If you’d like to change your life, consider changing your beliefs about reality. Here’s how this works: People want consistency between their beliefs and their behaviors. So if they change their beliefs, a behavioral change will likely follow.
For instance, if you believe you can’t go to a party without gorging on every bit of food there, guess what’s most likely to happen? You’ll gorge on every bit of food there!
A great way to change your behavior is to change your belief about the truth. If you believe you can go to the party and eat moderately – and imagine yourself doing so – then guess what’s most likely to happen? You’ll eat moderately.
When the outcome you envision is possible, you may find your behavior will often line up with what you imagine. The key word here is “possible.” If you’re a sixty-year-old woman with lower back problems, and you visualize an outcome where you’re the star player on a pro-football team, it’s unlikely you’ll actually become the star player.
So how can you change your beliefs to change your life? With your imagination. Napoleon Hill, an early 20th century writer and the author of Think and Grow Rich said:
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Sports players use their imaginations all the time. They envision hitting that home run, getting that perfect golf shot, or making that touchdown. They’ve mentally rehearsed the game-winning play so many times, that it dramatically improves the odds they’ll achieve what they believe.
When you imagine something as if it’s a reality, your mind and body often respond as if it IS a reality.
A great way to use your imagination to help change your life is to write positive statements, called affirmations. You can write them on index cards, on your electronic devices, in a journal, or anywhere where you’re likely to see them.
For instance, if you want to change your beliefs about your eating behavior at a party, a possible affirmation could be “I eat until I am satiated at parties. I stop eating when I am full. I know how to eat moderately in social situations.”
Once you have your affirmations written, repeat them to yourself silently or aloud. Imagine them as if they’re true. You can repeat them to yourself upon waking up in the morning, during the day, or before you go to bed at night.
Saying each one 10 or 20 times is useful. Work with a small number of affirmations at a time (e.g. no more than five), as opposed to a long list of them. In addition to, or instead of repeating them, you can also write each affirmation ten or twenty times, or record them and listen to them.
Tips for Using Affirmations To Change Your Life:
Use the Present Tense and Be Positive
Write the affirmation in the present tense, as if it’s already true. Affirm “I listen closely to my clients” instead of “I will listen closely to my clients.”
Say what you are doing in the statement, rather than what you are NOT doing. Affirm “I make efficient use of my time” instead of “I do not waste my time.” Avoid negative words such as “not” or “none.”
If you notice internal resistance to an affirmation, try a “willing to” affirmation first. For example, “I eat healthy foods every day” can be changed to “I am willing to eat healthy foods every day.” Once you accept the “willing to” affirmation as true, use the statement without its addition.
Pay Attention to Perspective
Use first, second and third person. Examples:
- “I, Jessie, easily imagine achieving my goals.”
- “You, Jessie, easily imagine achieving your goals.”
- “Jessie easily imagines achieving her goals.”
Our beliefs are affected by external sources. So it’s helpful to use the affirmation from a third party’s viewpoint in addition to your own.
Keep your affirmations related to your own actions, NOT in relation to others. For example: affirm “I’m aware of new opportunities all around me,” instead of “new clients contact me every week.” You can only affirm your own actions if you want to change your life.
Keep them realistic; affirming for goals or ways of being that are achievable and using affirmations that seem as if they could be true for you.
Write each affirmation 10 to 20 times daily. Record and listen to them. Or read them aloud or silently. Try to develop a daily habit, using the affirmations at a set time each day, such as the morning or before bedtime.
Use no more than three to five different affirmations a day. You can use the same statements repeatedly; there’s no need to change your daily affirmations if you’ve found ones that resonate with you.
Keep them handy where you’ll see them. Post them on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, or on a nightstand. Carry them on an index card or electronic device, and refer to them frequently.
- I face change with courage and determination.
- My actions are deeply grounded in compassion for myself and my fellow beings.
- I make food choices and eating decisions that support my well-being.
- I forgive myself for past transgressions.
- I deserve to look and feel my best.
- LETTING GO
- It’s safe for me to release old behaviors.
- I engage in regular physical activity.
- PATIENCE WITH WEIGHT LOSS
- I recognize that weight loss can be a slow process. I’m patient with myself and continue to maintain healthy eating behaviors even if I don’t see immediate results on the scale.
- I am a work in progress.
- I can draw upon inner strength to make behavioral changes.
- I trust myself to handle what comes into my path.
- I am willing to make positive changes in my life.
Affirmations are wonderful tools to help change your life. You can use them most anywhere and anytime, as well as customize them to fit any situation. You can create them simply by using your imagination!