The Importance of Giving Yourself a Positive Mantra
Have you ever heard the phrase, “You’re your own worst critic”? Every one of us knows that the negative inner voice makes us feel like we’re small, insignificant and unworthy of the good in our lives. We all know it’s unhealthy and a hard habit to break, and worse, most of us stop before we even begin our journey toward positivity.
Practicing self-compassion is a difficult mindset to get into, but when you do, the benefits are limitless. What exactly is self-compassion? You treat yourself as a friend while allowing yourself to make mistakes without judging too harshly. Setting a positive mantra for yourself will go a long way, especially toward creating a good internal environment that helps you succeed and thrive.
Back to Basics: What Is a Mantra?
A mantra is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs.” It might be easier to think of a mantra as your own personal slogan or catchphrase that you repeat, both aloud and silently, to produce or represent certain feelings.
For example, a businessman might have the mantra, “small successes lead to big successes,” in order to remind himself that every step forward is a step in the right direction, leading him to where he wants to be. On the flipside, mantras can sometimes drag people down. “I can’t do this,” “I’m not smart enough” and “I don’t have what it takes” are a few examples of negative mantras that can profoundly affect daily life.
Why Do You Need a Mantra?
According to Psychology Today, positive affirmations have the ability to change your thoughts, in essence, reprogram your mind into believing what you tell it. Dr. Ronald Alexander offers one explanation as to how our created fictions become our realities: “The mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real or fantasy. When you watch a movie and you start to laugh or cry, your mind is empathizing with the characters on the screen even though it is only Hollywood magic.”
In other words, if you tell yourself something long enough, you’ll believe it. Practicing a positive mantra can lead you to take risks you might not have taken before, be more confident in yourself and in your skills, and make you more apt to feel positive about life in general.
So, my question is, why not?
How Do You Establish a Positive Mantra?
To choose a mantra, think of a phrase that you want to embody. Look for inspiration wherever it strikes you. Pinterest is a good place to start if you don’t have a clue. Other sources of inspiration can come from religious texts, quotes from books that are particularly inspiring to you, famous quotes from history or something catchy that you often tell yourself. It can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be.
- A simple example might be: “I am a strong, independent person.”
- A more complex example might be: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals,” said by Henry David Thoreau.
Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from strange places. My little nephew was watching a cartoon called Soul Eater on Netflix, and a character named Black Star appeared on screen and said, “It could be real difficult to hide when you’re as big a star as I am.” That’s actually a perfect mantra for a person who is shy or has social fear. The image is pretty potent: Someone so bright and charismatic that it’s impossible for them to go unnoticed. Maybe that will be my next mantra. We’ll see.
You don’t have to rush into a quote, though. Take your time. Think about what is meaningful to you, what is important to you, and what you want in your life.
How Do You Use the Mantra You Have Chosen?
Sometimes it helps to write a mantra on a sticky note and put it somewhere you will see it every day. A common spot that people put their quotes is on the bathroom mirror so that they can mentally recite their quote as they get ready in the morning. Other places are in a locker or on a desk at work. Every time you look at it, read it, recite it and try to think of the ways you can achieve it each day.
Reciting your mantra may seem silly at first, but after a while, it will start to feel natural, just another ritual you do throughout the day to push yourself to higher levels of self-confidence and positivity. When negative thoughts start to infiltrate, take a deep breath and repeat your mantra until that voice is silenced. Don’t give up.
Will There Come a Point When You Don’t Need a Mantra?
Once you’ve completely mastered your mantra, move on to another one. Continuously improving on oneself is never a bad idea. Embrace your inner awesome and remember, happiness and positivity are as simple as changing your mind.
Do you want to share your own personal mantra? Post it below!
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