Build Better Beliefs with Affirmations

Affirmations have been mocked and misunderstood by many through the years.  My own husband enjoys creating what he calls    “Slam-firmations” and teases me with them.  Interestingly enough, he has his own positive affirmation posted in his bathroom and on his computer monitor!  I challenge you to avoid overlooking the power of a positive affirmation to shift your thoughts and beliefs.  Here is how you can create powerful, belief-shifting affirmations:

1. Start your affirmation with the words “I am”.   “I AM” is a name for God, and you are claiming Divine power and intervention when you start your affirmation this way.  You can also start affirmations with words like “I know”, “I have”, “I love”.

2. Write your affirmation in the positive.  If you focus on a statement like “I am not angry with my abuser anymore”, your focus is on the negative (in this case the abuser).  Instead write a statement like “I have forgiven those who have harmed me and I am free from the wounds of the past.”

3. Write your affirmation in present tense.  Even if you are not yet experiencing your affirmation, write and visualize it as if it were happening in this moment.  This will shift your unconscious mind into making the statement true.

4. Use your own words and language that is comfortable for you.  You want to use words that feel right on the tongue when you say them out loud.

5. Write your affirmations with passion and feeling.  Your “I am” statements should be charged with warmth and make you feel energized, happy, and peaceful.  Your affirmations will carry more power if your mind and emotions are engaged.

6. Engage your senses as you write and repeat your affirmations.  Use rich, colorful language that creates pictures of the life you want.  Write your affirmations on special paper with appealing fonts or script.  Listen to music as you read and repeat your affirmations.  If you enjoy incense, potpourris, or other room scents, use them.

7. Focus on the “what”, not the “how”.  Let your mind examine what you want to be true, but do not let it question how it will happen.  Your mind will limit the endlessly perfect possibility of how your future will unfold.

8. Incorporate your current successes and positive traits.  As you focus on the life you want to create, recognize what you already love about yourself and your life.  For example, “I am building my life upon truth because I have faced my fears and am strong and resilient.

9. Write affirmations about your deepest desires.  Ask yourself:

• What thinking patterns or beliefs would I like to change?

• What circumstances would I like to improve or transform?

• What experiences would I like to have?

• What feelings would I like to enjoy?

• What do I want my life to be like?

 

You can write as many or as few affirmations as you like.  You might make a list of several and rotate through them over the course of a week or month.  Take time to read through each of your affirmations, letting the words and ideas sink in before moving on to the next.   Affirmations can help you rebuild and strengthen you resilience, building better beliefs that support your success.

Advertisements

Five Belief Barriers to Team Success

ImageYour team has had their cheese moved and discovered a sixth dysfunction while having a crucial conversation.  You’ve tried to drive their purpose, test their passions and find their strengths.  Profits are down, tensions are up and you are wondering what ever made you think you could pull this group together.  And there lies the problem.  Do you actually believe it is possible to connect with the members of this group and work together toward positive outcomes?  Does each member of the team have a similar belief?  Teams are made up of individuals, and those individuals each have belief systems that either support or sabotage their ability to create meaningful connections.  When teams are stressed, limiting beliefs can derail any forward momentum.  Knowing and believing that you can create strong, healthy relationships is the first step toward building a team.

Henry Ford said it well, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”  Your personal beliefs are the filters that influence every thought, action, decision and relationship you have.  Your belief system began being formed in early childhood, and every relationship you’ve ever had has contributed to your belief about the next one.  So what do you believe about your ability to connect, build, maintain and deepen relationships?

There are five belief barriers to creating healthy connections. Identifying these barriers is the first step in creating healthy beliefs about your connections to others.

1.  Defensiveness stems from unresolved conflicts and unhealed wounds from past connections with others.  A false sense of self-preservation drives us to put up walls to prevent new hurts before they happen.  There is an injustice to this defensive posture as we hold ourselves from new connections because of what someone else did to us. The problem with this is that we are assuming this new connection will be just as harmful as the ones that hurt.  We fail to realize this new connection could bring healing and joy to our lives.  To eliminate defensiveness, we must develop the belief that we are resilient.  The word resilient stems from the Latin word that means literally “to leap back”. The resilient overcome obstacles.  “The Fraud Factor” shows up when someone believes they must cover up real or imagined faults.  This lack of authenticity can grow into a lack of integrity.  When a member of a partnership or team puts on a front, the others usually sense it on an unconscious level.  Transparency about your personal strengths and weaknesses is the best way to build trust, an essential component building relationships.

2.  Dependence stems from a false belief that you are not able to accomplish your objectives on your own.  An unhealthy dependence on others grows out of fear that without the strength or support of others, you are not enough.  This faulty belief usually has its root in early childhood where you were not given opportunities to overcome obstacles and excel.  Confidence is built slowly, one success upon another and confidence is the antidote to dependence.

3.  Comparisons can be an equally destructive barrier to connection.  It is human nature to do some comparing as you begin new relationships.  When two people first meet, they compare differences, noting how each is unique.  The danger comes when one of the parties in the relationship fail to meet some unwritten standard or criteria.  Uniqueness can be an attraction factor or something that makes you feel awkward and disconnected.  Diversity can be divisive or add variety and spice. Thinking “you’re not like me” or “I’m not like them” can be the beginning of a belief that either weakens or builds a connection. There are two potential routes your thinking can take:

“I’m not like them, so I don’t belong and never will.” or “I’m not like them, I can contribute my unique strengths and perspectives.”

4.  Distractions take our focus off the priorities important to the relationship.  Every relationship, partnership and team has values, goals, agendas and ideas whether they have been clearly communicated or not.  When one member is distracted by conflicting activities, the relationship suffers.  Believing in the vision of the team requires vigilant focus as well as the willingness to sacrifice personal agendas.

5.  Finally, personal preferences can be a belief barrier to creating healthy connections.  Certain personality types need more time and space than others.  They prefer to recharge their batteries with time alone.  They might need time to consider ideas and their responses.  They could have a greater need for quiet.  Believing that the relationship robs you of what you need to function will create tension and limit your ability to contribute generously.  Individuals need to be responsible for nurturing themselves and making sure they come to their relationships as healthy and whole as possible.  Communicating personal needs and taking time for yourself will help others support you in being your best.  Then you can come to the group refreshed and ready to take on any challenge.

Rising from the clay

Og Mandino writes, “Today I will multiply my value a hundredfold.  The height of my goals will not hold me in awe though I may stumble often before they are reached.  If I stumble I will rise and my falls will not concern me for all men must stumble often to reach the hearth.  Only a worm is free from the worry of stumbling.  I am not a worm.  I am a man.  Let others build a cave with their clay.  I will build a castle with mine.”

“Let others build a cave with their clay.  I will build a castle with mine.”  I love these two sentences!  It truly envisions a life beyond failure or discouragement. 

I was listening to a recording by David T. Blanchard on Og Mandino’s writings this morning and I was struck with the image of so many people mired in the muck of their failures and shortcomings.  Business owners and entrepreneurs are not immune.  We may keeping moving, apparently forward, but internally we go round and round with the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” messages in our minds.  This cycle of self-sabotage can be stopped.  Recognizing the negative chatter and reframing it takes effort — but the rewards are huge!  Freedom! Success!  Peace! You will finally allow yourself to enjoy your successes because you will feel your internal world and your external persona are beginning to match.  You will have silenced the voice that calls you a fraud, look in the mirror and like who you see.  You will reach out for your goals and believe they are attainable.

Does this sound reasonable — or is it a stretch for you?