At the beginning of each New Year, many people rush to set resolutions for change in many areas of their lives, yet fail to meet their goals. There are three major roadblocks on the road to lifelong change and one extremely helpful tool to help you blast through and keep going. Though affirmations sometimes get a bad rap as being ineffective and ‘new age’, they actually serve two important functions.
Affirm is a verb, defined as follows:
1. State as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.
2. Offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement.
When we are trying to do something new, we need a stated goal to work towards but we also need a constant stream of positive reinforcement to persevere. This is where affirmations become crucial to success.
Roadblock #1: Not seeing the truth of the current situation clearly
This first roadblock results in unrealistic goals, unmet expectations and disappointment. Everything changes better with love and compassion and it’s very difficult to make lasting changes when we can’t see clearly where we’re at and accept our starting position. Creating an affirmation such as “I will be CEO by the end of the year” isn’t helpful if you’re starting in the junior ranks. Clearly understanding your starting point and accepting the truth of it can lead you to a more helpful affirmation. This is not to say that high expectations for achievement are a bad thing, only to point out that we still need to begin where we’re at.
Blast through: Create an action oriented, achievable affirmation that will help to see the current situation clearly and open you to new possibilities.
Affirmation: “I explore the limits of my current position and look for new opportunities to contribute daily”
Roadblock #2: Trying to do too much at once
One of my wisest coaches has consistently said, “First things first, one step at a time.” It isn’t possible to have more than two or three focus points at a time, especially if all three are new. What we focus on grows and doing too much at once leads to burnout and damages our confidence.
Blast through: Create an affirmation that reminds you you’re on the path. Decide what you can realistically accomplish in a given time period and diligently work towards that goal. The work you do is enough to get you where you want to go.
Affirmation: “I can easily do one thing daily to move me closer to my goal.”
Roadblock #3: Failure to be a cheerleader
To change or grow, you literally need to reprogram your brain to send yourself positive messages so it will be motivated to change and any success you have will come easier. Once you’ve got a clear picture of your situation and have opened the door to opportunities, the next step is to affirm your successful steps. Something as simple as “You did it!” when you catch an opportunity helps to boost and protect your confidence. Confident people have a nearly obnoxious amount of praise heaped on them in childhood; most of us need to create that support daily. Focus on what you’re doing and praise accordingly. There are many critics out there; be your best cheerleader instead.
Blast through: Create a series of affirmative statements that praise your successes, big and small. Even a small step in the right direction will help allay fear and move you forward.
Affirmation: “You’re making steady progress!” “You did it!” “You’re on the right track!” “Your numbers were great!” “You put a lot of effort into that.”
Ultimately, affirmations are a way to reframe your experience and support you on the road to success. Focus on what you are doing, not on what isn’t being accomplished as quickly as you might like. Use affirmations to create situations where your goals become accomplished facts and you’ll find the way is made lighter with all that extra encouragement too.
Let us know if this was helpful – Do you use affirmations in your daily life?