This Episode is sponsored by Kelly Stark
Today I will be talking about AFFIRMATIONS and how they can be used to change your life. Before I go on to that though, I hope that you have found the time to listen to the last show, episode 47 - BULLIES AND THE SILENT MAJORITY which ended up being my longest show yet at nearly 50 minutes. Like the LAW OF SUCCESS series, however, once I’d gotten into that topic, I just couldn’t bring myself to split it over 2 or to shorten it much more than it already was. Bullies are sometimes hard to spot but once they have been identified, they can be stopped by simple direct actions that allow YOU to take control and set them straight. You can also stand up and defend others when you see bullies raise their ugly heads.
An affirmation is almost like a mantra. It does not really matter if what you are affirming is not totally true as yet. By repeating an affirmation over and over again, it becomes embedded in the subconscious mind, and eventually, it becomes your reality. Stuart Wilde UNQUOTE
Today I’m talking about AFFIRMATIONS and it’s part of a subject that came up many times in my LAWS OF SUCCESS series in the form of AUTO SUGGESTION. Napoleon Hill was a real believer in this and used it to achieve the success of which he speaks. As a reminder AUTO SUGGESTION is the hypnotic or subconscious adoption of an idea which one has originated oneself. It is like REPROGRAMMING YOUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND to believe what you want it to believe and Hill used it very often to replace old beliefs with new ones that will serve us better.
Before I ever knew what affirmations were or how they worked I was using them. I haven’t talked about it too much lately so for those of you that are new listeners, but following my first feature film, I had what used to be known as a nervous breakdown. Looking back now, I would more accurately call it a stress-related dissociative breakdown or episode, followed by PTSD. It was not a fun time, in fact it was extremely destructive, but without it you wouldn’t have FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY - I honestly don’t know where I’d be or what I’d be doing now if I hadn’t had that negative experience in my life and the positive that has come of it, in the form of this show and a healthier outlook and work/ life ethic I don’t think would ever have come to pass.
Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. Oprah Winfrey UNQUOTE
When I had my breakdown, I was lost and uncertain of what was going on, and despite what you may think, there wasn’t any immediate help for me. Well that’s not entirely true, my family and some friends were there, but it is sadly notable that many of those whom I thought to be my friends melted into the background and disappeared. That is the stigma of mental health. It was a small price to pay perhaps though, for learning who were my real friends and who were not.
My experience with the NHS was really pretty atrocious. When I went to the doctor, I saw a locum GP for 5 minutes who sent me out the door with a leaflet and a prescription for Prozac. That was his solution to the complex problem of a mental health matter. I gave up on the Prozac after 2 weeks, as the last thing I needed was to be drugged into distancing myself further from my problem. It took the NHS three months to get me an appointment to meet a psychiatrist who was absolutely frickin’ useless – if anything he annoyed me – but thanks though to my friend Loraine, who is a psychiatric nurse and a very influential doctor whom she knew from down south and in chief too by financial aid from British Actors Equity’s medical partner BAPAM, I was eventually able to attend therapy sessions with an awesome therapist who helped me get back on track. As an aside here, talking therapy, even expert therapy doesn’t cost as much as you might think it does. It’s a good thing, and I think that a lot of folk might make use of the services that are available.
Before all that kicked in though I had nothing but that leaflet, the GP gave me to help me out. It was for a service called STEPS, an organisation that ran classes on stress and on depression. With no other options, I signed up for both. They’ve killed that organisation now, or renamed it and reorganised it to save money but at the time it ran classes every 6 weeks for an intake of 130 people who were suffering from stress. I’ll go into some of what I learned in a future episode as I plan to do a show on STRESS AND ANXIETY quite soon.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candour, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close UNQUOTE
What I learned from the other class, the depression one is that I didn’t have depression, but it was very interesting nonetheless. More of a small talking therapy group with a lot of people that had had a hard time. It was there that I learned that Perfectionism, which I did an episode on in season 1 was likely the chief cause of stress in my life. For that realisation alone the 6 weeks were worth it. I took these classes very seriously and studied for them and that’s what led me, unknowingly, into the world of affirmations.
I, like many others on social networking, post a productivity or positivity quote every day, and I have occasionally been given some grief for doing so. That’s the internet for you. Many think it lazy of me as it’s a popularity tool that some use to make themselves seem intelligent or whatever. I post them for 2 good reasons.
1/ This is a productivity show and these quotes are an awesome gift for promotion of this podcast.
and 2/ because I used quotes like this TO CREATE AFFIRMATIONS which saved me from a life confused by PTSD and stress and put me back on track.
I didn’t call this FIND YOUR WAY with affirmations just to make a snazzy title. I wanted you to know that, if you are lost, or uncertain in your life in some way, that you can use affirmations as I did, to get yourself on a new and better track, to create a positive lifestyle and live a better, happier and more prosperous life. In effect, although I certainly didn’t think in these terms at the time, it also reasserts your values and that in turn strengthens your ability to make decisions.
When I was on my knees, post breakdown, I found myself naturally building this list of 50 affirmations, many of them built or shortened from quotes I had found online and I used it for at least a year, probably two, whenever I was uncertain or frightened, nervous or demoralised - to help me move forward. For the record, this was my list.
- Be Content.
- Master what you do most often.
- Give your mum a call.
- Practice Stoicism - Stoicism is centred around being unaffected by misfortune. Recognize that mishaps will inevitably occur so be constantly ready and open to experiencing them.
- Get up early.
- Perfection is not when there is nothing to add, but when there is nothing more to take away.
- Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
- Justify less.
- Go for a walk in the park.
- If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
- Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
- Pay off your debts and don't go in debt.
- Send your loved one's flowers. Think of a reason later.
- Eat a piece of fruit.
- Drink your water.
- Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out.
- Keep your friends' secrets.
- Listen more than you talk.
- Be frugal.
- Take classes.
- Focus on getting better, rather than being good.
- Stop worrying so much.
- Start accepting things when they are less than perfect.
- If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.
- Take naps.
- If you are not saving at least 10% of your salary, you are not saving enough.
- Yield to peace.
- Stop letting others bring you down to their level.
- Your family and true friends love you, no matter what.
- Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
- You should not confuse your career/job with your life.
- Eat Healthily.
- Take the opportunity to watch the sunrise and sunset. Notice the beauty of small moments.
- Listen to Music.
- Get a life mantra - change it when you think you need another… e.g. Life is short - get on with it.
- Stop endlessly checking emails and surfing the web, look for something good to do.
- Do not work harder when the solution is working smarter.
- Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
- Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
- Invest in Relationships.
- Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good. When upset, remember: "This too shall pass"
- Stop spending time with the wrong people. Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.
- Mind Your Own Business.
- Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
- Never confuse the complex with the difficult.
- Nothing is permanent. However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. Heraclitus
- The best is yet to come.
- Never confuse perception with reality.
These were my 50 affirmations. If you were to do this for yourself I’m certain that some or all would be different. I used it until I could get back on top and trust my instincts again. As I said before – I really used it to re-train my inner self and re-learn my values. Trust me, when you are lost and uncertain, you need all the help you can get.
And when I say I used them, I didn’t speak them out as affirmations are more commonly used, I just read and re-read them very often, and I tried to understand them deeply and believe in them… and this wasn’t a chore either btw, because I really needed them.
I still feel a bit pathetic that I picked up PTSD not from a warzone, but from a breakdown and it’s repercussions on my life and work following a feature film that was made in good spirit and with a lot of hope, but it’s a sad truth here. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events, and that anxiety or fear is constantly with you. It blocks your ability to think straight and make decisions. MY USE of affirmations, as I mentioned earlier was done UNKNOWINGLY of what they actually were, but out of a necessity for focus and order. The affirmations kept me on track. They saved me, and they could save you too.
AFFIRMATIONS are simply sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind, so that in turn, they affect our behaviour, thinking patterns, habits and environment. The words automatically and involuntarily, bring up related mental images which inspire, energize and motivate us. The affirmations and the resultant mental images get engraved on the subconscious mind, which in turn, changes your behaviour, habits, actions and reactions.
- They motivate.
- They keep the mind focused on the goal.
- They influence the subconscious mind and activate its powers.
- They change the way you think and behave, and this can bring you into contact with new people, who can help you with your goals.
- The positive statements make you feel positive, energetic and active, and therefore, put you in a better position to transform your inner and external worlds.
Stephen Covey says that: A good affirmation has five basic ingredients: it's personal, it's positive, it's present tense, it's visual, and it's emotional. UNQUOTE
The affirmations will affect your subconscious mind, and trigger it to act on your behalf. It is important that you don’t just repeat positive affirmations as lip service. You need to believe in them and want them to come true.
They change your mindset and do not allow room for negative thoughts in our mind. This leads to positivity, optimism, and recognizing opportunities. In turn, your positive and encouraging words enhance our energy and your skill to take advantage of opportunities.
I totally realise that all this might be a little difficult to get your head around, as there will be some inner resistance and disbelief, especially if you have been thinking negative thoughts all your life. As you continue though, the resistance will fade away, and your life will begin to change and improve in accordance with the words you are repeating.
Swami Kriyananda wrote, “The greatest mistake people make, is to belittle their own power to change themselves.”
It is natural for the mind to bring up doubts and negative thoughts, especially if your current environment and situation are very different from what you want to achieve. Persevere, and don’t let your negative thoughts and doubts conquer you.
Successconciousness.com says that AFFIRMATIONS ARE DYNAMIC AND PRACTICAL — not wishful thinking. One reason they work is because they are based on higher truths, which, perhaps, we have yet to realize on a conscious level. The thoughts you often think and the words you often repeat, have a great effect on your life, your behaviour, and on how people treat you. These thoughts and words, in time, become reality.
This article also warns that you have to be careful with the words you repeat, and stay away from words and thoughts, which you do not want to become reality in your life. You must stay away from negative thinking, dwelling on the past and thinking about problems and fears.
Instead - program your mind to think on WHAT YOU REALLY WANT, not on what you don’t.
When I created my list, I read it every day, several times, and at night just before I went to sleep. As I researched this show though, many articles suggest that you devote some special times during the day for repeating them. Others say that you should repeat them wherever you are, and whenever you want and have the time. There’s a mixed message if ever I heard one. In short, do what works for you. This is just a tool, but another very powerful one that comes to you entirely free. Be the master of your own destiny. Take AFFIRMATIONS seriously and you will benefit from them.
Call To Action
As You Think, So Shall You Be.
Your call to action today is to create your own list. Look around the internet and build an affirmations map which will help you to find your way. If you are lost then you will likely know that you are.
This is a tool and a crutch which will give you strength and focus. Take it seriously and it will be immensely useful to you. “Don’t let your struggle become your identity.” Find the affirmations you need to move you forward and take back control.
REPLACE your NEGATIVE THOUGHTS with POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS, over and again, until this becomes a habit.
Thanks for taking the time to listen to my musings on the subject of affirmations. Autosuggestion is a powerful tool and if you have the courage to believe in it then you will benefit from this.
Next week I’m going to be talking about a blight on the modern world which comes in the form of Outrage Porn. It’s possibly not what you are thinking of but it’s another fascinating subject and one you won't want to miss. For now, though let me end with my 48th Affirmation which was based on the words of Heraclitus
Nothing is permanent. However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.
Now, take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY!
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