What you say to yourself when you are by yourself is critical to how you define your identity and how much effort you’ll put into claiming your dreams.  These words are affirmations.

As Henry Ford puts it:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

I remember when I was first introduced to affirmations;  verbalizing positive statements such as “I Am the great and powerful Oz” or something much less sarcastic…

You see I am not much of a kool-aid drinker and can be a skeptic. I am a logical person who wants to see results from using tools or systems.  Having someone tell me “Trust me it works” normally doesn’t cut it for me. That said, you’ll understand why I had to experiment with these affirmations to see if they were all they were said to be.

I felt silly but I did create some…well 21 actually… “I AM” statements. Day after day, going through the motions of reciting all of them I did not find a magical “Aha” moment just frustration. This may be because I believed ZERO of them…

It’s taken me 3 years to tap into the power of affirmations. I have learned this secret: they are only helpful IF you believe what you are telling yourself because your true identity is not easily tricked. Start small. Start with things that you believe and make your affirmations R.E.A.L.

R = Relationship (with yourself):  You know yourself well enough to know that if you say “I AM an organized person” and you’re not; saying it won’t make it so. What you can do is affirm the gifts that will help you reach your dreams.  So maybe your affirmation is “I AM creative” and you simply stop trying to be the neat freak you simply are not.  

E = Environment (being positive internally):  This is about being realistic about who you are without being negative about who you – which is hard.  When creating your I AM statements only affirm your strengths.  The whole point is  to give yourself motivation to become more of who you already are and be the best YOU you can be.

A = Allow (yourself to celebrate you):  This is allowing yourself to talk about being gifted, being creative, being a great cook, being a great mom, a patient person, a giving person  – so you do more of what you’re good at.  It’s OK to brag to yourself to empower yourself!

L = Live out loud (give yourself motivation to be who you are): Think of affirmations as your own person prep rally – hence the megaphone in the picture above. Everyday we all battle negative thoughts in our heads.  Affirmations help keep us positive and constructive.

What do you need to affirm to get closer to your dreams TODAY?