Motivational quotes, affirmations, positive sentences, uplifting statements etc etc. They are all just made up of one thing:
But these words have the power to either make or break a person. They are the reason successful people seem to win at everything and others think they sit at the bottom of life, wishing they had the luck of others.
So what makes these simple arrangement of letters so powerful?
Our imagination conjures up images that represent the words highlighted by our conscious mind.
For example, when I say elephant, what do you see?
An elephant right?
How about a pink elephant with a party hat and a balloon hanging from his trunk?
Yep I got that too!
Now what colour is your front door?
I’m guessing you see an image of your front door.
In each of these scenarios you envisioned, in your mind’s eye exactly what I said.
You didn’t see a tiger when I said elephant, nor when I asked about your front door, did you see your sofa?
…although now you do 😉
This is your amazing imagination doing what it does best – conjuring up, in as much detail as it can, the object that had just been ‘said’ in your conscious mind.
Words can also stir up feelings and reactions in your body with the help of your imagination.
So if I was to shout…
‘DANGER!’ or ‘WATCH OUT!’
…you would suddenly be alert with a tightening in the pit of your stomach as your body prepares to run or defend itself because, in that split second, you imagine something bad is going to happen.
But if I was to say in a gentle, soothing voice…
‘relax’ or ‘take it easy’
…you will start to feel at ease and settled, with a warm feeling inside.
This is why, when an athlete wants to win a race, they don’t say to themselves ‘chill out, take it easy’, they will inwardly shout…
‘GO! RUN! YOU CAN DO THIS! FASTER! FASTER!’
So, although it can feel like it’s the words themselves that hold the magical powers to change the way we feel, it is our unconscious mind – the subconscious.
And our subconscious creates an image of what that word might represent from conditioned behaviors.
When you think of attack, you automatically associate that with danger because that is how we have been programmed, and your subconscious causes your body to respond accordingly.
In a study by Pia Aravena et al, they took a group of people and monitored their grip when certain action words were used in affirmative sentences. They found that when these action words like ‘throw’ were said to them in positive sentences, their grip increased.
Read more about the study: P Aravena, Y Delevoye-Turrell, V Deprez, A Cheylus, Y Paulignan, V Frak and T Nazir. (2012) Grip force reveals the context sensitivity of language-induced motor activity during ‘action words’ processing: evidence from sentential negation. Plos One. DOI: 10.1371.
Another word that can cause the body to react…
Even if you have never had a lemon before, you know what one looks like, and you know the type of sensation the taste of that lemon creates…
…and your mouth will begin to water instinctively.
Your subconscious is reacting – it doesn’t know whether you are actually eating a lemon or not – your conscious has just provided it with a word and your subsconscious uses a pre-programmed response to produce extra saliva which helps neutralize the acidity of the lemon.
– REPEAT –
Your subconscious doesn’t know whether you are actually eating a lemon or not
in fact it doesn’t even know you haven’t even got one in front of you,
let alone have one in your mouth!
But your imagination produces an image from memory and your subconscious responds accordingly.
This is the same with any word(s) that you say to yourself over and over again: just like the lemon, your subconscious doesn’t know whether they are real or imagined – true or false, it will cause your mind and body to act as if they were real.
Imagery and Weight Loss
So imagery plays a huge part in your quest for positivity and never more so than when you are trying to lose weight.
By imaging your ideal body, your conscious produces a desire to have that body. By focusing on that image regularly, it cements a program to your subconscious which then causes you to react in a certain way to achieve that which you desire.
In other words you will start to find it easy to eat more healthily, reduce your portion sizes and begin to lose weight.
You are providing your subconscious with the way things should be and that subconscious will do what it can to make it happen – without you even realising it.
How to Create Your Images
The best way to set your imagination to the body you crave is to have some ideas plotted out beforehand, like a collage made up of various clippings stored either in your head, digitally or in a scrap book.
Get creative with your images e.g.:
What are you wearing?
Where are you? Are you on the beach, in a bar, the gym or at work?
What shoes are you wearing?
If you are stuck for ideas check out a couple of my boards on Pinterest:
NB: Pinterest is a great search engine for images and ideas.
Describe what you look like in minute detail e.g.
How do you have your hair? Tied back to show off your cheekbones or flowing over your slim shoulders in soft curls?
If you are walking along the beach, how does the sand feel between your feet and is it lovely and warm or refreshingly cool?
Describe your legs, how slim they are, reaching up to slim hips and further to a tiny waist.
Say how you are feeling and how great it is to move in your healthy, energetic and fit body.
When you have finished this detailed description of yourself, read it as often as you can, concentrate on every feature and feel that lovely, warm and excited feeling.
You are telling your subconscious this is the way you are to be.
Your subconscious will now start to do everything it can to make it happen.
The power of imagery for positive thinking is scientifically proven to alter how you act so let’s take back the control and finally get what we really want.
Coming up with a list of motivational quotes isn’t that hard when you hit the search engines. You can search through the normal websites or through images as many of the quotes are included within nice graphic designs, particularly for sites like Pinterest.
Here is a list of 20 quotes on weight loss and life in general:
- Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do. – Brian Tracy
- The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. – Walt Disney
- Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. – Will Rogers
- It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up. – Vince Lombardi
- Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. – Og Mandino
- Today’s accomplishments were yesterday’s impossibilities. – Robert H Schuller
- Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford
- You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C. S. Lewis
- For every reason it’s not possible, there are hundreds of people who have faced the same circumstances and succeeded. – Jack Canfield
- When you feel like quitting, remember why you started. – John Di Lemme
- 3 months from now, you will thank yourself. – Unknown
- Weight loss is not impossible. Weight loss is hard, but hard is not the same as impossible. – Unknown
- Eat like you love yourself. – Unknown
- The body achieves what the mind believes. – Napoleon Hill
- A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- I’m not where I want to be, but thank goodness I’m not where I used to be. – Joyce Meyer
- Keep going, you are getting there. – Unknown
- It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop. – Confucius
- Weight loss is not meant to be a sprint, it’s a marathon. – Unknown
- The hard days are what make you stronger. – Aly Raisman
For more motivational quotes visit 26 Motivational Quotes for Success.
Creating Your Own Quotes
As motivational quotes, affirmations, positive words, uplifting statements etc are just made up of one thing – words, this means we have complete control over them and WE can have them say what we want by making our own motivational quotes.
These affirmations can be unique to us, our situation and our own failings and challenges. We can really pinpoint what it is we struggle with and gear our affirmations to tackle them accordingly.
So what sort of things could you say? Not every affirmation will resonate with you or match your own goals and desires.
Jack Canfield gives some valuable instructions over at JackCanfield.com where he breaks it down on how to decipher what it is you really want and how to make your affirmations mirror that.
The important feature when creating these affirmations, is to keep them positive by using words that are opposite to negativity.
For example, it is no good saying ‘I don’t want to be fat’ because your subconscious will focus on the negative in that statement and will act on the word ‘fat’ – translating this to mean you want to be fat!
Don’t use words like ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’ or ‘don’t’.
Instead come up with positive words like ‘will’, ‘healthy’, ‘slim’ or ‘fit’. Use an object like the pair of jeans you would like to fit back into e.g.: ‘I will fit into my size 10 jeans easily’
Other affirmations you could use and adapt to your own desires or situation:
- ‘I will be much slimmer than I am now’
- ‘I am going to eat healthily’
- ‘I will enjoy exercising today’
Another way you could come up with your own affirmations is to make a list of all the areas in which you are struggling, no matter how big or small they are.
Really think about those challenges:
What causes them?
What were you thinking of beforehand?
How long does it last?
Then write down a positive affirmation that counteracts that struggle.
For example if I am having to do a job I’m really finding hard to get the concentration for, I instinctively find myself turning to food to distract me from the laborious task I’m faced with. So the following affirmations would help me to get over that challenge:
I will finish this piece of text
It will be easy to concentrate on this job
I will find a way to get this article finished
I will feel accomplished and my mood will be lifted greatly
I am going to enjoy this work
In the Law of Attraction, it suggests to think about what you are trying to attract and then think about the beliefs that are stopping you from that outcome that you want to attract. Similar to the struggles I mentioned above, it guides you to take a negative thought and turn it into a positive one so your subconscious can concentrate on what you want instead of the reasons why you can’t do it.
So the negative belief that you have is the main affirmation that you create.
Find out more at The Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction also suggests that if you’re struggling to connect with the message in your affirmation, soften its message.
For example; with the affirmation of fitting into a pair of jeans, you can make it less overwhelming:
‘I am willing to start believing that I will fit into these jeans’
And then when you are ready you can change this affirmation to a more stronger statement.
You can also get some inspiration for your own affirmations from what others have written. Another articule from The Law of Attraction lists 50 positive affirmations which you can choose any (or all) and make them to suit your own situation. Find out more at Morning Affirmations Success.
Sticks and Stones
“I can do this.” Who would have thought those five little words could change the outcome of something?
Okay there is a little more to it than that but in essence, saying those words over and over again, you will start to believe it and when you start to believe it – whatever it is you ‘expect’ to happen will inevitably come about.
And maybe next time you hear the saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me’, you will know that, thanks to your imagination, the power of words can hurt…
…but then is that an affirmation in itself…?
Read the final article in this series: Positive Energy.
The Physiology Effects of Anticipation In Regards to Sour Taste Experience. C Lang, E Denton and L Fowler. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Department of Physiology, Lab 602, Group 12, Spring 2016