The Power of AFFIRMATION

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the life of the individual who uses them. They can act as inspiration, as well as everyday reminders. They also serve to focus attention on goals throughout our day.

Our brain is constantly adapting and rewiring itself. Our thoughts, habits, and behaviors influence this process. If they are repeated consistently and often enough, a strong connection called a neural pathway is created.

We can think of our brain as an extraordinarily bustling city with lots of roads and pathways that are connected and light up every time we think, feel, or do something. Some of these roads are well-traveled. These are our habits, our established ways of thinking, doing, and feeling. Every time we make a choice, practice a particular task, or feel a specific emotion, we strengthen this road, and it becomes easier for our brain to travel this pathway.

Here are some ways you can start changing your brain and creating healthier self-talk habits:

Practice affirming yourself every day. ACTION IS KEY.

• Start with 3 to 5 minutes at least twice a day.

Try saying affirmations upon waking up and getting into bed, for example.

• Repeat each affirmation about 10 times.

Listen to yourself saying it, focusing on the words as they leave your mouth. As you say them, believe them to be true.

• Ask a trusted loved one to help.

Listening to someone else repeat your affirmations may help reinforce your belief in them.

• Make your routine consistent.

Try not to skip any days. If you meditate, affirmations can be a great addition to your daily practice.

• Be patient.

It may take some time before you notice any changes, so stick with your practice.

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Some examples of affirmations to get you started:

1. I can cope with anything life throws at me. I am strong and resilient.

2. Learning new habits is possible and will change my life for the better.

3. I can cope with hardships and challenges in healthy ways that support my greater good.

4. Happiness is a choice. I base my happiness on my accomplishments and the blessings I’ve been given.

When we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run more smoothly. Thinking positively can raise our vibrations.

I believe in affirmations so much that I am writing a book (to be published next spring) on their power and how they changed my life, as well as most of my clients’ lives.

When we start taking care of our body and mind through positive thinking, things such as renewed health, love, financial abundance, and recovery of all kinds will come our way. We simply have to trust the process.

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Erica Spiegelman is a wellness specialist, recovery counselor, and author of the new book The Rewired Life (2018) as well as Rewired: A Bold New Approach to Addiction & Recovery(2015), the Rewired Workbook (2017), the Rewired Coloring Book (2017), all published by Hatherleigh Press. Erica holds a bachelor’s degree in literature from the University of Arizona and is a California State Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADAC)-II from UCLA. For more information, visit Erica’s website or follow @Erica Spiegelman on Instagram.

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How to Not MINDFUCK YOURSELF

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was this: “Stop standing in your way.” And the thing standing in the way of us and our dreams? FEAR. Fear that we won’t succeed, fear that things won’t work out, and fear that we simply aren’t good enough. It is so easy to allow these fears to have control over us. And when we do, fear limits us by keeping us locked in our comfort zones, driving us to self-sabotage, and keeping us stuck.

But as author Zig Ziglar put it, perhaps FEAR has two meanings, one that confines us and one that empowers us:

Meaning 1: Forget Everything and Run

Meaning 2: Face Everything and Rise

Imagine the potential we would unlock if we began to use fear to help us rise to opportunity rather than run from it. Here are a few tips to help do this:

1. Question Your Thoughts

When the voice of doubt, uncertainty, and fear comes into your mind, take a moment to question its authority. Remember that you are not your thoughts; you are simply the observer of them. This means that you have the power to choose whether to trust and act on these thoughts or choose to ignore, replace, and overcome them. When fear tells you, “Don’t do it, you’ll never succeed,” take a deep breath, pause, and replace that thought with one that empowers you. Perhaps you could repeat a positive mantra such as “I am capable of anything I set my mind to.”

2. Be Ok with Discomfort

When fear tells you to “forget everything and run” and you choose to instead “face everything and rise,” you make that wonderful and liberating choice to step outside of your comfort zone. What inevitably accompanies this decision (to varying degrees) is a feeling of discomfort. Remember that your subconscious finds comfort in the familiar, even if that familiar is not something that serves you. So when you decide to rise (step outside of your comfort zone), your subconscious says to you, â€śWhat’s going on here? This doesn’t feel right. This isn’t what you normally do.” This creates a feeling of discomfort. At this point, you have another choice to make—do you allow the discomfort to push you to self-sabotage and fall back into old patterns, or do you sit with that discomfort, be OK with it, and keep going for the greater good?

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3. Heal the Source

Fear is almost always driven by a culmination of your insecurities, past experiences, and old pain. When you become aware of your fear, you can allow it to guide you to unhealed wounds that need some love, care, and attention so that you can break the fear cycle.

4. Find Your Reason

When fear rears its ugly head, you need a good enough reason to fight it off and move forward. You need to be clear on WHY you should choose not to Forget Everything and Run, but instead Face Everything and Rise. Ask yourself, “What change do I want in my life and why do I want it?” Allow your desire and passion for personal growth to drive you, undeterred by the doubt in your mind.

5. Get Ready

When you start to live a life that is not governed by fear but is fueled by it, your life will transform in every way. So get ready to let go of the past and embrace the endless possibilities ahead of you.

Essentially, what I’m trying to say is this: fears will come into your mind, but see them for what they are—unwelcome visitors. Don’t allow them to control your behavior or dictate what you do or don’t do. Don’t allow them to rule over you and your future. Do not allow yourself to be mindfucked by your fear. Remember that you always have a choice. So choose to take charge, rise above your fears and doubts, step out of your comfort zone, unlock your fullest potential, and manifest the life of your f*cking dreams!

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Roxie Nafousi is a self-development coach, manifesting expert, yoga teacher, and host of the podcast “The Moments That Made Me.” Head to her website to book a spot in her next self-development webinar, schedule a one-on-one advice session, or download one of her meditations or affirmation playlists designed to help you on your manifestation journeys. Follow her on Instagram.

The content provided in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation; it is provided with the understanding that BeautyLeeBar, LLC (“Hello Beauties”) is not engaged in the provision or rendering of medical advice or services. The opinions and content included in the article are the views of the author only, and BeautyLeeBar does not endorse or recommend any such content or information, or any product or service mentioned in the article. You understand and agree that BeautyLeeBar shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in the article or any other article that is provided on here, BeautyLeeBar.com.

How Are You Going to MAKE YOUR RESOLUTIONS LAST?

We’re all guilty of entering the new year with the greatest of intentions. We want to turn our lives around and kick-start all these healthy habits we hope will change our lives for the better.

It’s great … in theory.

But then, when we try to stick it out long-term, we fail. But why?

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Work from the inside out

Around 60% of us will make New Year’s resolutions, but only 8% of us will be successful in achieving them. And this is because we don’t tend to approach them in the right way. Often, the biggest issue with making grand plans for the new year is that we don’t tackle these changes from the inside out.

If you don’t start by looking at the internal factors that got you into the position you’re in today, then you will be relying on nothing more than sheer willpower to change your external life. And willpower is like a battery; it needs to be restored and will eventually run out altogether.

The biggest difference between those who succeed and those who don’t, in anything, is consistency. And expecting to change purely from the outside isn’t sustainable. I always say it’s like trying to polish a turd. You can’t stay consistent that way. If the internal landscape doesn’t change, the external landscape doesn’t change—or at least it won’t change long-term.

The only way to work toward a new you is to take a long, hard look at how you became the way you are now. Now, this isn’t an exercise in beating yourself up. It’s an exercise in looking at what you need to succeed, why you feel a need to change, and what hasn’t worked for you so far.

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In many cases, large-scale changes come about when something big happens—a huge internal shift that pushes us forward. For example, the child in school who was told they wouldn’t make it grows up with this big motivation to prove people wrong, manifesting in their hard work and success. Or the unfit dad who smokes suddenly realizes he can’t even play in the park with his kid anymore and decides to kick the habit once and for all.

It’s about suddenly recognizing something about ourselves—a turning point—be that a photo that shocked us, a death, one putdown too many, or an opportunity being waved at us. Something happens and we suddenly see something we don’t want for ourselves or something we want. At that moment, something shifts inside us, and we start doing things a little differently as a result. And it empowers us toward success.

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Ask yourself why

Say your resolution this year is to drink less alcohol. It might be easy enough to succeed at this, just changing your weekly schedule slightly. But if you can’t, and you’re finding it more challenging, you need to ask yourself why. What does the drink do for you that you’re not addressing?

When the internal isn’t shifted, the root cause of why you’re drinking more than you’d like doesn’t either, so you can’t expect the behavior to change. Ask yourself why. Is it boredom, emotional needs, a lack of inspiration, or stress? Why have you gotten to a point where you feel a need to change this about yourself? What have you lost along the way?

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Sometimes, you can engage in new behavior and feel so good about it that it helps clear this blockage. But usually, you need to unblock it first, uncover the root cause, and change the behavior that way. Your behavior and the result you currently have to live with are only the symptoms. The root cause is what you need to identify to change.

Similarly, we need to hold strong to our goals. We all say “ah, fuck it” from time to time and engage in behaviors we know we shouldn’t. That’s normal. But it’s when we don’t get back on the horse and we allow all the progress we’ve made to come undone that we stay where we are, or worse, go further backward.

If saying “fuck it” means one step forward, three steps back, it’s going to be a long time before you get anywhere, and we’ll have increased feelings of failure to deal with for not succeeding. It’s a way to ensure we feel worse about ourselves, not better. Identify what triggers you to say it. What makes you put off the changes you want to make? It might be a lack of willpower, an overwhelming sensation, or feeling worn out. But whatever it is, you want to get down to those root that created the situation you’re now trying to deal with.

New Year’s resolutions can be a great way to establish better habits and start the new year as healthily and happily as possible. But they take a lot of hard work and internal progress. You can’t just change behavior overnight and expect it to stick. You need to change your internal landscape first. Once you identify why you want or need to change something, your resolutions will become a lot easier to stick to. When the internal landscape shifts, the external one soon follows.

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How to Handle Things THE SECOND YOU’RE TRIGGERED

None of us is above being triggered. Even the most evolved person in the room—someone with a healthy, trained mindset—will struggle from time to time. We all have moments when we’re tired, we’re drained, and our batteries are running low. And it’s at times like these when we’re most open to being triggered.

Everything goes wrong one day, and suddenly we can fall victim to our situations. Someone says something that doesn’t sit right with us and we get defensive, or vice versa. When we’re triggered, we tend to react as if everything we’re feeling in that moment is the unequivocal truth. In actuality, it’s usually just our one-sided perception of the story, and it’s driven by past hurts.

And so begins our downfall.

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Adding fuel to the fire

The second someone feels triggered, their defenses go up. And the reaction will often create an equally defensive reaction in whoever else is involved. It’s like a chain reaction.

When somebody feels like they’ve been made into the bad guy in a situation, they’ll naturally want to defend themselves and justify their actions. During tense moments, those reasons are often at each other’s expense. We say, “You made me so mad,” pushing that discomfort onto them. But they fight back with “Well, I wouldn’t have said that if…,” getting defensive themselves. It’s a deflection of guilt or upset, and we begin the blame and justification dance that has no winners and often leaves all parties feeling sore.

When both parties are triggered and defensive, neither is dealing with the truth of the moment. Neither is accepting the role they may or may not have played. Perhaps nobody did anything wrong, but defensiveness has certainly escalated matters. And now both sides are fighting completely different fights based on differing views of the same situation, and no one is dealing with what’s going on at the moment. Which is that both sides are dealing with some past sore point.

We react like the complaint now is the truth—when we’re just triggered by an emotional echo. Whether one person feels triggered or both people do, we fall victim to our reactions, focusing on the often minor current issue. Both add fuel to the fire, and nobody wins. Before we know it, two people who love each other have just fallen out over something utterly trivial.

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Everything links back

In these instances, the exact details of why we became triggered in the first place are largely irrelevant. The point is that, even though a real comment or action might have triggered us, our reaction isn’t about the actual situation at hand.

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We’re only ever triggered by the past, and our triggers will always stem back to something from our childhood. For the first 20 years of our life, life happens to us. Then, we spend the rest of it dealing with what happened to us.

But if we’re not aware of this—and neither is the other party—how can we find a resolution? We aren’t walking in each other’s shoes. We can’t know exactly where they’re coming from. We’re two people with different pain points and perspectives. It’s like a conversation where both parties are speaking different languages and wondering why no one is making any sense.

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Learning to let go

What has us stuck in these triggered moments is running over things again and again. We’re trapped trying to make sense of truth in the present moment that simply doesn’t exist there but in our past.

So, to move past this, we need to work on our awareness and try to catch ourselves. If someone is consistently talking over us or not listening and it triggers us, we should ask ourselves, who first did this to us? Was it a parent? Or a sibling? When did we first not feel heard or respected in conversations? If we can look back and grow our awareness of what we need at the moment, we can explain to someone what triggers us now, what our sore point is, and what we need to help us feel heard and understood.

Also, it’s worth knowing we will often put ourselves around people who will repeat behaviors we didn’t like when we were younger, so we can continue working out how to handle it and grow past it. This is a subconscious choice, but one we all make. Ever noticed someone dealing with the same things again and again, like repeating the type of significant other they go for? The more we engage with the tense, defensive moments today, the more we are buying into them being real and about us now. They aren’t about now.

Instead, we want to notice the moments when we’re triggered. Or when we might be triggering someone else. It’s no easy feat. It’s an ongoing exercise in strengthening our awareness and ability to detach from what is here, to see what is going on there in our minds and our past. And the more we practice this, the more evolved we become, the more we strengthen this muscle, and the quicker we will let these moments go when they arise.

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