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How to be successful without really trying – 13 daily affirmations from the world’s best-known self-help expert

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Best-selling classic Chicken Soup for The Soul defined the self-help movement – now its author Jack Canfield has launched a new book about the daily affirmations that can make you more successful

Jack Canfield won our hearts 25 years ago as co-creator of famous self-help series Chicken Soup for the Soul that has over 250 books total.  These titles were popular for their collection of short stories written by everyday people sent to Canfield and his co-writer Mark Victor Hansen. Each book in the series follows a theme that sets up the framework of all the stories shared inside.

Canfield – who has a psychology degree from Harvard – has become internationally recognised as a leader in personal development and peak performance strategies. He has dedicated his life to studying people and what can make them successful. He shares these strategies with entrepreneurs, companies, media, universities and readers of all walks of life in order to help them reach the achievements in life they desire.

What are positive affirmations?

‘Whatever idea, image, or outcome you think about, talk about, and feel strongly about, you will bring about,’ says Canfield his latest book Success Affirmations: 52 Weeks for Living a Passionate and Purposeful Life, released late last year. When practising positive affirmations you’re using positive thinking and self-empowerment to bring about success or achievement in life, he asserts.


Practising affirmations is a proven philosophy, Canfield says, for creating success and happiness in your life. But the key it to take the initiative to adapt these into your everyday routine. The book sets up each affirmation on a weekly basis. With three affirmations a week for 52 weeks,

13 daily affirmations that can make you more successful

Here’s a taste of 13 of the daily affirmations found in Jack Canfield’s book, with some of Canfield’s inspirational explanations accompanying them.

If you’re: worried about the future

Daily affirmation: ‘I am choosing to change my thoughts, images, and behaviors to respond differently and produce better outcomes’

Don’t be tricked into thinking you’re an innocent bystander or common participant in life. You are the one creating and letting your life happen, it’s not just a bunch of coincidences. By paying attention to internal and external alerts that signal if something is off or about to happen, you will then be able to change your actions or responses to pick up on opportunities. This is one way to get rid of the ‘things just happen to you’ attitude and really take control of your destiny.

If you’re: unsure of what you want in life

Daily affirmation: ‘I am focused on what I truly want for my life based on my own values and life experience’

This affirmation will allow you to discover what you reall wanty to be, to do and have in life. First, put yourself in a quiet environment and try these two exercises — make an ‘I want’ list and a ’20 things I love to do’ list. Make sure to include work and career, finances, fun, health and fitness, personal goals and relationships into the lists. Don’t be afraid to write down even the most expensive or large dream you have. These exercises will help you to discover what you truly want in life, while being clear and specific.

If you’re: struggling to believe in yourself

Daily affirmation: ‘I am facing each day with a positive attitude, which empowers me to truly believe that anything is possible’

In order for any of these to really work, you must believe in yourself. You have to believe that you can make your perfect life — even if you can’t see the whole picture just yet. Developing a confident attitude and believing in yourself is a choice. You have to choose to believe that you can achieve any goal you set your sights on. Telling yourself this daily will retrain your brain to believe that you can accomplish it because your thoughts are what drive your success.


If you’re: discouraged by too large of a goal

Daily affirmation: ‘I am comfortable asking for guidance and advice from people who have already done what I want to do’

Achieve big goals by ‘chunking it down,’ which means to break them down into several small tasks that you can accomplish one at a time. In order to discover these smaller individual steps, you might want to ask others how they did it to help you avoid common pitfalls others faced with the same tasks.

If you’re: controlled by your comfort zone

Daily affirmation: ‘I am expanding my comfort zone every day by using affirmations that fill my subconscious mind with positive thoughts and images’

Your comfort zone is basically a self-created prison that you live in created by all the negative thoughts you have allowed to reside in your subconscious mind. Release the Brakes. We can change this cycle of negativity by focusing instead on filling our minds with positive thoughts, words and images. This is especially accomplished through the use of affirmations. Positive thoughts will create new pathways in our minds to keep us from immediately thinking or saying ‘I can’t.’

If you’re: letting your mistakes keep you from moving forward

Daily affirmation: ‘When I make mistakes, I know there is something valuable that I am learning from each experience’

We are human, and all humans make mistakes. This affirmation will allow you to not only continue to take action to meet your goals, but keep you from getting discouraged when you make a mistake. You might not know the whole path when trying to reach a final goal, but knowing enough to start is what it takes. You will learn along the way.


If you’re: allowing your fears to keep from working towards your dreams

Daily affirmation: ‘I am replacing my self-created, imaginary images and sensations of fear with positive images and sensations of my desired outcome’

‘Are you living your life worrying about and avoiding imaginary troubles?’ You need to experience your fears when accomplishing your goals and take action to get over them. When you find yourself worrying or avoiding certain tasks out of fear, recognise how limiting these thoughts are. Then, deal with them. If you’re avoiding an important conversation, ask yourself why and work past those fears because they are limiting your capacity to truly live.

If you’re: having trouble getting over rejection or fear rejection

Daily affirmation: ‘I am persevering until I achieve my goals — or something better — because I know that what I want also wants me’

Along the road of success is also the road of rejection. Like our fears, rejection can stop us completely in our tracks of achievement. You must accept the idea that while working to meet your goals, you might also encounter rejection. ‘Train your brain to translate the word ‘no’ into ‘next!” By acknowledging that rejection is just another part of your journey, you can teach yourself to work past it quicker and find a better alternative to achieve your goal. Remember to tell yourself that ‘What I want also wants me’ and that rejection isn’t the end.

Learning the Rule of 5 will give you the drive you need to work on your goals and accomplish them by taking little steps at a time

If you’re: getting discouraged while still meeting your smaller goals

Daily affirmation: ‘I am consistently posting my target goals and updated scores where I can see them, which motivates me to stay on track’

Just like school kids, we love to keep track of our success and show our progress. If you’re measuring yourself you can work to better improve yourself. Create a chart, document or journal entry that will allow you to physically track positive behaviour, financial gains and finished goals. This will keep you on task and allow you celebration time when you achieve small tasks to reach your final goals. It will also motivate you more if you post these scores where you can easily see them.

If you’re: unsure how to start or how to keep up with your goals

Daily affirmation: ‘I am being persistent and consistent practising The Rule of 5 every single day’

Learning the Rule of 5 will give you the drive you need to work on your goals and accomplish them by taking little steps at a time. This might mean that you must send out five emails, make five phone calls or even visit five different shops in one day. Whatever tasks you need to do to accomplish a goal, make a smaller goal by doing five things a day to achieve that larger one. This will keep you motivated to keep going without burning your energy out too fast.

If you’re: struggling because the people around you are affecting your confidence

Daily affirmation: ‘I am joyfully surrounding myself with positive people who have a solution-oriented approach to life’

It’s important to remember that the people around you, friends, family and co-workers, all influence who you are. If you surround yourself with positive and successful people, they will drive you to be positive and successful. If you’re struggling with keeping the positive attitudes these affirmations work for, take a look at the people closest to you. You might not realise that one ball of negativity might be the single thing holding you back from achieving your goals. Instead, work on surrounding yourself with joyful people that also believe you and they can overcome any obstacle in their path.


If you’re: experiencing regret, hurt or negativity from your past

Daily affirmation: ‘I am forgiving and letting go of past hurts, and re-directing my energy toward positive, goal-oriented activities’

This affirmation will help you to find closure in your past so that you can better embrace the future. In terms of karma, thinking and acting positively will give you your positivity back. If you were to hold onto grudges, pain, or hurt from your past, you will then attract those same feelings into your current life. Forgiving people and things of the past will free you of those negative thoughts, while also allowing you to take action in your future if similar events are to occur.

If you’re: feeling like you still haven’t done enough once you’ve reached your goals

Daily affirmation: ‘Every contribution I make in time and money helps others and expands abundance in my life’

Lastly, remember that what you have gained through experience can create more joy when shared with others. ‘Many of the world’s richest and most successful people have also been the most generous givers.’ This is always an incredibly difficult decision for people when starting, but its benefits are rewarding. When starting off a plan of giving, choose a religious organisation or charity that matches your own principles and beliefs. Don’t be afraid to start off small, either. Anyone will be happy to receive your generosity. Practising tithing will ‘create a spiritual bond between you and the God of abundance.’

Success Affirmations cover, How to be successful without really trying - 13 daily affirmations from the world's best-known self-help expert, healthistaJack Canfield‘s new book Success Affirmations is from Amazon.

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