2 min read

Affirmations are Real

Affirmations are Real

As a kid, I came across many American films where the hero would look themselves in the mirror and repeat a set of phrases about encouragement or identity in an uncool sort of way like:

"You're a strong, handsome and confident man."
"You're a strong, handsome and confident man!!"

"You can do this, you've got this!"

The entire time the hero is hunched over the basin, looking determined and pointing at himself in the mirror with rigour.

These scenes can either be intended for dramatic or comedic effect to signal that the hero is taking on their story arc challenge and is following a "fake it til you make it" motto.

I've come to the observation that this phenomenon is very real. If people's negative remarks about our character can hurt us as children on the playground or adults in the workplace, the same would be true for positive affirmations. We see and believe that our behaviours are consistent with our identity. The comments made by others either support or contradict our self-view.

But self-reflection is often limited to our behaviours and outcomes. Whether its wondering how we've spent this month's paycheck so quickly or noticing that our belly is telling us we need to diet.

If our behaviours drive our outcomes. What drives our behaviours? Well, it's our identity that does.

When we find clarity and security in our identity, our behaviours become incredibly consistent. Who we are becomes what we do.

Some dogs bark at their own reflection because they don't recognise themselves. If we don't recognise who we are today, we can't craft who we want to be tomorrow.

Whenever I find myself in an unfavourable situation and feel that I'm beginning to lose a handle on my confidence, I focus on the key aspect of my identity that the situation is challenging. It could be losing my temper and interpreting that I'm an angry and unhinged person. But instead reaffirm my identity that I'm a calm person and anger is a perfectly normal emotion to feel and express in moderation.

When I feel the need to affirm an aspect of myself, I reaffirm myself each day until I feel its truth and becomes as real as my skin. My affirmation sequence broadly runs:

"I'm a fit and health focused athlete."

"A fit and health focused athlete follows a sound routine."

"An athlete's sound routine includes consistent sleep and wake up times, weekly exercise and moderate whole food meals."

It feels silly at times but I reaffirm myself in whatever aspect of my life that needs it. Security in one's identity is the starting point of all things that the person does. It's like a self-fulfilling and directing of one's will and energy, maintaining and feeding itself.

Allow your mind to embody who you want to be and all your actions will follow. The outcomes of your actions will accumulate to reinforce your identity.

Define yourself and literally everything will reflect it.