Self-Affirmation is a key element to transforming your self-image 

I think that most of us are familiar with the wonderful children's classic that illustrates the incredible power that self-affirmation can have on self-image and our lives. 

The story of "The Little Engine That Could” begins on an old rail line in the countryside where a small train finds itself stranded at the bottom of a hill. Several trains chug by the sidelined cars which carry toys for the children over the hill but not one would lend a hand. A tired train slows briefly but ultimately passes by puffing, "I can not, I can not, I can not."

Along comes a small engine that is seemingly far too little for the task. In desperation, the big train begs the tiny engine to do its best to try and pull it up, over the hill. 

The famous line "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" is affirmed repeatedly by the little engine to convince itself that it can make it. The story ends, of course, with the little engine making it over and happily delivering the toys to grateful boys and girls.

This story allows us a glimpse at the immense possibilities afforded to those with positive attitudes towards themselves. 

Also, it underlines the potential for missed opportunities when we find ourselves wasting energy on self-doubting thoughts.

Understanding self-affirmation and its possibilities.

Self-affirmation gives you the ability to make changes in your life through positive reinforcement. 

By conditioning ourselves to focus on positive thoughts surrounding our lives, we begin to recognize all the good things about ourselves, which causes our self-esteem and self-image to improve quickly. 

We focus so intensely on the wonders in our lives and the things that make us special that it essentially leaves no room for negative thoughts.

This positivity gives us the power to change the way we feel about, interact with, and treat others. 

It can give us the ability to succeed at things we thought impossible, such as weight loss or healthy living, focus and creativity, professional success, or financial independence.  

It can help us overcome compulsive behaviors, addictions, substance abuse, or unhealthy habits - we can overcome them with positive affirmation as an added tool to our recovery process.   

Instituting self-affirmation in your life begins with a single thought.

Start your journey by creating a list of positive affirmations you can recite daily. The longer the list, the better. It will give you more selection and diversity. 

Begin with "I AM" statements:

  • I am successful
  • I am beautiful
  • I am strong
  • I am capable
  • I am worthy.
  • I am love
  • I am tranquil
  • I am powerful
  • I am free to be me

Once you have some "I AM" statements in your list, try using some other confidence-boosting statement starters:

  • I do not squander my time.
  • I can overcome negativity from others
  • I can create anything I want in my life
  • I surround myself with positive people
  • I will be better today than yesterday
  • I love that I eat healthy food and move my body every day
  • I’m so grateful for (fill in the blank) ...

Finally, add some self-motivating statements that are personal to you and your situation in life:

  • I love my children, and I show them every day
  • I am proud of who I am and who I am becoming
  • My relationships do not define me. I define me
  • I am a creative being
  • I am inspired by the people and circumstances that surround me

Once your list is complete, you can incorporate these statements and thoughts into your daily routine. 

Begin by waking up each morning and reading some affirmations from the list. Take a few from the "I am" section, a few from the confidence-boosting section, and a few from the personal self-motivating area.

As you read each statement, really focus on them - meditate ... 

Consider what the affirmation means to you today and not just how you felt when you wrote it. 

How does it show up in your feelings of self-worth and growth? Finally, think about ways you can increase the accuracy of the statements.

For example, with an affirmation like "I don't procrastinate or squander my time"  you might look at different ways to improve your productivity and implement those changes or actions in a meaningful way.

After your morning self-affirmation routine, you should carry those positive thoughts with you for the rest of the day. If during your day you begin to feel emotionally drained, irritable, or sad, play through one of the affirming thoughts in your mind and draw energy from it. 

Let those thoughts inspire you and create motivation to continue through your day.

Another way to stay connected to the affirmations that are shaping your life is to download an app to your phone that allows for notifications - reminders throughout the day to view or listen to your affirmations. There are several wonderful apps out there, such as #Mindful, Affirm it, and Affirmations

My favorite one is ThinkUp, which allows you to write and record personalized affirmations in your own words and voice. 

Building a bridge between positive, affirmative thoughts and healthy living.

Many studies are showing the physical effects that positive affirmation can have on us. 

Stress and anxiety, feelings of being stuck, and low self-image diminish as positivity grows. 

Overall, resilience increases as beneficial thoughts flow through our minds and we put them into practice.

The real power is in taking action based on the self-motivating affirmations we create.

Let's say an affirmation in our list is "I am healthy." 

That positive statement is true for just about everyone in some context. In one way or another, you are healthy, whether mentally, spiritually, or physically. 

Could that affirmation spill over into the rest of your being? Of course, it could! The universe and your mind don’t necessarily differentiate between the varying aspects of your health; stating, “I am healthy” can affirm and manifest health for every part of you. 

Integrating actions based on your affirmations is a great way to enhance the self-affirmation process. 

Looking at the "I am healthy" affirmation again, think about how it can motivate you to create positive habit changes. 

Perhaps you drink a lot of sugary drinks. Every time you go to have one, you can use the "I am healthy" affirmation to remind yourself to choose a healthier option, which helps make a physical change in your body.

Self-affirmation is a great way to take your self-image to the next level, but we must treat the process as we would any daily exercise. 

With habit-building repetition and persistence, we will begin to see a remarkable change in our personal growth leading us towards a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lifestyle.


The Self-Image Manifesto

You’re Invited To Live An Extraordinary Life!