How to transform your life with affirmations

Positive or negative, conscious or hidden, your beliefs about yourself and the world are the filters that create your experience. Each choice you make, big and small, and all of your behaviour, is based on your beliefs. They change how people see you and how they treat you. They cause every emotional reaction you experience. They are a set of self-fulfilling prophecies acting upon all aspects of your life, and they work even if you aren't consciously aware they exist.

If you want to change yourself or what you experience, you can see why you would need to change your beliefs first.

I used to think affirmations were way too weird and cheesy, and they made me really uncomfortable. I had too many negative opinions about myself, and when a positive affirmation contradicts how you feel about yourself it creates an obvious dissonance.

Because of this dissonance, affirmations are a very useful resource for finding negative beliefs, even if they are hidden or subconscious, and transforming them into positive ones. The effect of this on your life is profound.

So what do you do? First, visualize your preferred life and the type of person that would have this kind of life. What kind of person is this? What are they good at? How do they feel about themselves? What makes them different from you?

Next, using your imagination, make a list of "I" statements that would be true for that person. Write down as many as you like. For example, if you are imagining a successful artist you could start with something like this:

  • I am creative
  • I am inspired
  • I am confident
  • I am aligned with my true purpose
  • I am abundant

Once you have your list of affirmations you can start using them—preferably every day. Keep your list somewhere you will see it often. Write them out over and over, say them in front of a mirror, or whatever you think will work best for you. You can create a fun ritual or keep it simple. Do whatever feels right.

You may want to take it slow, using one at a time until you feel it has really set in. The goal is to be able to say each affirmation with complete confidence. Can you look yourself in the eyes and say each one without it feeling weird or untrue? Do you feel like you are really resonating with the statements? It may take weeks or months to feel like your affirmations are sticking and you've really changed. There is no rush.

Throughout this process, be aware of any negative reactions you may have; anything in yourself that contradicts your affirmations will surface as a negative emotion. It may feel bad, but this is good! Negative reactions show you where you are out of alignment with your ideal self. Do not worry about them, take them personally, or get caught up in them. You are meant only to acknowledge these things, and let them go. When the negative belief has been released you will no longer experience the negative emotion it once triggered.

Once you have mastered your first list of affirmations you could make a completely new list that addresses a different area of your life, or take your current list and make it more bold and exciting, expanding upon the positive progress you've made. Use your imagination and dream big! The more exciting, the better!