If daily mantras are not working for you, the problem is really simple. You do not believe the mantra. The idea behind affirming a belief over and over to yourself is that the repetition strengthens your belief by training your brain; like sit-ups for the mind.
But if your mental sit-ups are going to strengthen your mental muscles, then you have to really believe in the mantra you are repeating. If the words you repeat, deep down make you feel like you are kidding yourself, then guess what… The message you are actually strengthening in your mind is, “you are kidding yourself.” And that is not good.
But wait! Do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Just because they do not work for you now does not mean they can’t ever work. The change required is within you. If you can adjust your internal reaction to the mantra, then you can start to feel the benefit.
So what I am going to suggest is five ways to raise your self-confidence, mood and general vibe. When you are coming from a happy and confident place you are much more open to believing in yourself and your possibilities, thus make those daily mantras work for you.
A hot and sweaty Zumba class always gets me in a better headspace. Whatever gets those happy neurochemicals into your bloodstream is worth the effort. Whether it is a workout to music, or randomly dancing in your kitchen, get your dancing shoes on. It is almost impossible to dance without feeling happier and more alive. Once you are feeling this, then try the mantra again and see how different it feels.
Clear your head of negative thoughts before trying to instill the new one with your mantra. When you are trying to affirm a positive thought, it can feel like pushing a boulder up a hill if your head is already full up with negative thoughts.
Try a little mediation exercise to clear some space for your positive thought, rather than trying to just cram it in there. It is a bit like trying to get one last item in an already bulging suitcase. Sometimes you just have to admit that your suitcase is too messy, take it all out, and reorganize it.
Read also – 5 Signs Your Soul Is Craving an Emotional Diet
3. Books and movies
An inspirational book always gets me thinking about the positives and the possibilities. When I find myself low on belief, an inspiring biography is my go-to. It is a jungle out there, and I completely understand how it is hard to hold on to belief when life keeps pushing you down.
Find your inspiration wherever you can – be that in a biography, a novel, or a really inspiring movie. A great inspirational story rarely starts on the high note that it ends on. There is usually struggle before success. Try to think about what those characters must have felt in the beginning. Now if you can believe in them, how about believing in yourself?
4. Watch a TED talk
Nothing gets me feeling inspired, motivated and ready for change like a TED talk. Brene Brown’s sensational talk on the power of vulnerability moves me to happy tears every time. Now if I could capture that feeling and bottle it I would be on to a huge winner. But the next best option is to work on my affirmations while I am still feeling that buzz of possibility.
5. Talk to a friend
If you are lacking in self-belief, a pep talk from somebody who knows you inside out may be just the boost you need. All human beings have the urge to seek validation outside of themselves. And friends can be there to provide you with just that.
Honestly, I think that mantras are great, but they are not a one-stop shop. We need other sources of encouragement and support too. If we approach mantras as an ‘accessory’ to personal development, and not a personal development approach in their own right, then their use becomes clearer to me.
Repeating words without the underpinning self-belief and support that we all need is not enough for real and lasting change. But affirming important things to ourselves alongside working on our happiness and self-belief is a more sensible approach.
Of the five tips above, I think that dancing has the fastest effect for me. Do you have a ‘power song’ that always gets you dancing and feeling unstoppable? Mine is St Elmo’s Fire by John Parr. Please share yours the comments below.