What is a mantra?
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…” The Little Engine that Could was on to something.
Traditionally, a mantra is a word or sound repeated to aid concentration in meditation. Personally, I use mantras (or affirmations) to manifest change in my life. I once heard that “energy flows where attention goes” and I believe that to be true. We can think things into existence. This is especially scary with negative thoughts and self-limiting beliefs.
The concept is pretty simple: if you’re telling yourself you’re going to fail, you probably will. If instead you adopt the notion that YOU CAN succeed, you’re more likely to make that a reality. So what’s it going to be? If you're struggling with negativity, a repeated phrase or sentence can help you shift your focus. I’m not saying you should walk around repeating something to yourself out loud, but you should definitely take action if your thoughts and beliefs are not aligned to your desired outcome.
Let me walk you through this:
1. Decide on something you want to change or bring about in your life. You can focus on a problem you want to solve, an attitude you want to change or even something you want to attract. Example: I want to stop viewing my body in a negative way
2. Come up with a sentence that portrays this situation or perspective in the way you’d like it to be. Keep it simple and avoid negative language. Example: I love myself exactly the way I am
3. Believe it. To help you: repeat the sentence to yourself first thing in the morning, before bed, during meditation, write it down, change your phone screensaver, post it above your workspace or beside the mirror you look into in the morning. These will serve as constant reminders. With repetition, this new affirmation about your life will wiggle its way into your psyche.
This method has helped me get out of some pretty dark places. A few years ago, I was obsessing about my career and impatient because I couldn’t clearly see the final destination. I wanted to do so many things, I had so many ideas and I felt like things just weren’t lining up. I was stuck in a negative thought pattern and feared I’d never be successful. The mantra that got me through it was “I trust the process.” Eventually, I stopped stressing about needing to have all the answers and just took things day by day, feeling much happier as a result.
Here are some other mantras I’ve used:
· I am grateful
· I accept abundant happiness into my life
· I am in complete control of my emotions
· I am a powerful being, capable of amazing things
Your thoughts shape your reality and the words "I am" are easily the most powerful. Think of your mind as a child. Children need discipline or they’ll run wild! We all need to be intentional about what we allow ourselves to believe. Feed your mind with good news and you’ll reap the rewards.