What words do you live by? In other words, what quotes are not only your favorite quotes but are also the words that instantly spring to your mind and become your default-mindset in moments of pressure? If you don’t already know what those words would be, now is the time to decide.
Recently, podcasts by Leslie Householder (http://ararekindoffaith.com) have raised my awareness about the destination of my thoughts. Any thought that is either repeated often or charged with emotion becomes programmed into my subconscious mind, and once it’s lodged in the subconscious mind then it can generate my feelings and actions, without me being consciously aware of it. Thus, it’s important to be deliberate in choosing powerful thoughts to say to myself throughout the day, like an artist creating a design.
Several months ago, I attended a BYU devotional in which Craig Manning explained the value of power statements. “Faith begins with how you talk to yourself,” he said. For example, when you study for an exam you should tell yourself “I will remember this,” instead of saying, “Don’t forget this.” He also said you need to have a power statement ready to use with yourself when doubt creeps in. Craig Manning is an athletics coach, and he shared the story of how he once taught a discouraged athlete to say to herself, “This is my day!” whenever she felt a twinge of doubt. Not surprisingly, she went on to be in the Olympics. (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/craig-manning_power-words/)
Inspired by Craig Manning’s story, I picked my own phrase and started saying to myself several times a day, “We’ve got this!”
In my last post, I talked about recognizing subconscious lies within myself. When we become aware of our patterns of negative self-talk, how do we get rid of them? I don’t know about you, but whenever I tell myself NOT to think about a certain thing, I just think about it more. (Either my brain likes to be contrary or it doesn’t understand negation words.) To get rid of negative belief statements, you can’t just reason with yourself until you’re convinced they’re false. Rather, you have to consistently feast on positive power statements until there’s nowhere for the negative statements to live. (Craig Manning would call this the “law of occupied space.”)
We could have just one main quote or power phrase to rely on, but I think it’s useful to have several because each one can fit a different situation. For example, here are my current top three:
1. “When you truly love something, the sacrifices that you make for it don’t feel like a sacrifice.” This quote was said in a testimony meeting by a missionary whose name I never learned. I think of these words whenever I start to feel resentful about any responsibility, duty, or favor that is expected of me. This quote makes me realize that my feelings of resentment exist because I don’t love someone or something enough, and therefore I need to pause and generate more love before I continue.
2. “I have no trials, only adventures.” These words were said by one of my personal role models, a woman who raised seven sons and who has had more than her fair share of “adventures.” This quote helps me to have good feelings towards whatever trial I’m going through and to put it in perspective. After all, adventures are just trials that make you grow and that have a happy ending.
3. When a member of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke at a stake conference that I attended a few years ago (unfortunately I didn’t write down his name), he shared with us his life motto: “Happy always. Content never!” I remind myself of this quote whenever I find myself becoming too content with my life and neglecting to strive for excellence and growth.
We should constantly be adding to our arsenal of power statements. We need some that are long, some that are short, some that are deep, and others that are simple.
In the October 2015 General Conference, Devin G Durrant gave a talk about the importance of “ponderizing,” or in other words, both pondering and memorizing powerful words on a weekly basis by putting them on our fridge. (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/my-heart-pondereth-them-continually?lang=eng)
In his talk, Elder Durrant was specifically referring to verses of scripture, but the same principles can apply to other inspirational words as well. If you do choose a scripture, I would suggest that instead of worrying about memorizing the whole thing you can instead just focus on deeply internalizing one key phrase. Scriptural phrases that have made all the difference to me include, “perfect love casteth out fear,” (1 John 4:18) and “when I fall I shall arise” (Micah 7:8).
I challenge you to find, apply, and frequently repeat a new quote or power statement in you life. Decide in advance which situations you will use it for.
Once you’ve chosen your quote, please share by commenting below. But first, I’m curious to know what you already have. What quote or motto inspires you the most? You can change my life and the lives of others forever by giving us ideas, so please share the wealth and comment below.