One of the laziest and most efficient tools in self improvement is the use of Affirmations.
Affirmations are simply declaring something as true and truly believing it. You can use Affirmations to become the person you want to be. In other words, if you want something, you just have to think about it and you’ll eventually get it-- and that’s as lazy as it gets.
See, your brain is like a sponge, constantly absorbing new information on a subconscious level and transforming that information into our thoughts, words, actions, and behaviors. So whether you’re aware of it or not, your brain is picking up cues from the environment to produce its own narrative - your narrative and self identity. Your brain creates a “story” based on the information you believe to be true about both the external environment and internal self. This “story” is what you experience as “life”. (So if your life sucks it’s probably because your thoughts suck)
Practicing affirmations allow us to consciously take control of that process and create the exact narrative we want.
How does this work?
Well, there’s a crazy thing about the mind: it does not know the difference between reality and fantasy. That’s why we feel emotion when we watch a movie or read a book with fictional characters in a totally made up universe. We are able to empathize and “believe” the story “as if” it were true, despite how wrapped up in imagination the narrative may be.
Saying affirmations is a matter of tapping into that verisimilitude of the mind, that believability in the narrative(s) of imagination, and using it to create a *real* story. Knowing that you can literally create a story in your mind and your brain won’t be able to differentiate between fact and fable, gives you unlimited power to write your life’s tale the way you see fit. You are the author of your own destiny.
The words you choose to describe your life are ultimately what determine the direction you are headed.
Now I hear all the critics: But Nate, I thought ProcrastiN8rs were honest folk and only LIE on the bed or couch! Isn’t telling yourself an Affirmation that you make up in a sense LYING to yourself?
You do want to take into account the “reality” of the situation and don’t want to “totally make it up”, You do want to continue to be honest with yourself, and accept the truth, but also have a positive outlook.
For example, if you were born in a poor family and want to be rich, you wouldn’t straight up lie to yourself in your affirmation saying:
“I was born rich”
That’s just counter-intuitive and really gets you no where. Instead, you want to accept your circumstances and look for a positive outcome despite it. For example, you could say “Despite the fact that I was born into a poor family, I practice good financial decisions.”
That bears the truth in it and affirms that you are the type of person to make it rich.
And you may be thinking “Well, I actually spent all my money on video games and snacks at WaWa. I’m not practicing good financial decisions at all.”
Here’s the thing, first of all, that is an affirmation within itself, a negative one, but still an affirmation. You can see how such an affirmation affects your behavior.
Second, the future is unwritten. Nothing about the future is set in stone yet; it is a blank book. You have the opportunity to fill it in with ink. Write your story with positive affirmations. You're not lying about the future because well, it hasn't happened yet! Your goal is to make your insight come true in the future.
We get to choose to affirm ourselves either negatively or positively. The universe will reflect back onto us the beliefs that we give it about ourselves.
If you’re a worry-wart, then often times the exact thing you were anxious and worried about becomes true. Funny how that works. It’s like the very thing you were *trying* to prevent actually becomes a living hell of a reality.
That’s because you are focused on it happening and have a strong emotional attachment (fear) to it. You, in an odd sort of way, made a promise to yourself that it would in fact happen and so... it did, unfortunately.
You become what you focus on.
Consequently, this can have the opposite effect if you remain optimistic about something happening. Basically, the future is determined by our own imagination. What you imagine to be true will likely come to be.
If you believe you are an inadequate failure and say it to yourself over and over again, you will cement that conviction to be true. Your brain will help you create the story of being an inadequate failure by leading you to poor actions & decisions.
On the other hand, if you believe you are a great success and say it to yourself over and over again, you will rewire your brain to believe it to be true. Your brain will then follow through and lead you to actions that create success and positive opportunities.
Reputation is the mother of habit and your brain is a habit making machine
So the more you repeat words to yourself, the more they become true. Repeat positive affirmations to yourself and they will become your truth; repeat negative affirmations to yourself and *they* will become your truth.
Consider affirmations to be a “promise” to yourself -- starting today it is true. You promise yourself that it is and will make sure of it. No matter what. The more you repeat these little promises to yourself, the more likely you will be to fulfill them.
Promise yourself a good fortune and you’ll keep that promise!
You convince yourself of your own reality.
There are tons of propaganda out there that persuade you to act and think in a certain way. You subconsciously pick these messages up (like buy more and consume more) and make it part of your identity. Escape the brainwashing and take back control of your own mind. With Self Affirmations, you’re ignoring the outside “noise” and brainwashing yourself with the messages that you choose for yourself.
You are the star of your own movie that you imagine.
You do this by rummaging over the same thought patterns until it’s wired in your brain to think and behave in a certain way. Your reality is created through a series of your own consistent thought patterns.
You have the power to re-program your mind and become the person you want to be.
Religions often refer to these self affirmations as “prayers”, where the person focuses on what they appreciate or what they desire.
While I don’t buy into the whole “summon the big sky daddy by mumbling words to yourself, to bid your wishes” but there is something
It’s not magic, it’s psychology. You think about what a prayer actually is and it’s really just reciting a sort of affirmation to yourself, using a god of demigod as a sort of external “symbol”, but really, the thought, the conviction comes from totally within.
God is really just an extension of the Self, but that’s a whole other topic.
So despite all the flaws of religion, maybe they’re onto something with this whole prayer thing.
Studies have actually shown that affirmations can increase positivity and productivity
It can also lower stress, bring higher self esteem, and promote a healthier heart. Forget eating Cheerios -- just think about it haha.
Be lazy. Believe it. Embrace it.
Believe you are living a stress-free and work-free life.
And make your thoughts come true.
Take it easy,
Next week, we’ll cover how to write your own affirmations as well as some suggested daily Lazy Mindset Affirmations. Subscribe to the newsletter so you don’t miss it!