Lately, I’ve seen a lot of focus (both on social media and from life coaches) on positive affirmation and the power of thought. I firmly believe that our thoughts have power in our lives and positive affirmations can be very beneficial but I want to come back to reality for a second.

Just because you want a dream house and repeatedly tell yourself you should have a house, doesn’t mean it will magically come to you.  Positive affirmations are great for helping solidify the thoughts that you deserve what you want in life i.e. ” I deserve to have my dreams come true” but they are only a step in the journey to happiness.

The Next Steps…

So what are the other steps to happiness? Action and you guessed it, consistency. (You knew June was focused on consistency right?) Once you establish your dreams and reach the point of knowing you are worth having your dreams come true (positive affirmations), the next thing to do is establish how you will get what you want. What work will you put into getting that dream house?  Maybe it's resolving to save $500 every month for a downpayment or to build up your credit. No matter what your goal, you have to take action and work to get there. That work means to take action consistently. Saving up $500 for one month is a great step in the right direction but if you don’t consistently save money or build up your credit, you won’t make it to your dream.

This is applicable to any area of life and almost any goal. But let's get back to the power of thought for a second. What we think to ourselves can make a huge difference in what we accomplish in our lives. We need to know that we are worthy of reaching our goals and having the life of our dreams. This can be done through a lot of self-reflection and simple steps in changing your thought processes. I personally experienced this just a few days ago.

The Power of Thought… A Personal Experience

For the past year or so, I have struggled with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Somewhere in that process, I thought to myself that if I wasn’t incredibly fit, I wasn’t pretty or attractive. I thought those thoughts to myself (consistently) every time I looked in the mirror. Finally, one day after a long conversation with my husband about why I felt unattractive (leading to a disinterest in sex), I realized that I had been telling myself I didn’t deserve love or to feel pretty because I wasn’t as fit as I felt I should be. I immediately began to take action with my thoughts to be more positive about my body image. Instead of picking apart the flaws and looking at the love handles, I instead looked for positive things or would laugh at how absurd it was that I would literally stare at my eye color and tell myself how pretty I was.  Thought is a powerful thing and I began to feel better and better about myself. There is the positive affirmation element of a happy lifestyle.

The next step was to do something about how I felt. To be honest I had struggled with eating healthy and working out on a daily basis. So I decided to drill down and really make an effort to consistently establish those habits in my life. The combination of thinking positively with the actions of eating healthy and getting in some hard workouts has lead me to a better self-image. This isn’t a story about losing a lot of weight or a brag about how great my life may be. I’m sharing this because I think many of us face this type of issue. So let me get to the point of this story and what happened to me a few days ago.

I’ve started going to the pool to change up my workouts and to get a little sun on the weekend. On Sunday I went to the pool and as I was getting out, three eleven-teen-year-old girls were near the ladder in the water. As I got out, one told me how cute she thought my swimsuit was (thanks!) but then one of the girls behind her commented to her other friend that my suit was too small for me. Now I wasn’t hanging out of my suit and it actually fits quite well but the old me would have taken this comment completely to heart. I would have thought and analyzed what she was talking about. Was it my love handles? My thighs? My belly? BUT because I’d been putting in the work, both in the mirror, in the kitchen, and at the gym I had trained myself to think positively. When the girl said that my first thought was, “Well it's a work in progress but it's in progress and who cares what some random girl thinks?”  Her comment would have greatly contributed to some feelings of unhappiness before but as the great Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Because I had put in the work, that girl didn’t make me feel bad about myself or discouraged with my progress. Instead, I left the pool happy. Granted, I did ask my husband if he thought the suit looked too small when I got home but it wasn’t because of a poor body image but instead to see if I could get a new suit.  

Anyways, the point is, our thoughts have the power to make or break us. To help us achieve our dreams or sit there just wishing. Our thoughts can lead to discouragement or encouragement.

Change your mindset and change your life.

Do you have any stories about how changing your mindset helped you have a happier life? What dreams are you working towards accomplishing and what was your catalyst moment? Share your story and dreams in the comments below.

Photo by Robert Lukeman