When I first learned about mantras and affirmations I thought they were a joke.
I’m supposed to just say something to myself over and over and over again and it’s going to become a reality??
Ummmm … I think not.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a mantra is: “A word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs.”
The definition of an affirmation is “the act of affirming”. To affirm means to “say that something is true in a confident way.”
In the wellness world, you’ll often hear phrases like:
The secret mantra to transform your life forever…
Mantras – the surprising elixir that’s missing from your wellness journey.
Discover true self-love and happiness with these top 5 affirmations.
While I happen to (now) be a huge fan and user of mantras and affirmations, the HUGE thing that’s usually missing from these articles and mainstream wellness culture is that it is 100% essential that you wholeheartedly, to your core believe in what it is that you’re saying.
If you don’t love your body and you keep repeating the mantras, “ I love my beautiful body” and “I’m grateful for my beautiful body,” then that’s not going to help you. In fact, it’s going to do the opposite. It’s going to send you the other direction and make you more frustrated.
If we go back and look at the definitions above, you see that mantras and affirmations “express someone’s basic beliefs,” and are things that we say as “true in a confident way.”
So if you’re saying something that isn’t your basic belief and that you don’t believe to be true, then it’s not really a mantra or an affirmation.
Instead, it’s more like a lie that we’re telling ourselves and then we feel really, really bad – perhaps full of shame, like we can’t even get saying mantras and affirmations right (and that’s just the act of repeating words!).
Then, we go down this rabbit hole of not good enough-ness.
This is how I felt when I got into personal development work and started using mantras and affirmations.
Instead of feeling better about myself, I felt WORSE. Because what I was saying, I didn’t believe.
And if you’re a kind, caring, compassionate feeler type of person who is willing to dig deep, you know when you’re lying to yourself and again, it doesn’t feel good.
I found a trick; however, that I want to share with you.
Because mantras and affirmations are powerful tools to have in your toolbox that you can use wherever and whenever (and no one has to know you’re using them).
The trick is simple. Tell yourself the truth.
But have a real comprehensive understanding of where it is that you want to go and how it is that you actually feel.
For example, if you want to love your body, but you really feel gross and uncomfortable in your body, try something like:
I may feel uncomfortable in my body, but I’m choosing actions and thoughts day-by-day that are helping me care for and love my body a little more.
I may feel totally gross in my body right now, but I’m choosing to be kind to myself anyways.
I may feel uncomfortable in my skin right now, but I’m choosing … to see this a different way OR to learn from this OR to sit with my feelings and be okay with it OR to treat my body with more care.
Another example: if you’re feeling totally frustrated, annoyed with life, and like nothing ever goes right for you, don’t sit around repeating, “Only good comes my way and I’m grateful.”
Because it’s simply not true.
Instead try something like, “I’m choosing to grow with grace,” or “I’m feeling frustrated, but I’m willing to see this a different way.”
Do you see the difference here?
You’re not pretending to feel something you don’t. Instead, you’re acknowledging your feelings and that times are hard, but that you’re open to using the lessons learned for growth.
What most of us get wrong about mantras is saying something that we wish was true to make it come true but we in no sense of the word (in even the slightest!) believe it’s true.
But when you can make your own mantra that YOU believe to the core and that focuses you on moving forward, and you repeat it when you start to feel shaky – you’ve reached the jackpot.
So here’s your recipe for creating a mantra or affirmation.
Please note: I use mantra and affirmation interchangeably (sorry). To me, they’re both phrases you believe are true (in your true being) that help you move forward and out of your funk (whether a general funk, or a specific funk).
How to craft your own mantras (or affirmations) in 4 steps:
:: Acknowledge how you’re feeling
(i.e. “Even though I’m feeling…” or “I’m feeling … ”)
:: State how you’re choosing to move forward
(i.e. “I’m willingly to see this differently” or “I’m choosing … [the action you’ve chosen to help you move forward]”)
:: State why it’s important to you
(i.e. “because … [why is it important to you])
:: Lastly, say it aloud or in your head and make sure your mantra feels true to you.
If it feels right, you’ve nailed it!
:: Even though I’m feeling scared and vulnerable I’m choosing to voice my feelings because it’s important that I follow my authentic truth.
:: I’m feeling out of control with food and my emotions, but I’m willing to see this differently because feeling like this is no longer serving me.
See? You can do this too! It may seem scary, but have fun with it.
This is deep work, but it’s transformative work that heals. And it gets easier and lighter over time – promise.
I’d love to hear your mantras in the comments below or feel free to email them to me, as you work through creating them. I adore seeing your work!
And if you need some mantra help or ideas to get you started, here’s a quick guide on 25 Mantras to Instantly Shift Your Relationship with Your Body.
With so much love XXO