Affirmations are an often undervalued yet powerful spiritual tool that can enhance and transform our lives. H. Emily Cady, author of one of my favorite oldies but goody spiritual books, Lessons in Truth, noted, “Our spoken word first hammers a thing desired into shape. Our continued spoken word brings this shaped substance forth and clothes it with a visible body.”
Over the years, I've learned that many people struggle with a lack of self-worth or self-esteem in some area of their life. This lack of self-worth is a challenge I've had and still face occasionally. Although not a panacea or cure-all, affirmations can help transform a belief in the absence of self-worth into brimming confidence.
I recall a woman named Ester (not her real name) who had always been an introvert, struggling to speak up in social situations and constantly feeling like she wasn't good enough. Her low self-esteem prevented her from pursuing her dreams and developing meaningful relationships.
One day, Ester reluctantly came to an affirmative prayer class and decided to put the principles to the test. She started reciting affirmations to herself every morning and evening, slowly but surely building up her confidence.
At first, Ester felt silly saying things like "I am confident and capable" and "I am worthy of love and respect." But over time, she began to believe in the power of her words. She noticed that she felt more comfortable speaking up in group settings and even took on a leadership role at work.
The positive outcomes of affirmations are not unique to Ester's story. But how do affirmations work? At their core, affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself to reprogram your subconscious mind. The idea is that by repeating positive messages, you can change your thoughts and feelings about yourself, ultimately leading to more positive behavior and outcomes.
Research has shown that affirmations can effectively improve self-esteem, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase happiness. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who practiced self-affirmation techniques had higher levels of self-esteem and were less defensive when faced with negative feedback. So, how can you apply affirmations in your life to enhance your self-esteem and well-being? Here are some steps you can take:
Identify areas of self-doubt: Where in your life do you struggle with self-esteem? Is it your appearance? Your abilities at work? Your relationships? Once you have recognized these areas, create affirmations that address them directly.
Use present tense and positive language: Instead of saying, "I will be confident someday," say, "I am confident and capable."
Repeat, repeat, repeat: Make a habit of repeating your affirmations to yourself daily. You can say them out loud, write them down, or even record them and listen to them while driving or getting ready in the morning.
Believe in the power of your words: It may feel awkward at first to repeat positive statements to yourself, but it's essential to believe in the power of your words. The more you repeat your affirmations, the more they will become a part of your subconscious thinking.
Celebrate your progress: As you start to see improvements in your self-esteem and well-being, take the time to celebrate! Recognize the positive changes you've made and continue to use affirmations to build on your successes.
Affirmations can be a powerful tool for improving your self-esteem and overall well-being. By identifying areas of self-doubt, using positive language, and repeating your affirmations daily, you can change how you think and feel about yourself, ultimately leading to more positive behavior and outcomes. Give it a try and see its positive impact on your life.
Peace and Blessings,