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The Power of Affirmations

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post on getting knocked down with tips on bouncing back.  You can read it HERE. (Amazing how long things hang around on the Internet, right?)

In addition to those tips, I have several other tricks I use and have used which include The Artist’s Way, creative visualization, the law of attraction and of course,  the subject of this post, affirmations.

What exactly are affirmations?

affirmationsA simple definition: An affirmation is a statement we make to ourselves, positive or negative. Too often, this self-talk is negative.  Which does no good and keeps you stuck in the same negative bad-luck cycle. Time to change to the positive! Yes, it takes conscious effort to change, but it can be done. And the result will be a better life, because thoughts become things.

Let that sink in for a minute: thoughts become things OR IN OTHER WORDS what you think about becomes your reality. Pretty heady stuff, right? Sound good? Then let’s go!

Here are some tips for creating affirmations:
1.    State them in present tense (written or spoken)
2.    Make them positive (i.e. don’t write what you “don’t” want to happen but what you “do” desire. “I am a published writer” vs. “I don’t want my novel to get rejected.”)
3.    The shorter and simpler, the more effective.
4.    Create affirmations that are right for you (this might take some thinking/meditating/praying over)
5.    Create a feeling of belief that the affirmations can be true. To further explain #5: Some things you want might not feel achievable. For example, what if you want to be a New York Times bestseller, but you haven’t even finished writing your first novel? In that case, stating or writing, “I am a New York Times bestselling author,” might be a bit of a stretch for you to believe. You might want to start with “I am a published author.” OR if you’re determined for that NYT thing—and what is wrong with that?—try this: “I am IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING a New York Times bestselling author. When I started out with affirmations I used that I AM IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING phrase A LOT!!!

I am firmly in the affirmation believers camp, although when I started I was a bit skeptical. But I started really focusing on affirmations and writing them daily, first thing every morning (I mean before I even rolled out of bed) in 2008. This was coming off my almost decade of not writing. And as I wrote these affirmations every morning, I gained confidence in myself again as a writer and my new WIP started to flow. One of the affirmations I used was, “I am in the process of becoming a Golden Heart® finalist.” Didn’t matter that over the past 20 years I’d entered about 10 times, I wanted that final, darn it. So guess what happened on Golden Heart® call day in 2009? Well, obviously you know since I’m here blogging with the Rubies. (After this happened, I changed all my “I AM BECOMING” phrases to “I AM’s”!)

And yes, I write my affirmations but you can also say them or tape them all over your house and read them to yourself. Whatever works. I have two more little tips:

1. I start off my affirmations with: “Today I am thankful for…” as if I am grateful that what I want has already happened. (I think it gives my desires an extra little punch, can’t hurt, right?)
2. I end with “The Law of Attraction is unfolding and orchestrating all that needs to happen to bring me my desires.” I took this right out of Michael Losier’s book Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t Want.

Below are two quick interviews of authors who use affirmations. I thought it might be interesting for you to see how they utilize them in their lives.

Ellie James believes in dreams and destiny. A graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism, Ellie has been writing as long as she can remember, with tragic poems and tender stories giving way to mystery, adventure, and a fascination with the unexplained. BROKEN ILLUSIONS, the second book in her YA Thriller series, hits the shelves May 8. For more info, check out her WEBSITE.

Where did you first learn of affirmations?

A [writer] friend, the fabulous Catherine Spangler, told me about affirmations as a tool to counter negative messages. From there, I did lots of research on my own, especially into the Laws of Attraction.

What made you decide to try them for yourself?

Um….desperation? No, seriously. I was at a point, both in life and with writing, where several disappointments had piled up on me and were pressing down, like weights. And I knew that wasn’t healthy or productive. So…I decided to do whatever I could to make things better, beginning with changing my mindset.

Do you say them aloud? Do you write them down? Tape them to your bathroom mirror?

All of the above!!! I definitely write them down and tape them to the bathroom mirror, as well as my computer monitor. I’ve also learned how to counter any negative thought that flits through my mind with a positive affirmation. For example, if I find myself thinking, “Omigod, this is never going to work,” I counter with, “This is the most amazing process in the world, figuring out the details is awesome!”

Do you have any tips about creating affirmations?

Think about Nora Roberts, and imagine you’re her! Aside from that, let yourself think about who you want to be and what you want to accomplish, then write those affirmations as if you’ve already accomplished that. I use affirmations such as “Creativity flows through every cell of my body,” and “Connecting with readers is an amazing experience.” A tip that someone gave to me is to talk to keep your inner dialog and your affirmations as you would speak to someone you love. For example, we’re often pretty hard on ourselves, speaking to ourselves in words we’d never use with a friend. I literally cringe when I heard someone call themselves an idiot or say they’re stupid. I always try to speak to myself as a friend, like, “come on, honey, you GOT this.” For me, that gentles everything down.

Have you ever gotten away from affirmations? If so, what led you away?

Yes. Unfortunately. Deadlines can be killer, and so can negative reviews. I’m not proud of how quickly a few negative words from strangers has trampled on years of hard work, overriding the positive messages I’ve programmed into my mind. BUT the key here is recognizing what is happening, and reprogramming.

How did it affect you?

It was terrible, and I found my confidence, my creativity, and my productivity all suffering. THAT is when I realized what was happening and ramped up my own affirmations!

What did you do to get back on track?

Basically, I sat down and made a list of all the negative messages that had begun to play AND the personal fears they triggered. THEN I countered each with a positive affirmation, and began to daily meditate on THOSE affirmations. Additionally, whenever a negative message would play, I’d stop it as quickly as I could and counter with the positive corollary. Soon, my “mojo” came back.

An additional thought…

Thanks for this, Diana! I’m a HUGE believer in thoughts becoming things, and that we are all the captains of our own ships. Let me conclude with a Steve Jobs quote that I absolutely love: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Debra Holland is a USA Today bestselling author and a Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® winner. She’s the author of The Montana Sky Series, sweet, historical Western romances, which she self-published as ebooks. She’s had 90,000 sales in a year, and the books have recently been acquired by Amazon Montlake. You can learn more about Debra and her books, both fiction and nonfiction, on her WEBSITE.

(A note from Diana: Right after I loaded this post, Debra found out she’d made the USA Today bestselling list, so she had to update her bio, note the USA Today bestselling thing now–isn’t that fabulous!)

Where did you first learn of affirmations?

About 20 years ago, I attended a human potential seminar, called PSI seminars. That’s where I learned the power of affirmations, and worked on some personal ones. The one I needed to work on was, “I openly share my emotions with others.” I haven’t said that one for years because it hasn’t been a challenge. It’s hard for me to believe I was ever a person who didn’t share her feelings!

What made you decide to try them for yourself?

They work.

Do you say them aloud? Do you write them down? Tape them to your bathroom mirror?

I sometimes say them out loud. Usually, those are the ones that bubble up and I say them. Others, I tape to my mirror. I have one on the inside of my locker door at my gym. One on my computer printer. Some around my desk area.

How often do you practice affirmations?

When I feel I need one then I try to say it several times a day.

Do you have any tips about creating affirmations?

Say them as if you already achieved them. For example, don’t say, “I want,” say, “I have.”

Have you ever gotten away from affirmations? If so, what led you away?

Mental laziness. Forgetting about them.

How did it affect you?

I don’t achieve as much.

What did you do to get back on track?

I’ll come across one, or read or hear a new one, and that starts me off again. I like to say them when I walk or run. There’s something about the cadence of the walk or run that is very powerful.

My affirmation for years was, “I sell my books to the perfect editor, at the perfect publisher, for the perfect price, AT THE PERFECT TIME, that is mine by divine right.” It took many years until the perfect time came around, but now I’m so very grateful that I was patient! 🙂

THANK YOU ELLIE AND DEBRA!

In addition to books mentioned in the post, here are other books I used when I was learning about affirmations. If you decide to try affirmations, of course you can just get started–right now! But as you delve deeper into the practice, you might want to do additional research. There are many books on the subject so you should have no trouble finding a few that appeal to you! Good luck!

Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook, Creative Visualization, The Science of Getting Rich

ANY QUESTIONS? Need tips on creating your own affirmations? Do you already use affirmations?

Diana Layne is an award-winning author of PIRATE’S PROPOSAL, a swashbuckling pirate tale in The Tales of The Scrimshaw Doll series, and THE GOOD DAUGHTER: A Mafia Story (Vista Security prequel). Book 1 of the Vista Security Series, TRUST NO ONE (also her Golden Heart® final) is due to release the first of June. Check out her BLOG to find out how to get an ARC of TRUST NO ONE (and to see the new cover), and sign up for her newsletter on her WEBSITE to keep up with her releases.

49 responses to “The Power of Affirmations”

  1. Love this blog! I’ve been a believer in affirmations for years! Here’s my favorite because it covers such a broad field and leaves so many possibilities open: “I am abundant in all things that are for my highest good. My abundance flows from all directions and I relax and I go with the flow.” Then I end it with, “So be it.” or add a tag. Here’s the tag that got a signed contract with my dream agent Christmas Eve: “The perfect literary agent who is right for me and I am right for her manifests in my life here and now. So be it.” After awhile, you believe it and it’s only a matter of time (timing?) what the best thing for you comes to pass. Form always comes last. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Diana Layne says:

    I wanted to list some affirmations I use, a few years ago, I read a list of affirmations on a website–but these affirmations were originally Rita Rainville’s. (I use many of them, with some modification on my part.) I can’t remember the website where I found them but I did find that Leanne Banks (http://www.leannebanks.com/for_writers.html) and Robyn Amos (http://www.robynamos.com/articles/affirmations.htm) have them on their website.

    1. I am a talented writer.
    2. Creativity flows through me easily and effortlessly.
    3. Images and words come easily when I sit down to write.
    4. I write daily with excitement enthusiasm and confidence.
    5. I am a creative person and develop my plots with confidence and imagination.
    6. I have the craftsmanship and creativity to earn a living with my writing.
    7. I am my own expert, and I am not affected by the negative attitudes and opinions of others.
    8. I have a positive expectancy of big success, and I take setbacks easily.
    9. I easily balance the needs of my family with my own need to write.
    10. I am earning a living with my writing.

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  3. I first learned about the law of attraction in some management seminars but it took a bit of work for me to put it into practice. It required a whole new way of thinking–thanks for the blog Di, Ellie and Donna. Very affirming!

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  4. Mona Risk says:

    I believe in affirmation and it works for me. Every morning I keep repeating: “I can do it.” Or “I know it will happen.” And during the day, “Patience, it must happen.” Positive affirmation has helped me a lot not to lose confidence in myself when things went bad. And when they improve, I tell myself. “See, I told you it would happen at the right time.

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  5. I needed this today! Synchronicity at its best.

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  6. I have a friend who uses affirmations everyday and swears by them. Many of the manifestations in her life are almost eerily connected to something she affirmed that day. She has some really cool stories.

    Thanks for these resources and interviews, Diana! I’m off to read more about this stuff.

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  7. Nina Pierce says:

    What a great blog. I’ve just typed up my own personal and business affirmations, printed them and now they’re taped over my computer. After the year I’ve had, it’s time to start thinking positive again and get back on track.

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    • Diana Layne says:

      It’s often a bad run of luck or a bad year that will kick me back to doing them if I’ve gotten away. Things start going well and then it’s easy to forget to do them, then I’ll get knocked down and have to climb back up again. I’m trying to not let good times sidetrack me this time. Hope they help!

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  8. I like this, di. I guess it’s time to stop thinking of myself as a mentally deficient, brain-dead idiot. (Can you say redundant?) LOL I’ve always know the spoken word has power to bring things into being (And God said, “Let there be light! And there was light.), but never thought to apply it this way.

    Time for a change. I hate change, btw. *G*

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    • Diana Layne says:

      Heavens to Betsy, Ruby sis, do not think of yourself like that! You are one of the smartest women I know! Since you bring up the let there be light thing, then also remember the if you had but the faith of a mustard seed, you could move mountains. (rough paraphrase) It’s all about harnessing the power that’s available to us. You want to attract good things, you gotta put good thoughts out there…

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  9. Terri Osburn says:

    I’m a firm believer in positive thinking and it has saved my life and my sanity many times in the last 8 years. But I’ve never ventured this far into the affirmations. I’ve created a list to the Universe of what I want, with the hope putting it out there would bring it my way, but I can see I didn’t go far enough.

    I’ll be writing some serious affirmations this weekend thanks to this blog. Fortunately, I have a large bathroom mirror with plenty of room for these. I think the first will be “I am an agented author” though I like the detail of Kathleen’s affirmations. Time to dig deep.

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    • Diana Layne says:

      It’s about the Law of Attraction–what you put out to the Universe, you’ll get back. There are some more specific rules, I touched on it in the post about not using “don’t” b/c the Universe doesn’t hear “don’t” and so you’ll get what you “don’t” want, but work to phrase everything positively. Good luck and have fun!

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  10. I’ve also been using affirmations/positive statements for many years. If I need an extra boost to get me through some rough times, I surround myself with the positives: listening to CDs, (I especially like Esther Hicks’ Law of Attraction CDs), singing affirmations, reading affirming books, and making sure my mental mantra is positively distracting. I try to remember to ask myself which “reality” I choose to focus on — the one that isn’t so good, or the one I want. It’s all very exciting! Thanks for this very excellent post.

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    • Diana Layne says:

      Focusing on the reality you want is excellent advice! And moves into the Creative Visualization area, something I no longer get to do much of since I’m always surrounded by people these days. But soon…I’m visualizing quiet time and relaxation. 🙂

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  11. Rita Henuber says:

    If we don’t believe in ourselves no one else will believe in us.

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  12. Great post, Ladies. Since publishing my first book two months ago, I’ve been wearing my affirmation 24/7 to remind me where I’m headed. It’s a bracelet that says New York Times Bestseller In Training.

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  13. Alicia Dean says:

    I love this so much, ladies. I need to print it out and hang it on my wall. Great reminders. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. Lexi Greene says:

    Ah Diana,
    THANK YOU. You’ve reminded me of all of the affirmations I used to say all of the time. I’ve fallen off the wagon. They truly make a difference to your life. I’ve just ordered a couple of the books that were mentioned, esp the science of getting rich. I read the secret and meant to order it ages ago. Timing is always a blessing I think, and this is just what I need, right now!!!! THANK YOU.
    Lexi

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    • Diana Layne says:

      The Secret! I’d forgotten about that one–I think I read somewhere that it was based on The Science of Getting Rich, which is really a fabulous book, as old as it is. (I think it was first published in the 20s?) I have a friend who listens to the CD’s daily. I’m glad it helped, Lexi, and best of luck!

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  15. I’m glad to see so many people already do affirmations, or are going to start them. Some classic books for learning how to visualize positive things are Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. The Writings of Florence Scovell Shinn. I like Creating Money: Keys to Abundance, by Roman and Packer.

    Remember… You want to use affirmations as if you already have or are what you are saying. Thus, if you’re a New York Times Bestselling author IN TRAINING, you might remain in training forever. A better bracelet is, New York Times Bestselling Author! 🙂

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  16. Great post. I definitely believe in affirmations and have had some amazing things happen because of them. I used to put a daily affirmation at the top of my blog posts, but stopped when my blog posts became so sporatic. I have them on my fridge, bathroom mirror, and I say them out loud. When I go to bed each night I say them with as much emotion and enthusiasm as I can and then I lie in bed and put myself in those situations that I want to be in, letting myself really feel the joy. That’s the way I fall asleep each night. I highly recommend it!

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  17. Kelley says:

    Diana,

    Thank you for a great post. I am a real believer in affirmations (in fact I own the deck you have pictured). I’ve not used affirmations in my writing but I know they have brought me many important personal successes. I will have to start applying them to the writing. I think I might be ready.

    Hope you’re enjoying the weekend.

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  18. […] aren’t doing anything (writing, for instance  ::waves hand in the air:: ), consider again the power of positive affirmations. Here’s a post on that from the Ruby Slippered […]

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  19. […] bit skeptical. But I started really focusing on affirmations and writing them daily, first …www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com/the-power-of-affirmations/Google Alerts – […]

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