Under an affirmation (from the Latin "affirmare" affirm, encourage) is to be understood as a self-affirming sentence or statement.
In a broader sense, an affirmation is a positive belief that one says to oneself with the aim of changing one's predisposition, feelings and attitude towards a certain topic.
Negative, inhibiting preconceptions and behavioral patterns are replaced with positive beliefs.
In this way personal blockages can be overcome, disruptions and outdated, deadlocked and obstructive thought structures can be removed and new positive, liberating and inspiring thought patterns can be created.
Affirmations can be formulated directly or indirectly, depending on the type, one or the other method will help.
They are always short sentences with a clear basic message.
„I am self-confident"
This sentence corresponds to a typical direct affirmation.
Even if the desired state (here: more self-confidence) may not yet exist and lies in the future, it is anchored in the present with the affirmation formulated in the present tense.
By repeating the sentence regularly and reinforcing it accordingly (e.g. adopting a self-confident posture, speaking louder, walking purposefully, visual/auditory accompaniment), the desired state can gradually be brought about.
„I can allow myself to stand up for myself"
With many direct affirmations, an inner doubter quickly speaks up, who denies the actually positive basic statement.
With these people, it can be helpful at first to first describe the actual goal.
Finding the right type of affirmation for you is easy. Just say it out loud to yourself several times in a row and see if it feels right.
How-to: Developing your own affirmation
To develop an affirmation for yourself, you can use the direct form and assume the desired state as given in the present tense.
Alternatively, you can also consider which sub-goals and ways can have a supportive effect when working towards the main goal and then set these first as affirmations.
Here are some sentence fragments for indirect affirmations:
I may …
I can allow myself...
... every day more and more ...
… always more and more …
It is good for me …
I enjoy it …
I will every day...
I soon realize that...
I look forward to it …
It is also important to only formulate goals as affirmations that are within your own sphere of influence.
Using the Affirmation
Once you have found an affirmation that suits you, there are many ways to internalize it.
Speak loudly and confidently
Attach as a post-it to a clearly visible point (e.g. bathroom mirror, computer screen, mobile phone cover, bedside table, etc.)
Record as a voice memo and listen to it over and over again
Visualization through motivating images linked to the affirmation
Creative design of the affirmation
As a bookmark
There are no limits to your imagination.
As with so many things, the secret behind a successful affirmation is persistent practice and consistency.
People often end their affirmations far too early and are surprised that they didn't work.
Repeat your affirmation over a longer period of time, it also helps to link it to certain fixed points in the day (e.g. right after getting up, on the way to work, during the lunch break, when you get home, before going to bed), until you noticed a change. It is best to keep these in writing and feel motivated to continue practicing.
Affirmations in Sports
Affirmations can also help us to achieve our personal goals in sports.
Affirmations for this area can be, for example, as follows:
I train with joy!
I have enough stamina to keep up the training without unnecessary breaks!
I am strong willed!
I stop when I've reached my goal, not when my muscles are telling me it's tiring!
The same applies here:
Try what works for you.
Practice persistently and with benevolence.
You'll be amazed at what can be achieved if you believe in it hard enough.
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