Do you ever long for a way to express yourself artistically, but confidence (or lack of it!) gets in the way? That feeling when you know you want to do it, but self doubt tells you that you shouldn’t even try?
This is one of the biggest barriers that I see stopping people fully losing themselves in their art practice. I spoke in my previous blog about the power of words when nurturing our creativity: it’s for this reason that I love creative affirmations. In the past few years, they have become a firm part of my artistic process and, as a result, have weaved their magic into the rest of my life.
What are affirmations?
Affirmations are intentional thoughts that you repeat to yourself to encourage certain thoughts and behaviours. But they’re so much more than ‘just’ thoughts. They have the potential to rewire your greater thinking patterns, influence your actions, and improve your mood and health.
Affirmations are the perfect partner for your art practice. Creativity is something that needs to be nurtured; you should see it as a seed, capable of turning into something spectacular, if it receives the right love and attention.
I truly believe that creative affirmations have helped me get to the place I am now; an author (!!), a successful business owner and a fulfilled artist. These have always been my biggest dreams, and it is thanks to a shift in my mindset that I was able to turn them into a reality.
And now, I would love for them to support your own creativity in a similar way.
Why is it important to use affirmations?
We all have to deal with unhealthy or negative thoughts about ourselves from time to time. This is normal. I know I’ve been there. The beauty of affirmations is that they can help us change these patterns of thinking and, consequently, live a more positive and focused life.
Affirmations have the power to change the way we think and act in our lives. They can alter our emotions, impact our behaviours and encourage us to reconsider our beliefs. This is a concept that has been shared in countless studies, including in talks and reports by Clinical Hypnotherapist Richard Desouza, who says that affirmations can help us to achieve our goals in life and achieve greatness.
There’s a high chance that you have used affirmations before, but in a more damaging sense. Have you ever told yourself ‘I am not creative’? Have you ever said ‘I’m no good at painting?’. If the answer is ‘yes’, then the fact is that these statements are not aligned with your goals. Because you want to be creative, otherwise you wouldn’t be here right now. And you are creative. The issue is that the negative inner narrative you are currently grappling with is chipping away at your motivation and inspiration.
So, let’s be more intentional with the affirmations that we use and ensure that they actually represent what we want in life and art.
How do you use creative affirmations?
The most effective creative affirmations will reflect your desires and be repeated consistently. These affirmations will be meaningful and unique to you, and said with patience and compassion.
Start to think about what you want to achieve or believe. Perhaps you want to finally feel good about your art. Or to have endless imagination and inspiration at your fingertips. Maybe you want to have the confidence to share your art with the world. Whatever you desire, create affirmations that reflect it.
One method that has really worked for me in the past is to start off by writing a list of the things that I had a negative image of – features of myself, my environment and my circumstances that I wanted to change. I then turn these into positive and intentional affirmations. Alternatively, look at your ‘why’ as a creative. Why do you WANT to create? What does it mean to you? Build your creative affirmations around that.
Once you have done this, it’s time to write your affirmations. Ideally, affirmations are in the present tense. Saying ‘I am’ instead of ‘I will’ is a huge part of the affirmation process as it sends a message to your subconscious that this *thing* exists, right here right now. The ripple effect is that you will start to believe, wholeheartedly, that it is real.
In addition, try to use positive language. An affirmation that may feel positive for you – such as ‘I am not stressed’ – actually still holds onto negative thought patterns; something your brain will latch onto. Instead, try ‘I am calm and focused’.
Once you have your affirmations to hand, you can tie them into your daily schedule:
- Decide how you will use your creative affirmation. Will it be part of a meditation? Written in a journal? Spoken out loud as you move through your day? I do a mix of journaling and saying them out loud. Speaking your affirmations out loud can be super powerful (even if you’re family do think you’re a bit off!). I do a mix of all three of these, but one method may appeal to you more. Listen to your intuition and do what feels right for you.
- To remember to do these consistently, you could slot them into your daily routine by saying them at a certain part of the day. A good place to start is first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This works for me as in the morning they help me start the day with a positive mindset whereas at night they send me to sleep with positive thoughts.
- You could also habit stack! This is where you add them into an existing habit, like brushing your teeth or making a cup of tea. Alternatively, why not pop a reminder on your phone at a point in the day that feels comfortable for you?
- Be kind to yourself and patient: remember, consistency is key!
If you aren’t sure where to start with creating your own bank of affirmations, why not try some of these? I’ve pulled together some of my favourite creative affirmations for breaking through blocks and giving my imagination the space to fly.
30 creative affirmations to spark your imagination.
- I am in control of my thoughts
- I choose positive thoughts.
- I am grateful every day.
- I love and approve of myself.
- Anything is possible.
- I am creative.
- I am an artist.
- I believe in my creative dreams.
- I prioritise my creative time.
- I have all the time I need to create.
- I nurture my inner artist with kindness and encouragement .
- I am exactly where I am meant to be on my creative journey.
- Inspiration is all around me.
- Inspiration comes easily and naturally to me.
- I feel relaxed and positive when I paint.
- Creating art gives me inner peace.
- I enjoy the process of learning to paint.
- I feel free to pursue my creative passion.
- Creative energy empowers me.
- I will be vulnerable so that my creativity can flow.
- I welcome mistakes and feel inspired by them.
- I always think of new, innovative ideas for my creative tasks.
- My purpose is to create.
- I am excited to share my creative ideas with the world.
- I wake up with creative ideas every single day.
- My imagination is boundless.
- I love to express myself creatively.
- I was born to share my art with the world.
- I will show up and be creative every day.
- I will honour my own creative pace.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and that it’s sparked a desire to use affirmations to support your creativity! I explore this concept in even more detail in my Skillshare class, Mindset for Artists. Take a look and don’t forget, you can get 1 month free on Skillshare when you register using this link.