I am becoming fearless about public speaking.” Similarly, instead of the negative statement “I am not perfect,” try “It is O.K. to be less than perfect” or “It is O.K. to make mistakes.” Your unconscious mind is incapable of making the distinction between a positive and a negative statement. It will respond to a negative statement in the same way as a positive affirmation (for example, “I am not perfect” becomes “I am perfect”).
4. Start with a direct declaration of a positive change you want to make in your life (“I am making more time for myself every day”). If this feels a little too strong for you just yet, try changing it to “I am willing to make more time for myself.” Willingness to change is the most important first step you need to take in order to actually make any substantial change in your life. A second alternative to a direct declaration is to affirm that you are becoming something or learning to do something. If you are not quite ready for a direct statement such as, “I am strong, confident, and secure,” you can affirm “I am becoming strong, confident, and secure.” Again, if you are not ready for “I face my fears willingly,” try “I am learning to face my fears.”
5. It is important that you have some belief in – or at least a willingness to believe in – your affirmations. It is by no means necessary, however, to believe in an affirmation 100 percent when you first start out. The whole point is to shift your beliefs and attitudes in favor of the affirmation.
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