For many of us, in our quest to become better people, individuals who continue to grow into our potential every day, the initial challenge is seeing this “new me” in our minds – before we ever get there. Until we create this new, totally absorbing picture, we won’t change.
Affirmations are a wonderful way to help you change in positive ways. Affirmations are simply present-tense, positive statements of a desired end-result. For example, an affirmation you could make if you want to be a more loving person is, “I treat all people with respect and courtesy in every possible circumstance.”
Given this affirmation, what happens when you’re driving to work and another driver cuts you off, glaring at you as if you had no right to be on the road in the first place? You respond automatically with a very disrespectful gesture, call the other driver a distinctly discourteous name – and then feel terribly guilty. Do you give up in disgust and say, “Well, obviously affirmations don’t work, so why bother?”
Not at all! You see, before you made the affirmation, you probably wouldn’t have noticed your disrespectful behavior as anything unusual. You were acting on that default picture you held in your mind, the one that defined the old you. But because of your affirmation and your promise to yourself, you are instantly and uncomfortably aware that this is not how you want to behave.
So, you say to yourself, “That’s the old me talking. The next time, I intend to respond differently. I intend to behave respectfully and courteously, no matter what the provocation.” And you keep after it, repeating your affirmation and visualizing it, experiencing how it feels again and again day after day, until the new behavior becomes second nature. In no time, you have a new default and you won’t really remember having been any other way.
You may take one step backwards initially, but you really are leaping two steps forward.