Monday, July 6, 2009

Using Affirmation Statements To Enhance Your Self-Image

Last week was a good week where we began talking about self-image and how important it is to have a positive outlook in order to be successful as an artist. We talked about removing negative influences in your life and replacing those negative thoughts with positive thoughts. All of what we talked about can be summed up in the two quotes I used last week.

The first was from Henry Ford who said, “Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

The second was from Zig Ziglar who stated, “Your input determines your output.”

By replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts you will begin to improve your self-image & it will, in turn, help you begin to believe that you can have success as an artist.

This week we are going to continue to explore ways to improve the way we see ourselves as artists. We will continue to look at ways to improve our self-image.

Another way you can improve your self-image is by using affirmation statements to continually feed your mind with positive thoughts about who you are as an artist.

These can be simple statements that state the obvious such as, “I am an artist.”

That may seem a bit ridiculous at first, because we all already believe we’re artists, right?

Do we really?

One of the biggest things we artists struggle with is our identity. We are constantly wondering if we truly are artists. We wonder if what we produce creatively is actually worthy of being called art. We constantly doubt ourselves & our abilities.

A simple affirmation such as “I am an artist,” helps us to break down those false negative beliefs that have been built up in our subconscious mind over time. Of course, since those negative beliefs have been built up over time, it will take time to dismantle the negative beliefs that have come to dominate our thoughts. But know this; those false beliefs can and will be removed if you are persistent in the application and use of affirmations.

There are several keys to creating successful affirmations.

First, you must write your affirmations down! You cannot move forward by just thinking up affirmations and letting them stay in your mind. You must write them down in order that they become more concrete & real.

Second, your affirmation statements must be written in the first person. They must include several “I am” phrases in order make them personal to you.

Third, once you have written them down, you must recite them out loud at least twice daily. The reason for this is that you are trying to change your belief system from negative to positive. It is easier to do this if your mind is processing the words you read and say aloud. The more often you do it the easier it is for your mind to accept it as truth.

Fourth, while you are reading your affirmation, you must BELIEVE that what you are reading is true. Close your eyes while you read your affirmation and visualize yourself exactly as you desire to be and as you have written out in your affirmation statement. Try your best to recite your affirmation with emotion & belief. It is when you can recite it with emotion & belief that your affirmations will have their greatest power to influence your thoughts & begin to produce positive fruit in your life.

For example, one of the affirmations that I use is as follows:

“The God of the Universe created the heavens and the earth. He created all that exists. He created all the beauty in nature, and all the creatures that live. He is the ultimate artist. I was created in His image; therefore I am an exceptional artist.”

I use this affirmation to remind myself that God himself is an artist & He has placed the desire to create on my heart as well. So if that indeed is true, how could I be anything other than an “exceptional artist?”

Just so you know, I don’t place my creative abilities on par with God’s creative abilities, but I do know that he created me to use the artistic abilities that He gave me for something special on this earth. So, that is exactly what I intend to do.

Okay, remember the verse from Jeremiah I quoted a few weeks ago?

It’s Jeremiah 29:11 -

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Try re-writing that verse as an affirmation. It might go something like this:

“I am an artist. God has planned my life that way. God plans to prosper me as an artist. He plans to give me hope and a future as an artist.”

Does that sound believable?

Do you believe that?

Trust me; I know how hard it is to accept such a statement as that. But please just think about it for a while. Meditate on it. Let it sink in.

I mean, what if it IS true?

What would that mean in your life?

If God’s plan for you is that you should create art, then that plan will also include that He will prosper you in that. He will give you hope and a future through your abilities as an artist.

Does that sound too good to be true?

Well if it does, that’s all right for now. I know that it is difficult to believe at times. Especially when you have been programmed over the years to believe you deserve the exact opposite.

That is why these affirmations are so important. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to remove negative thoughts and beliefs and replace them with positive thoughts and beliefs.

Just stay open to the possibility that God wants to bless YOU as you use the gifts that He has given you, and be open to the idea that you cannot even fathom the extent of the blessings that He wants to pour out on you.

Of course, I don’t want anyone to think that the verse in Jeremiah means that everything will come easy and your path to creating rewarding art will come easy as well. It won’t. It will require hard work, dedication, perseverance and trust. And as I have stated before, it will be opposed.

I also understand that the verse is taken somewhat out of context from its use in Jeremiah, but I also know that our God is a loving God that wants to bless His children. There are just too many other verses in the Bible that point to that.

So, please stay open to the idea.

As you continue your journey this week, I want you to start thinking of different affirmations that you can use to help further your success as an artist. Once you have thought of an affirmation or two, remember that you must write them down. Once written the affirmations begin to become believable. Next, you must remember to say them out loud at least twice daily in order that they might be their most effective.

You might even want to post your affirmations in a place where you can see them each day in the morning as you wake up & in the evening as you get ready for bed. The bathroom mirror is an excellent place to post them. That way you can look yourself in the eye as you read them out loud. By looking yourself in the eye as you read them, it will be easier for you to instill them with belief as they are being read.

So, get busy and create affirmation statements that will begin to impact your life!