Even though we’re already several days into 2019, today is really just the beginning, for all of us. And we can prevent the wrong thoughts and beliefs from getting the best of us as we move forward with our lives. We can train our minds to make the very best of the present moment, even when our circumstances are far less than ideal. All it takes is practice.
The mind is like a muscle, and just like every muscle in the human body, it needs to be exercised to gain strength. It needs to be trained daily to grow and develop gradually over time. If you haven’t pushed your mind in dozens of little, positive ways over time, of course it’ll crumble on the day things get overwhelmingly stressful.
The best way to start training your mind?
Affirmations. They are one of the simplest and most powerful tools for staying on track in life. A mind well trained with the right affirmations has the right thoughts queued up and ready for retrieval at a moment’s notice.
One of our course students, who graduated with a PhD a couple years ago from one of the most prestigious universities in our country, is now an executive for one of the world’s fastest growing tech companies. Throughout grade school and high school she desperately wrestled with a form of dyslexia that made reading and writing a monumental challenge. She spent kindergarten through 12th grade in language-based ESE classes. And during a parent-teacher conference when she was in 10th grade, one of her ESE teachers informed her parents that it was extremely unlikely she would ever receive a high school diploma.
So how did she do it? How did she push herself to rise up and overcome the odds? “Affirmations,” she confirmed with me when I interviewed her recently for a new project Marc and I are working on. “The daily affirmation rituals you and Marc set me up with, and held me accountable to, changed everything! While it may sound cliché to some people, it’s absolutely not—affirmations are powerful tools! I literally told myself that the naysayers were wrong about me. I told myself exactly what I needed to hear, every single day, to move my life forward.”
If you’d like to begin (or enhance) this ritual in your own life this year, here’s a handpicked selection of affirmations I often suggest to our course students as starting point:
- “The biggest and most complex obstacle I will ever have to overcome is my mind. If I can overcome that, I can overcome anything.”
- “I cannot control exactly what happens in life, but I can control how I respond to it all. In my response is my greatest power.”
- “I have to accept whatever comes my way, and the only important thing is that I meet it with the best I have to give.”
- “I will stop focusing on how stressed I am and remember how blessed I am. Complaining won’t change my reality, but a positive attitude will.”
- “Being positive does not mean ignoring the negative. Being positive means overcoming the negative. There is a big difference between the two.”
- “I will not get caught up in what could’ve been or should’ve been. I will look instead at the power and possibility of what is, right now.”
- “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. It’s about not letting my fear decide my future.”
- “I will get back up. Again, and again. The faster I recover from setbacks, the faster I’ll get to where I’m going in life.”
- “My next step in the right direction does not have to be a big one.”
- “Patience is a genuine expression of confidence, acceptance, serenity, and faith in my own ability. It’s a sign of strength. I will practice it.”
- “When I find that I don’t have time for what matters, I will stop doing things that don’t.”
- “I can always feel the genuine, positive power that flows from my decision to rise above the petty drama and distractions that don’t really matter anyway.”
- “Instead of getting angry, I will find the lesson. In place of envy, I will feel admiration. In place of worry, I will take positive action. In place of doubt, I will have faith.”
- “There’s nothing selfish about self-care and self-love. I can’t give what I don’t have. When I enrich my own life, I’ll be life-giving to others too.”
- “When the grass looks greener on the other side, it’s just life’s way of reminding me to water the grass I’m standing on.”
- “From now on I will be too busy watering my own grass to notice if yours is greener.”
- “I will focus on making myself better, not on thinking I am better.”
- “I will practice gratitude, even in the midst of frustration and despair, so I can better see the positive possibilities around me.”
- “Happiness does not start when ‘this, that or the other’ thing is resolved. Happiness is what happens now, when I make the best of what I have.”
(Note: Marc and I dive much deeper into affirmations and other powerful self-coaching tools in our New York Times bestselling book.)
Now, it’s your turn…
Marc and I would love to hear from YOU!
Which affirmation mentioned above resonates with you the most right now, and why?
Anything else to share?
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
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