Ask Sam: A guide to creating your own affirmations to boost your confidence

Feb 21, 2017 | Ask Sam, Confidence

Help! I’ve got a scary pitch to do on Tuesday…it’s the heart thumping, shaky voice kind of pitch. Any good affirmations I can keep repeating over the next few days?

This was a question from someone following a Facebook live session I hosted about using affirmations, so here is a guide to creating your own affirmations.

That scary, heart thumping, shaky voice kind of time…

You know the times? Those times when you are feeling petrified, and like any little bit of confidence you may have had, has just got up and ran out of the room? It doesn’t matter what the situation is – whether it is a presentation for a job, or a business pitch, a job interview, walking into a room of strangers or going to that playgroup for the first time. Everyone can relate to the feelings of butterflies in the stomach, sweaty palms, shaky voice, mind going blank.
The good news is a) you are not alone and b) there are things you can do for yourself to help reconnect with your confidence.

Why do I feel like this?

When we are stepping outside of our comfort zone, our thinking head can start to feel threatened at the prospect of change, so it launches an internal attack on ourselves, to keep us in the comfort zone. This is when our gremlins come out in force and have a party in our heads. We think of all the times that things haven’t gone to plan. The critical gremlin reminds you of all the things you could have done better. Anything that the gremlin can find to make you feel wobbly, self-doubting and shaky, it will throw in your direction. All in the hope that you give up and stay securely in your comfort zone. It is time to take charge of that gremlin and step out of your comfort zone, into the interview, presentation, social situation, playgroup etc. This is where affirmations really help.

Creating your own positive phrases

Affirmations are positive statements that resonate with you, that remind you to focus on the things that you can do and that you rock, even when you really aren’t feeling it. A good way of thinking of them is like a personal team talk and fist pump. One of the common reasons people struggle with confidence is because they struggle to believe in themselves, and the self-doubting voice is the loudest. Regular affirmation practice can be one way to turn the volume down on the negative, mind chatter and turn the volume up on your belief in your self.
Follow this guide to creating your own, personal affirmations:
Write down your negative self-talk and fears

What negative self-talk and fears are making you question yourself? What is your gremlin throwing at you? Write them all down in a list.

Be completely honest with yourself here, any little bit of a self-doubting voice needs to be brought out into the daylight so that you can start to change it. Whilst these fears and doubts stay in your mind, for only you to hear, they get louder and bigger and the confident you gets quieter and smaller.
Turn it from negative to positive

Take each one at a time and think about what the opposite of this would be, in positive terms. It is really important that it is positive language, and not describing the absence of something.

It also needs to be written in present tense, not future sense. This is often the step that can feel most uncomfortable, but it is a really important step. You need to say these phrases in the present tense, to start believing that, that is how you are.
Here is an example:
Negative thought: I always forget what I am going to say.
Negative opposite: I do not forget what I am saying.
Positive opposite: I remember what I am saying.
Once you have worked through your list you will have a selection of positive, affirming statements to use. This will allow you to build your confidence and belief in yourself that  you can be awesome! You will be armed with ammunition to use against your gremlin of self-doubt and fears.

 

Regular Practice tips
  1. Use them daily (you may feel you need to use all of them daily or you may choose 1 or 2 each day). But as with everything, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t manage it every day. Regular practice is better than none at all!
  2. Read them and really think about them and feel them. What does it feel like to be that? What does it mean?
  3. Say them out loud (repeating them 3 times)
  4. Keep them somewhere to remind you throughout the day.
If you struggle to create your own affirmations, you can grab yourself a gorgeous set of Yes Mum affirmation cards from my website here. I absolutely love my Yes Mum cards and am so excited to be stocking them now. I have several different boxes, depending on what I need an extra bit of a boost with at the time. Each pack comes in a handy plastic box, with 31 cards in, ideal for using 1 per day. Go and have a little nosey.
P.S. You don’t need to be mum to benefit from the cards. There is a huge range, for health & well-being, to being human, to being a kid. There really is something for everyone.
Sam

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