How to use Affirmations and Motivational Quotes

‘Keep calm and carry on’ is a British saying that has endured through years of trials and tribulations, the expectation being that remaining positive is a cure-all for negativity. 

For many, however, positivity is an active pursuit rather than a passive state of being, so they seek out ways to reach a more positive outlook, whether this is to simply improve their own attitude, or address underlying mental health problems which may limit their ability to think more positively.

How do I find motivation?

We have all seen the rousing speech from a character in a film when the situation looks dire but in the face of defeat the right words and an encouraging tone can turn everything around for the protagonists – so why does this work?

Motivational quotes and inspirational speeches invoke primal human emotions deep within us that over-power any sense of complacency or feelings of defeat and encourage us to try harder. That could be the primal urge to stand up and fight for ourselves, or giving us a fraction of the feeling of the sense of achievement we will experience when we complete the task ahead of us. 

In our day-to-day lives, that might not be winning an international sporting competition, or escaping a dangerous creature intent on destruction – but the mountain of dishes and piles of laundry that are standing in the way of success are still fuelling feelings of self-defeat within us, and the longer they go unaddressed, the more intrusive and overwhelming these feelings become. Positivity in the face of our own self-defeating narrative can be a challenge, but with motivation we can get there.

How do affirmations work?

Self-talk is the narrative we tell ourselves – for athletes and leaders in business, this can be motivational, encouraging them to recognise success and achieve further greatness in wealth, abundance, accolades or happiness, and can be an extremely beneficial asset, but for many others this can be detrimental and self-sabotaging. 

For those who suffer from low self-esteem, or even simply the inability to recognise and praise their own greatness, actively changing the narrative of self-talk can be uncomfortable, but understanding how this impacts our attitude and actions is important to improving both.  

By incorporating affirmations into our day – as part of our morning routine, or as a mantra to mitigate stress – we are actively changing our self-talk to be more positive. Even if we are simply reading them off a card to start with, the more we talk to ourselves positively, the more ingrained these affirmations become, and the more we believe these positive things about ourselves.

When we believe positive things about ourselves, not only do we feel more positive about our lives, our situations, our appearance, and our choices in general, we also believe we deserve better, and we can achieve more. When we believe we can achieve more, we are filled with positive energy to try harder and make better choices to focus on and reach our goals. 

Actively pursuing positivity also puts us in a better position to address negativity, difficult situations, and mental health problems in a more balanced and self-aware way. We are unlikely to remain positive through every minute of every day but understanding how actively pursuing positivity benefits us ensures that when we are facing a negative period, or are overcome by self-sabotaging thoughts, we have the right tools and techniques to get back on track.