Have you ever thought about how Nike were certainly on to something with their famous slogan ‘Just do it’ and the accompanying big tick? Motivational for sports purposes yes, but what about motivational for mental health purposes? Bet they never really thought about that! There is a multiplicity of layers in the phrase ‘Just do it’, because it could mean so many things for so many different people, in so many different contexts. And maybe that’s why the brand name has been so successful and so iconic, because it reaches out to so many people. Congratulations to Nike aside, how does this relate to my blog post about mental health, I hear you ask?
Well, to begin with, let’s begin with what might seem at first a bit of a strange example. Have you ever been out and about doing your day-to-day business, when you’ve been thinking about something, and somebody walks past you wearing a t-shirt with a slogan that relates entirely to what you were just thinking about? I’m not 100% sure if I believe in signs or not per se, but when you find yourself walking down the street and this sort of thing happens, it does make you wonder. For example, you might find yourself physically going about the day, but internally doubting in your head whether or not you can do said x, y or z thing that you are about to do (maybe its a speech, or an exam, or whatever). Then, someone in a bright orange Nike t-shirt walks past with the words ‘Just do it’ beaming down at you. In this scenario, this seems like just the words you might need and it might just make you suddenly think HELL YEAH I CAN DO IT! That my friend, could be interpreted as a visual positive affirmation. And what might our life be like if we were setting down positive affirmations all the time and fitting them into our day like we would fit in brushing our teeth, or combing out hair? What if there is a way we could remind ourselves of what we are capable of so we can set out to achieve something we know we can – what if we could be our own guy in the Nike t-shirt, except we’re setting the positivity ourselves from the outset in our minds and not just relying on chance that something happens to give us the boost we need?
The power of positive affirmations to me is incredible. And I say this with experience from no or few affirmations, to affirmations becoming a part of my daily routine. Today I have been more mobile than I have been in over the past year, because I set out to do something which I wouldn’t have thought possible, but I still did it anyway. I just ‘did it’. There’s a book out there called ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers. I’ve never actually read the book myself, but I think you can actually gain a lot just from the title, which fellow anxiety sufferers will most likely relate to. As the title of this blog suggests, sometimes you just gotta feel the fear and do it anyway. You just gotta do it. No matter what might be going through your head about the possible outcomes and ifs and buts about what might possibly happen. I hear you though when you say, well, it’s alright for some people, but HOW do you actually just DO it, when as one example, for a lot of people, even getting out of bed in the morning can be a daily struggle. Well, the key thing that has and is helping me is positive affirmations. If you truly believe in yourself and in your abilities, no matter what feelings of self-doubt are trying to tell you, you will very likely succeed. Because a lot of the time, in the case of anxiety disorders as one example, fear makes things seem a lot harder than they actually are, and it holds us back and keeps us grounded away from opportunities that would actually help us to become better and broaden our horizons. It takes time to build up a level of confidence to do this, and tackle your fears. I’m still doing this myself, but each time I ‘just do’ something that I might be afraid of or something which I undermine my own self-confidence about, that’s score one for me and score nil for whatever resistance is holding me back. And that in itself is very liberating and confidence building. And if I can do it, you certainly can!
There are other obstacles we might have to get over the sit down and set positive affirmations, that is to say, positive statements about things we like about ourselves and our abilities. They are often an untapped source for a lot of people, as often some people are not very good at blowing their own trumpets. That’s okay, it just takes practice. And the more you big yourself up, the better you will feel, and in turn more confidence you will have in your day to day abilities and activities. Confidence knows no bounds and its nothing to feel shameful or modest about.
So how can you build positive affirmations into your daily life and routines? There are two main things that I do at the moment which help and remind me to draw upon positive affirmations.
- Every morning and evening, I write in ‘The Five Minute Journal’ (available as I hard copy and now an app) created, by YouTube icons Mimi and Alex Ikonn and their business partner UJ Ramdas. You can read more about the journal at the links below, but essentially, the five minute journal is about you building up positive affirmations and habits into routine, to have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. I’ve been writing in my journal for two years now and I’m 100% confident that it works (at least I can say, that I feel it has worked for me). One of the things you write about in the allotted five minutes in the morning is a section called ‘The Daily Affirmation’, where you write down something positive that you believe about yourself, perhaps something you want to work on. For example, if you someone who is perhaps a bit insecure about your appearance and what to feel more confident about yourself, then finding something positive to affirm about yourself and how you want to be done, done over time, I genuinely believe over time can help to boost your confidence, well being, and your ability to engage in activities you may have not always felt confident enough to engage in. For example, you could write ‘I am a sexy lady’.
- You can draw on the above to build up a bank of positive affirmations in your head which you can draw upon when you need them. You could even write them down in places or items that you frequently use, such as a wall calendar or journal. You could even repeat them as mantras, either out loud or in your head, as a part of other fulfilling activities, such as yoga morning stretches, or just simply your getting ready in the shower.
In summary, the phrase ‘Just do it’ is a very powerful positive affirmation which you can use to your advantage to perhaps even turn your life around. Try and see for yourself and see if you feel, or act, any different 🙂
Have you got any positive affirmations that you use, or perhaps situations or routines that you use them in? I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts as below.
I am by no means an expert at any of this I would add, this is just to document what works for me and to perhaps , by sharing what works for me, might helps others in return. You have to find what works for you of course as we are all unique individuals. All the same, I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and hope that it has inspired you and given you a bit of insight into the the secret world of positive affirmations. Secret or not, their power is yours to make of and use :).
The Five Minute Journal: https://www.intelligentchange.com/pages/our-story