Success does not come just from thinking good thoughts and staying positive. You have to take action and put in the work and effort.

But positive thoughts and using affirmations, is a simple technique to silence that inner critic and eliminate the negative self-talk, which is often the culprit stopping us from taking action and believing in, and creating our own success.

The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, which means “to strengthen.” When you affirm something, you are declaring it to be true. When you use positive affirmations you are declaring truth and strengthening belief in your potential, talents and positive results.

Affirmations work by repetition.

When you repeat a thought often enough (with emotion and conviction) you start to believe, and act if, it is true. Your thoughts start to become your reality.

I think we might all be familiar with those negative affirmations that loop through our heads unconsciously: “I’m not smart enough”, “I could never write a book”, “I’m terrible at sales”, “I never have enough money”, “I’m going to say something stupid”, “My business is never going to succeed” etc etc etc.

Fortunately we can deliberately and consciously change our self-talk.

We can replace those negative scripts that are on repeat with affirmations to develop a positive self-perception, change behaviours and help us to accomplish goals.

How would it feel, and think what would be possible, if that voice in our head was saying things like: “I am becoming more successful each day”, “My business is growing and thriving”, “I am persistent in all that I do”, “I have great money making ideas”, “Every day I am getting more confident at sales”, “I love and enjoy what I do”.

Affirmations are easy to create and use, to help us believe in our potential.

There are tons of affirmations available, but is it best to create your own affirmations specific to your personal circumstances.

How to create your own positive affirmations

1. Make it personal

When crafting your own affirmations, make sure it is meaningful to you and you use words / phrases that you would actually use. For example, “I’m a money magnet” might not be something you connect with whereas “I am making s**tloads of money” is much more you’re thing.

2. Keep it positive

Use positive phrasing and avoid words like not, have to, should, must. Focus on what you do want, not on what you don’t want. Instead of saying “I am not a stressed person” say “I am a calm person”.

3. Use present tense

Use present tense when creating your affirmations rather than future tense. If you say “I will be a confident public speaker” then the outcome you want will always be in the future. Instead say “I am a confident public speaker”.

4. Be realistic

What this means is making sure you develop an affirmation that you believe is actually possible. If your small business is barely making a profit and your affirmation is “My business is making a million dollars a year”, then it’s going to be too big a stretch for you to believe it could ever become your reality. You are much better off starting with “My business income is constantly increasing”.

How to use affirmations

Affirmation can be spoken, written down or repeated silently to yourself. The power of affirmations lies in their repetition, with repetition your thinking patterns can be reprogrammed from negative to positive.

Affirmations can be:

  • Recited first thing in the morning and/or last thing at night
  • Written down on a sticky note and placed somewhere prominent
  • Used before an important client meeting
  • Repeated during meditation
  • When you notice you’re slipping into negative thoughts
  • Any time you need to uplift your mood

Don’t limit yourself to just these ideas when to use affirmations. The key is to repeat your affirmations on a consistent basis.

Using affirmations won’t guarantee small business success. But it can help you envision the success you want for your small business, and help you overcome negative thinking and self-sabotaging behaviours, that may be preventing your from living your small business dream.