In a recent post on change, I made reference to affirmations. I mentioned that if you want to change, one way of doing so is to visualize your change, make what you visualize into an affirmation, and repeat the affirmation over and over and over… For this post, I will discuss affirmations and how they can help us facilitate the personal change we desire.
So, what should you do in order to change and become a better person? This is an important question for all of us. When you are faced with the realization that something you are thinking and/or doing is not helping you to be that better person you want to be, then what should you do? One good tool to use is an affirmation. An affirmation, something that you assert strongly, is a present-tense, positive statement of a desired outcome.
In order to change in a positive way, you need to know what the change is and then set out on a plan for changing. Usually, knowing what the change is means you must first stop what you are currently thinking and doing. Then, visualize what the new thought or deed should be and change. It’s the “and change” that becomes the hardest for many.
The “and change“ part is where the tool of affirmation can help. For example, suppose you want to become a better person by not becoming full of rage every time someone does something to you that you don’t like. A specific example might be the rage you feel when, while driving, someone cuts you off and glares at you as if you have no right to be on the road. In order to become a better person, you decide that you want to become, in general, a more loving person and specifically, a person who treats all people with respect and courtesy in every possible circumstance. This changed way of treating people now becomes your affirmation.
Given the before-mentioned affirmation, what will happen the next time someone cuts you off? It’s possible you will still respond, almost automatically, in a most disrespectful manner! Does that mean that this idea of becoming a better person, using affirmations, doesn’t work? Not really!
You see, before, when you responded in the disrespectful manner, you probably would not have recognized your disrespectful behavior as anything different or unusual. Now, because of your affirmation and the promise to yourself, you would most likely feel a sense of guilt. You now know this is not the way you want to behave and realize that is the way the old you acts. You say to yourself that next time, “I will respond differently.” Therefore, your affirmation gives you the visualization and direction to change into someone who intends to behave in a respectful and courteous manner, no matter when or how you are provoked.
By saying your affirmation over and over again, you visualize and realize how your new behavior feels – day in and day out. After awhile, your new and desired behavior will become second nature to you. In this manner, you eventually will not remember any other way.
Affirm yourself into being better!