I used to think that mantras and affirmations were for sissies. Well, not quite, but I did believe that they were superficial and used by people who simply weren’t ready or didn’t want to do the deeper work that would actually make a difference in their life.
I was wrong…
At least partially wrong…
The way mantras and affirmations are promoted as self improvement techniques is what keeps them from being effective.
Simply writing down a mantra (a bit cliché) or an affirmation (#QOTD) feels good but doesn’t do what it claims to do…
…shift you into a more positive mindset so you can actually manifest what really matters to you.
Many of you may not agree with me and that may mean you found the secret to using mantras and affirmations in a powerful way.
For me it took years to embrace the use of these simple statements until I discovered what to do BEFORE the mantra.
No one talks about BEFORE the mantra exists. (Secret #1)
That’s where the real work begins. It’s the deep dive into your naked self, faults, wrinkles, limitations, mistakes and regrets.
Combined with your brilliance, your inspiration, creativity, gifts, dreams and aspirations that will drive those simple words into the universal melting pot of possibilities.
Integrating and embracing both the shadow and the light, those things which cause you discomfort or that you’d like to hide, with the unique gifts that you bring to the world, where you shine and feel most alive, is Secret #2.
You can’t be one or the other. You have to be both and find the gift and lessons in all aspects of your life even the painful ones. Everything that has ever happened to you contributes to who you are today and will lead you to full self-knowledge.
(Secret #3) Self knowledge leads you to Purpose.
Once you understand and embrace all of you with self love, purpose stares you in the face asking, “What took you so long?”
Of course you’d love to keep these pithy statements to yourself because your inner critic is likely to jump in with both feet telling you how silly they are and why aren’t you stronger than that or chastising you for not living up to others’ expectations of what you should be and do.
The only way to make that little gremlin go away, and maintain the power behind your mantra or affirmation, is to …
…make it public. (Secret #4).
Tell your friends and those people who you know will support you and encourage you. Your tribe is there to help. And if someone diminishes you, time to let them go their own way. You’ve got places to go where they cannot follow.
There’s one more Secret. Without this last secret your mantra and affirmation will lose the power you’ve instilled in it.
Repeat it over and over and over again. (Secret #5)
Read it out loud in the morning when you rise, mid-day when you’re feeling overwhelmed and before you go to bed at night. Consistently saying it to yourself creates new thought patterns in your brain. It’s even got a scientific term: neuroplasticity. It’s a way to rewire your brain to increase your happiness.
Every thought you think and feeling you feel, strengthens the circuitry in your brain known as your neural pathways. Neural pathways are the basis of your habits of thinking, feeling and behavior.
There’s a saying, “Neurons that fire together wire together” (Donald Hebb, 1949). Changing the pattern of your thoughts and feelings changes the neural pathways that affect your life. This is what makes a mantra or affirmation effective.
That’s why this last secret, voicing your mantras and affirmations OUT LOUD and consistently, is SO important in rewiring your brain, shifting your mindset in ways that change your perspective, your relationship to the world and others, and your habits.
And I used to think it was only words….
Mantras and affirmations can be used to empower yourself to achieve your dreams but only if you know the 5 Secrets to making them work.
I’d love to hear how this works for you. Leave a comment here, share this post with others who need a mantra or get in touch and let me know how it works for you. In the meantime, here’s a great list of mindful practices to quiet the chatter in your mind.