Speak Up: The Power of Affirmations

Jay Z, a billionaire rap mogul married to one of the fiercest Queen B’s on the planet.

Alex, a 20-something life coach who lives with her journalist boyfriend and two cats.

What could we possibly have in common (other than a devout love of Beyonce)?

The truth is, Jay-Z and I are both big believers in a little something called the Law of Attraction. We believe that the thoughts you think and the words you speak eventually become the reality you experience.

Thoughts become things. Words become things. Actions become things.

Both Jay-Z and I know and have experienced that it is in fact possible to speak things into existence.

Affirmations and mantras have been used in cultures all throughout history as a way to align people’s thoughts and speech with what it is they truly desire. They’re short phrases or words that when recited, out loud or to yourself, act as a single point of focus for your mind.

Affirmations have saved me from the deep end many, many times.

Age 17: I was nursing my first broken heart and dealing with crippling teenage anxiety. On the outside my life looked great. I was a high school student with strong grades, surrounded by friends and working a part-time job. But inside I felt terrified every day.

I was in my head all the time. Walking through the halls at school would give me butterflies, raising my hand in class would freak me out and answering the phone at work felt so intimidating. I was struggling.

So my Dad bought me a book called The Secret. This was 2007 at the height of the book’s popularity. I rolled my eyes but was desperate and willing to try anything to get me through this rough patch. I began reading about the Law of Attraction and the power of affirmations and decided to experiment for myself. I used an affirmation in the book created by 1920s billionaire Charles Haanel. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted or needed and decided that if this mantra worked for a billionaire, maybe it would work for me. It went like this…

“ I AM WHOLE, PERFECT, POWERFUL, STRONG, LOVING, HARMONIOUS AND HAPPY.”

I put that baby on repeat! I’d say it over and over again in the shower. It would dance through my mind while I listened to my iPod in the halls at school. It was the lullaby that put me to sleep at night.

It wasn’t long until things started to shift. I felt lighter, happier and more outgoing. I stopped totally living in my head and began to be more present with friends and family. I applied to university and started to feel really, really excited for the next chapter in my life.

Age 22: A journalism degree under my belt and a fancy new job as a daily newspaper reporter meant once again my on paper life seemed pretty legit. In actuality I was going through a quarter life crisis. After four years of being attached at the hip, my boyfriend-at-the-time and I were now living 500 kilometers apart. I was back at my mom’s with a bruised ego and no friends. At work I felt like I was running a sprint every day. Being a daily newspaper reporter is not easy. I was hustling hard, but never felt like my ideas and writing was ever good enough. Also a creeping feeling began to seep over me that journalism wasn’t actually what I was supposed to do with my life. Awesome, there goes four years and $20,000, I thought.

Desperate to find happiness again, I started using Haanel’s affirmation. I took a screen shot on my phone and would look at it all throughout the day. When I would get overwhelmed at work, I’d sneak to the bathroom, lock the stall and sit on the toilet repeating the mantra over and over again until I felt the tightness in my chest dissolve. It worked every time.

A few weeks later, things shifted again. Story ideas and sources were literally falling in my lap. Editors and colleagues began praising my work. A refreshing sense of clarity washed over me in terms of what to do with my relationship. I found the strength to do what I previously thought was impossible – ending it. An opportunity to move to Rwanda that I thought I had to give up in order to take my job, came back up. And it wasn’t long before a new (and my current) love showed up in my life. AFFIRMATIONS FOR THE WIN.

Age 24: The latest save… I was a few months into what I thought was my dream job working in marketing and PR for an accessories company. But I was doing the job of four people, making barely more than minimum wage and running all of the brand’s social media outlets 24/7. I was burning out, slowly and painfully. I hated going to work. I hated being at work. But on the paper the job was EPIC, and despite the burnout I really enjoyed creating inspirational marketing content and working with yogis, life coaches and healers. I felt stuck. Part of me really wanted to quit, but I couldn’t without some sort of plan or idea of what I wanted to do next.

So, again, I turned to affirmations. This time, the style was different. I’d just read and worked through Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and uncovered my “core desired feelings”: Free, Abundant, Radiant and Ablaze.

I began to affirm them every morning using my mala beads. I’d hold a bead in between my fingers and say “I AM FREE,” then move onto the next bead and say “I AM ABUNDANT,” until I’d moved though all 108 beads. Throughout the day I’d repeat the words in my mind, under my breath, even in the bathroom!

And… within a few weeks things began to shift. It was during this period of soul searching that I began to feel an undeniable call to explore life coaching. Every day my hunger and curiousity grew, until I knew in my heart I needed to quit my job and fully dive into this exciting new chapter.

Just over a year later – here I am.

I have a career that I am unbelievably passionate about.

A business I LOVE. And clients I absolutely adore.

It blows my mind to think about how much my life has changed over the past year. And how much growth came out of my so-called dark periods.

Today I use affirmations and mantras regularly. They’re not just a way for me to climb out of a hole anymore, they’re habit now. I use them as a way to consciously create my life. To attract and become what it is I desire most.

If you’d like to start using mantras and affirmations, do it!! I created this awesome Create Your Mantra worksheet for you to use. (Open it with Adobe Reader and you can edit it right on your computer!) 

Just remember that consistency is key. It’s not enough to say your mantra once or twice. You’ve got to get into a daily habit.

Also, it will feel funny at first, but fake it til you make it! I promise, if you commit to using your mantra, you WILL feel a shift, it just might take some time.

I’d love to hear from you… Have you ever used affirmations or mantras? What was your experience like? Comment below and let me know.

Just love,

Alex