You might raise a hyper-critical, sarcastic eyebrow silently in yoga class when your instructor asks you to set an intention in class, and for good reason. In a moment when you’re put on the spot on your mat, trying to decide who (or what or huh?) you’d like to dedicate your practice to, it’s tough to figure out what words or thoughts will inspire your movement while also clearing your mind. But before you discount mantras completely, consider this: most leading company owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs have certain phrases that empower them to get through difficult business choices, stressful quarters and those times when they simply feel off their A-game.
In other words, they have a mantra.
“Mantras are intonations or sound patterns that are repeated to create a certain thought. All manifestations are created from thought so if we repeat a given thought over and over it will crystalize into reality. All things in the universe manifest from conscious thought and the vibration of sound,” naturopath, yoga instructor, author and health advocate Dr. Lynn Anderson explains. “It is not enough to simply repeat a mantra. For it to be helpful, we must activate the thought form with devotion. The whole meaning of practicing mantras is to find a sense of peace. It is not what the mantra means, but what you feel that is the benefit of a mantra. Through repetition of a mantra that is meaningful, we create a state of being and that state of being can bring great joy to our life.”
As you look into 2017 and start to plan, consider taking it a step forward and manifest what you want with these highly recommended mantras that will empower you to greatness:
Try this practice for a day: every single time you have a thought that begins with “I am,” write down the word that comes next. You’ll probably notice a lot of negativity: “I am feeling fat today,” “I am really behind on these reports” or “I am so not in the mood to deal with that right now.” But Christy Whitman, Law of Attraction coach and New York Times Bestselling author of The Art of Having It All: A Woman’s Guide to Unlimited Abundance, recommends simplifying that statement to purely “I am.”
“It is important to catch yourself if you find yourself being very inwardly negative, and change what you say about yourself and your life to reflect a more positive reality. If you can follow the statement ‘I am’ with positive thoughts, you are invoking the power of the universe, the divine within you to assist you in creating this as your reality,” she says.
When you first hear the word abundant, you probably consider finances (or maybe beautiful piles of cash falling from the sky?). But abundance comes in many forms: the savings in your bank account, sure, but also your love life, the strength of your friendships, and your overall sentiment toward your wellbeing. That’s why Whitman says ‘I am abundant’ opens many mental floodgates, in a good way. “Your thoughts create your reality, and as you say these positive statements to yourself with conviction, you will begin to create them as true. Mantras were designed to open and expand your awareness of what you can have, to align you with your soul’s wisdom, and to attune you with the unlimited abundance of the universe. As you say this to yourself, you will create positive and better circumstances in your life,” she explains.
“Your thoughts create your reality, and as you say these positive statements to yourself with conviction, you will begin to create them as true. Mantras were designed to open and expand your awareness of what you can have, to align you with your soul’s wisdom, and to attune you with the unlimited abundance of the universe. As you say this to yourself, you will create positive and better circumstances in your life,” she explains.
Part of feeling empowered to succeed isn’t about robust ambition but about understanding that feeling grounded will help you make the best, smartest and most effective decisions. To evoke a feeling of zen, try this mantra, Whitman suggests. “This will help evoke that part of you that will help you stay centered and balanced no matter what conditions, circumstances or situation are happening,” she explains.
Some years are for growth, while others are about change. Some inspire you to take chances, while others encourage you to practice standing still and savoring. And a rare few are all about letting life happen as the pieces fall. If your hope for this year is to let it be a time when you are exposed to what’s meant to be for you and your career, this mantra suggested by Whitman might be the best. “This will evoke the personality part of you looking for opportunities. When you focus your attention on something, it starts to show itself to you,” she says.
If 2016 wasn’t your best year, take a scroll through Instagram and you’ll definitely realize many people felt that same tension and anxiety. Any events, choices or experiences that didn’t bring your best self to the limelight or set you back, should be left behind. Whitman says the ability to let go of what’s behind you is one of the most empowering skills for entrepreneurs (or anyone) to master. “Forgiveness of self and others is really the key and doorway to peace and happiness. As you find the places within yourself that need forgiveness either of your self or others, you make room for peace. And it brings you in the present moment where all the true power is,” she says.
“Forgiveness of self and others is really the key and doorway to peace and happiness. As you find the places within yourself that need forgiveness either of your self or others, you make room for peace. And it brings you in the present moment where all the true power is,” she says.
Especially as an entrepreneur, you have high expectations for yourself and those around you. That’s why it’s likely no surprise that your harshest criticisms can come from within. But the more that you put yourself down or desire to be something you aren’t, the more you’re holding yourself back from exploring and investing in the greatness that’s unique to you. Life coach Valerie Langley says this simple mantra is an effective one. “It is a great reminder that today, right where you are, you are enough. It reminds you that even if you haven’t reached your goal yet, you can keep going without being unhappy with where you are now,” she explains.
Mantras can be very helpful to those who struggle with anxiety because they help shape the internal dialogue. By shaping the present to match what we want in the future, we prepare ourselves for good things, instead of anticipating—and being fearful—of the bad things. “I literally say this all the time throughout my day and always find that things seem to fall in place,” Langley explains. “It may not be the place I had planned for them, but in a place for exactly what I need.”