Affirmation Challenge Day 1 [New Beginning]: “Today is a brand new day. My past does not define me. My future is mine to create.”

This is Day 1 of the 15-Day Affirmation Challenge where hundreds of participants around the world gather to practice positive affirmations for 15 days in July 2014. The challenge is now over, but you can do the tasks in your own time. Visit the overview page for all Affirmation Challenge tasks and posts.

Affirmation Challenge

Dearest everyone, welcome to Day 1 of our 15-Day Affirmation Challenge, where we’ll be practising positive affirmations for 15 days! Are you ready? Because I sure am! :D

Blog About Your Journey!

If you have a blog and you’ve signed up, consider blogging about your affirmation journey!! Not only is it a great way to add accountability to yourself, it’s also a great place to document your revelations throughout this challenge. I recommend the following process:

  1. Do each day’s task and blog about your results on your blog. Remember to post a link to that day’s task on PE so that others can reference to the task too, if they don’t already know about PE.
  2. Copy/paste your results (or a summary of your results) in the comments section of that day’s blog post on PE
  3. Paste the link for your blog post entry for that day *below* your copy/pasted results, then post the comment on PE

By doing so, the readers on PE will be able to read your task results directly in the comments section, and easily click over your blog to read more if they are interested.

Don’t post a general link to your blog as participants will continue to read the comments even several months after the challenge; by then they will only be able to see the latest entry on your blog (as opposed to your results for the challenge task).

Before We Start…

For the next 15 days, you’ll find that the affirmation blog posts will be titled as: Day X, [XXX]: [Affirmation for that day]. [XXX] stands for the theme of that day’s affirmation. Since there are 15 days, I’ve personally created 15 affirmations covering 15 themes of personal growth. This will create a more targeted growth experience for you, rather than throwing you with 15 random affirmations which may have little (if any) meaning to you!

While this challenge is an affirmation challenge, your task for each day isn’t just to practise that day’s affirmation. Rather, there’ll be specified tasks that come along with that day’s affirmation, such as self-reflection questions and action-step planning — your task is to practise the affirmation and do the specified tasks.

Know that just saying affirmations alone is no different from hopping around with a wooden staff in a circle and singing Kumbaya (i.e. self-delusion). While chanting an affirmation over and over may give you a boost in confidence, it merely creates a feel-good factor which will no sooner end when the challenge is over.

Singing Kumbaya

Singing Kumbaya. And no, this is NOT what we’re doing in this challenge.

We are here to create real change in our lives, and this requires being ready to take the steps to make change happen. You’ve already done that first step if you have signed up for the challenge!

With that said, let us now kick off our 15-day affirmation journey! Today’s affirmation is about….

Day 1: [New Beginning]

Affirmation Challenge, Day 1 [Beginning]: “Today is a brand new day. My past does not define me. My future is mine to create.”

Today’s affirmation: “”Today is a brand new day. My past does not define me. My future is mine to create.”

How many of us often define ourselves or our future based on our past?

Consider the following statements:

I’m a good-for-nothing — I’ve not accomplished much in my life, so I’m not going to accomplish much in my future too.

I’ve not had great relationships in the past, so I’m likely to continue to attract bad men/women into my life. I’m doomed not to meet someone I will love and who will truly love me too.

I was never a straight-A student, so I’m simply not cut out for success, whether in my studies or other things in the future.

I’ve not faced much success in [XXX] goal, so I shouldn’t pursue [XXX] any further since I’m probably going to continue failing in it.

My dad/mom/teacher once scolded me for being lazy/lousy/slow/stupid/incompetent/idiotic/a disgrace of the family/[insert negative adjective], so I’m indeed lazy/lousy/slow/stupid/incompetent/idiotic/a disgrace of the family/[insert negative adjective].

My brother/sister/friend has always been better/faster/stronger than me when we were young, so they will continue to be better/faster/stronger than me in the future.

My relationship with [XXX] has been declining, so it’ll likely continue to decline and I shouldn’t put any effort in it.

While it is important that we learn from the past to create a better future, the extent to which our past limits us is when we use it as a determinant or predictor of the future. For example, just because we made a mistake in the past doesn’t mean we’ll continue to make the same mistake or another mistake in the future. Just because we are unable to achieve success in X goal in the past doesn’t mean we’ll continue to face limited success in it to the future.

You see, the danger here is that given that our thoughts directly impact our actions which directly impact our results, by thinking within the confines of our past results, we’ll continue to act in a way that attract those results, hence attracting said results in real life. We’ll then box ourselves into the archetype of “I’m not one who is able to attract love” (if you’re currently facing a blockage in this area” or “I’m not cut out for entrepreneurship” (if you’ve been meaning to set up your own business but hasn’t been able to), hence… being our own self-fulfilling prophecy.

So how do we break out of this vicious cycle? Well, by first changing our thoughts. But beyond changing our thoughts, we need to also identify the action steps to take to make things different. Because while having positive thoughts is important, we need to follow them up with the right, positive actions to make a real change in our life.

Hence, today your task is to do exactly that — change your thoughts and identify action steps in an area where you’ve been limiting yourself or that you feel limited in. Let’s get started! :D

Your Task Today

  1. What are ONE area of your life where you’ve been limiting yourself or that you feel limited in? It can be anything, from studies, to work projects, to romantic relationships, to health, to friendships, to familial relationships. (You are welcome to identify more than an area if you like!)
    • For example, say you have an interest to start your business but you are holding yourself back from doing so. Perhaps you tried to set up a business before and failed. So, you give up on entrepreneurship altogether and decide to settle for a simple day job. Or, perhaps you have never set up any businesses before, so you (for some warped reason) conclude that you will fail in entrepreneurship and decide not to try at all!
  2. What is the belief statement you’ve been harboring in this area? And is it serving/helping you to accomplish your goal? Continuing from the example above,
    • “Since I’ve tried and failed to set up a business, I’m not cut out for entrepreneurship. I’m better off sticking to a day job.” or “Since I’ve never tried setting up a business, I’m not cut out for entrepreneurship. I’m better off sticking to what I know.”
    • Clearly, either of these statements do NOT serve you in your entrepreneurship goal, because they are self-limiting failures (i.e. assumption of continual failure just because of one failure / lack of experience, and hence prematurely giving up on the goal)!
  3. Change this belief(s). Given that the belief from #2 is limiting, what empowering belief(s) can you change it to? Continuing from above,
    • “I may have tried and failed in setting up a business before, but so have many successful entrepreneurs today! All of us make mistakes, and it’s the mistakes that make us stronger and wiser. I shall learn from my past failure so I’ll be more successful in my next endeavor!” or
    • “I’ve never tried setting up a business before, but everyone starts from somewhere. I’m going to learn by reading books and consulting people who have set up businesses before, so that I can get the right knowledge and skills to succeed in any endeavor!
  4. Identify your action step(s) to make the change! What is ONE action (or more if you desire) that you’re going to make to make this new belief come true? Commit this action to a deadline, and get working on it!
  5. Say your new belief out loud, along with today’s affirmation:

    “Today is a brand new day.
    My past does not define me.
    My future is mine to create.”

    (If you think it’s silly to say them out loud, you can say them silently in your heart.)

I encourage you to write down your new belief(s) and today’s affirmation so that you can always see them and commit them to your heart. Repeat them every day to yourself, for as many times and as long as needed, until they become part of your default thinking.

Affirmation Wallpaper: [New Beginning]

To further help you in this challenge, I’ve specially created wallpapers based on the daily affirmations. Each wallpaper will be shared in that day’s task, and is available in the most common computer resolutions of 1920×1080, 1600×900, and 1366×768. If your monitor is a different size, simply pick the size that’s closest to your resolution and resize it in your favorite graphic editor.

Today’s affirmation wallpaper, for download:

Affirmation Challenge, Day 1 [Beginning]: “Today is a brand new day. My past does not define me. My future is mine to create.”

Download (right click and save): [1920×1080] | [1600×900] | [1366×768]

Share Your Results!

Share your results, check out other participants’ responses, and interact with each other in the comments sectionRemember, this challenge is a community effort: by openly engaging in the discussion, not only will you help others, you’ll also help yourself.

If you think today’s affirmation has benefited you, do share it with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, G+, or e-mail.

Once you’re done, proceed to Day 2 here: Affirmation Challenge, Day 2 [Self-Love]

Images: Flower, Kumbaya, Mountain and Sun

  • Merlin Koh

    The wallpaper works well as FB banner too! Hope it’s ok to do so :D

    • Celestine Chua

      That’s an awesome idea! You are more than welcome to use it for your FB (and elsewhere), and even distribute/share with others as long as the PE url is intact! :D

  • Ambitious Shraddha Pethkar

    thank you thank you thank you…… its so miraculous feeling… wow… amazing.. fantastic…. NEW DAY,NEW VISION,NEW JOURNEY….. FEELING SO EXCITED….. thank you so much for this awesome sharing….

  • Vivian

    There are much more within myself. If i am holding myself back and let myself down. How can others help? New begining,without past.

    • Celestine Chua

      What’s holding you back? And how can you release this limitation?

      • Vivian

        I always compare myself with othets, especially those much better than me. I compare with myself now. And see the good progress i made.

  • Becbec

    Thank you so much. I really faced why a certain issue is so scary, and how to change it.

    • Celestine Chua

      That’s awesome to hear, Becbec! You’re welcome to share (however little or much you want) about that issue and how you tackled it; it’ll allow other participants to learn from you, too!

  • Gaurab Parajuli

    Thank you Celes.

  • Leanne Wendy Teti

    My limitation has been exercise due to negative thoughts about my arthritis and how it can get sometimes when I exercise. I have a new belief statement thanks to our day 1 challenge: 1.
    My changed belief statement from this day forward
    is: “I may have had arthritic flare ups after exercise in the past, but the
    long term benefits of exercising far outweighs the sleight chance of a small
    hiccup. Any flare ups can be treated at
    point of arrival, short rest, then back to it, with huge respect to my body! I
    am going to exercise in a monitored environment, safely and regularly!”

    I must have been thinking about this before i reflected upon it because after 4 postponements, including 10am this morning, I finally met the lady at the women’s gym Curves, to do a trial workout with a personal coach at 5pm and have commited to everyday M-F this week for a 30-minute workout as part of a free trial but moving toward membership of course!!!

  • ASLO

    Before I start up, I just want to say to you Celes, i am really excited to take part in yet another challenge of yours! Every challenge I have participated in on PE in the past has led to one more piece of the puzzle fitting right in and I still follow what I picked up then in my life up to an extent.

    The affirmation is beautiful! Perfect to start up on this challenge so that we let go of all our disappointments till now and work to shape our future, which is sure a beautiful place I see myself in!

    It brings back something I once read “You are everything you always wanted to become” this affirmation most definitely brings in more meaning to that line as I can repeat loud and clear!
    “Today is a brand new day.
    My past does not define me.
    My future is mine to create”

    I have it in me!

    Of the tasks, which are a wonderful way for the challenge to sink in:

    1. What are ONE area of your life where you’ve been limiting yourself in because of your past? I’d say that one area is leaving behind my material self and getting detached from material emotions and needs. I find myself always holding on to attachments and expectations from others! The hurt of disappointment from not being reciprocated is too much and takes me steps back from where I have gotten to….

    2. Identify the specific belief statement(s) limiting you? I have been hurt before, nothing will change and I shall always get emotionally hurt like that

    3. Change this belief(s): The experiences of the past have made me a better person! They have taught me not to expect and get overly attached and they have taught me how to forgive. I shall appreciate myself first before depending on others

    also, I may not have succeeded in my dreams of the past, but yesterday is a different day, I shall refocus on my dreams and shape my future

    Thank you for the amazing start Celes!

    See you tomorrow

    PS: It isn’t even one bit stupid to say the affirmation aloud :)

    • Celestine Chua

      Hi ASLO, it’s so awesome to have you back in our latest challenge! :D You are honestly welcome to join in the comments of the articles too; I think I usually see your nick during the challenges, so in between the challenges (which seems to be happening at a rate of once a year), I sometimes wonder, “Where is ASLO and how is she doing? Is she still reading PE?”

      On your answers, I love how you have reshaped your beliefs! Like you said, yesterday is a different day, and there’s no reason why events of the past should carry forward to today or tomorrow unless we let them. And there’s no reason why we should! Every day is a fresh start, and we can create whatever future we deem fit!

      • ASLO

        Thank you for taking your time to personally reply to my post. :) It is touching and also very motivating!

        I am always reading PE! In fact I get my son to read some of the articles you post up too as am sure they’d help him too! I shall definitely start commenting on the articles too :) and the one challenge you have a year is just the right boost we all need to reconcile and grab a fresh start at our respective personal excellence journeys :) you’re doing a fabulous job!

  • Kirst

    Thank you for such a thoughtful start. My thoughts for today are on my blog

    • Celestine Chua

      Hi Kirst! Recommend that you copy/paste your results for Day 1′s task, then paste the direct link to your Day 1′s post (i.e. below your answer! Reason being that the participants will be seeing your comment even 1 week or 2 weeks from now, and when they click into your blog URL they will only see your latest entry (as opposed to seeing your results for Day 1′s task right away).

      PS: I read your entry for Day 1, and I’m so proud of you for signing up for more swimming classes in August! You said it right “Start small and grow”; no matter how small the step, we’ll still be making progress as opposed to if we didn’t take any step! :)

  • Calae

    My limitation is procrastination/laziness. I look back at all the things I’ve tried and failed to see through to the end, and I conclude that everything I try to do will go to the wayside before long. If I have work to do, I put it off as long as possible until I have just barely enough time to get it done — I’m afraid of doing badly, which ironically puts me into a position to do worse than if I took all the time I had to get it done with plenty of time! In the end, both of these things come from me not believing in myself, and from not living/acting in line with what’s really important to me. If I can find true passion and purpose for what I want to do, it’d make it much easier to get it done (and make solid plans/goals to get there)!
    My new thoughts: “I live with passion and purpose. I put my best effort into everything that I do, because my work is a reflection of me and I am immeasurably valuable.”

  • Samuel Lim

    1. What are two areas of your life where you limit yourself based on your past experiences?

    Firstly, I am currently very pessimistic when it comes to my health and eating habits. Yes, I am an emotional eater. I tried many different methods in the past to solve this problem: redirecting my eating triggers (habits follow a trigger>action(eating)>reward routine); Allen Carr’s Easyway, which is a book that upon reading totally changes your perspective on food; chewing my food slowly; attempting and failing to persuade my mother to stop buying snacks home, and a billion other tactics.

    I realized these didn’t work because of the root cause: I wasn’t happy. I hated the environment of the school I was studying in (a fear-based obsession with grades). I lacked connection with people because there was nobody whom I felt was “awake” and living conciously instead of simply going with the flow. Hence, the underlying root problems of lacking inspiring/empowering connection to people and the environment hinder me.

    Secondly, I am limiting myself spiritually because of intellectual intimidation. I define spirituality not as “Ommmmmm” mysticism, but simply as thinking or engaging in the big questions of life. Does God exist? Is religion X true? Is it even possible to conclusively arrive at an answer to these questions? Is reason enough to provide answers, or does faith/mystic experience count as answers that are justified in their own right? And many other related questions.

    When I was in the army, I used to read philosophy in search of an answer to such questions. I think that it was because the book I read kept providing counterarguments to possible arguments raised that I developed a belief that it was impossible (for me?) to know the answer to such questions. This belief (subconciously?) kept me from tackling these difficult questions full on and caused much mental conflict to ensue.

    2. Identify the specific belief statements limiting you in these two areas, and 3. Change these beliefs.

    First: I am powerless to overcome my eating problems. I am powerless to create an environment and connect with people that inspire me.

    Challenging it:

    I am NOT powerless to overcome my eating problems – I simply was not aware and lacked the courage to tackle the root causes before. I have the opportunity to tackle the root causes now because i am aware of it now. I have the entire PE community behind me as support. I am publicly accountable now and this gives me the strength to overcome them.

    I have the power to change my environment and connect with inspiring people right here on PE. I can always leave school and apply to another school – it is not a “waste” of a year but an invaluable lesson learned in the value of a positive environment which can save me decades of choosing soulless work. I cannot find people who inspire me, becuase my expectations were too high and unrealistic. By being more accepting of others and myself I can find more like minded people.

    New belief: I already have the power to overcome my eating problems and tackle the root cause. I can simply leave and move to an environment that inspires me.

    Second: I am unable to think clearly about the big questions of life on my own.


    I felt intimidated and uncertain in the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I will always lack the capability to think and decide for myself. I actually haven’t bothered to sit down and really think though everything, so that does not justify my belief in my lack of capability. I can always read up and develop my thinking ability.

    New belief:


    4. Say the affirmation for today

    “Today is a brand new day.

    My past does not define me.

    My future is mine to create.”

    • Celestine Chua

      “I have the entire PE community behind me as support. I am publicly accountable now and this gives me the strength to overcome them.”

      You are totally right, Samuel! Emotional eating can be a tough problem to crack (it’s usually very deeply embedded into other areas/problems of one’s life), so it may take some time to slowly unveil the roots and tackle them one by one. (Speaking from experience here, and I see that you know about the emotional eating series so that’s a great start!) The fact that you’ve worked out the underlying root, that you weren’t happy, is huge. Working on expanding your network, meeting like-minded conscious individuals, etc. and building an inspiring environment for yourself will certainly help.

      I’m likely having a PE readers meetup in Singapore next month, and when that happens it’ll be an excellent opportunity for you to meet like-minded people, Samuel! Stay tuned at the blog for the announcement if it’s something you’ll be interested to check out!

  • Madalina S

    I limit myself in the romantic relationships area. While in any other life area I’m open to trying new things and learning more, when it comes to interacting with men and having a relationship, I suddenly feel “tiny,” not at all interesting or attractive. On one hand, I’m aware that things aren’t as bad as I imagine them, but the fact that I have never been incredibly successful in this life area chipped away at my self-confidence. I usually tell myself “You’re always rejected — either politely or not — by guys you approach, so why even try? And even if he’s interested, he’ll soon leave since there are better women (i.e. more beautiful) out there.” It’s a vicious cycle: I have low self-esteem around men because men have frequently refused me (like when you ask someone out for coffee); the more guys refuse me, the worse I feel about myself (as if there were something wrong with me). My new affirmation: “Love is all around me and within me, and I am entirely worth of a person’s love and care. I will respect and appreciate myself more, knowing that there is nothing wrong with me.”

    • Celestine Chua

      Hey Lina, love this new affirmation! You’re totally right that love is all around us (one of the key lessons I share in the How to Attract Authentic Love guide), and recognizing this is an important first step to attracting authentic love into our lives.

      I was wondering, when you said that men have refused you, could it be that they were simply refusing because they were busy and the appointment didn’t fit their agenda? And for whatever reason that they rejected — even if it is because they weren’t interested — it really doesn’t have to do with you. One thing I realized before (and I shared in my article on intimidating men) is that if a guy, for whatever reason, didn’t like me or found me repulsive (just using a strong word as an example), then this guy could never be compatible with me and he wouldn’t be a guy that I would like anyway.

      • Madalina S

        I don’t think it ever had to do with their schedule, because usually I say something like “Maybe we could grab a coffee sometime.” (pretty cliche), so choosing a place or a time is up to them practically. It’s just that they don’t find me attractive I guess. Maybe I just haven’t met the right person yet.

        I like what you said about guys who don’t like you and who would have never been compatible with you. It’s true. After all, if two people are meant to be, I think they kind of “click” from the very beginning. If you have to push things to go your way, then it will probably be an unpleasant relationship later on down the road.

  • Hanna Sharpe

    I’ve had more bad, negative romantic relationships than good ones, and I’ve always run away!
    I deserve a healthy, balanced, loving, trusting, fun relationship with a man!

    • Celestine Chua

      I love this affirmation Hanna!! :D Great work! And yes, you definitely deserve a great relationship with a great man!!

      • Hanna Sharpe

        Thank you Celestine :)

  • Ved

    Today i started my first day for the affirmation challenge on celestine chua website. The reason why im participating in this 15day challenge is to ensure the surrounding of positive vibes in my life and to get rid of all the monstreous thoughts that are constantly consuming my brain leaving me fearful and insecure even depressed.

    The first task for today is to discover and write down a belief that is tormenting me and to change this negative thought forever and to finally be grateful to the new positive substituted thought.

    My problem: For ages i have suffered from fear of losing loved ones-be it my parents or a loved partner. This fear has been brought to my awareness after painful breakups in the past. I am fully conscious that betrayal or cheating has not created this fear but it has always been present inside me well before. Till then i have put a certain barrier in my life where i try to hide whenever i come across situations whether in a movie or book which i prefer to avoid and later choose to hate it. Even though i am having a healthy perfect relationship with K,sometimes this fear of restoring faith in my relationship simply crops up and leaves me moody and unhappy pushing myself to create all sorts of doubts in my head. If a movie is about heartbreak or cheating i might just turn off my laptop and go to bed sad and moody.So how do i eradicate this fear forever? The answer has been found thanks to Celestine.

    Remedy: Why am i being influenced by those fictitious story? Why am i being disturbed to read stories which deal with painful love story? I have a happily married life and there’s nothing to be afraid about. I have a faithful, sincere and loyal husband who makes me smile all the times. These fears are false perceptions of my life and it doesnt necessarily mean i will endure the same thing as in a movie. I will enjoy everything openly without having to hide as im happily letting go of all these fears in my head. So in brief limiting area is in my relationship and the specific limiting belief fear of losing and being depressed afterwards with worry, so i hide away. Changed belief is that to let go of these feelings and not to hide away. These situations will never affect my life in any way. My life and relationships are untouched and peaceful here.

    Today is a brand new day.
    My past does not define me.
    My future is mine to create.

  • Sam Chong

    I’m in the mist of discover my purpose but still i’m unable to discover it specifically.

    I read up on various sites and articles in trying to discover my purpose but I still can’t find it. I spoke to many of my friends filled with differing perspectives (Both interesting, encouraging and the opposites too =))), yet I still have not found it. Its being a while since I embarked on this quest and I thought I’ll just forget about it (because I might had overthink, overfeel, or there no big deal if you did not discover your purpose since you’ll die anyway so why not just live in comfort?)

    Yet at the end of the day, I hear witness accounts of how eventually failures emerged into champions, bankrupts prosper into billionaires, visionless transformed into inspiring figures IN SPITE OF all the impossiblties labelled by “society” (Wright Brothers, Nick Vujicic, Wilma Rudolph, Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Robert T Kiyosaki, Helen Keller, Colonel Sanders)

    Who SAYS it is impossible? It is only impossible because I choose it to be so. The Law of attraction says what you attract wht you focus on. So TODAY IS A BRAND NEW DAY.

    Nope, it should be EVERYDAY IS A BRAND NEW DAY, Today is a new start, new begining, Yesterday is the Past (A good learning experience) but THE FUTURE is mine to create (based on Hope, Possibilities, Positvity)

    With that, I WILL DISCOVER my purpose and LIVE MY BEST LIFE with the empowerment, possbile mindset & strategies to unlock the potential in me!!!

  • jenni

    One day, we had a group activity in our school. And so I participated; I say and suggest what I think. My group did not react to what I said, and they did what they all think.. even though im always on top 10 of class, it seems that they dont believe in me and it always happens (same group or not) everytime we are having a group activity. This is whats limiting me. I dont always feel like participating in a group activity because no one seems to care about what I say, suggest or anything that I want to contribute. I tend to keep myself silent, I became too shy to speak for myself and it came to the point that I dont believe in myself too. I still have that shyness until now that im already working..

    Today is a brand new day..
    My past does not define me..
    My future is mine to create. <3

    From this day on, I will not mind people who do not believe in me, instead focus to people who understands and believes in what I can. I will say what I think as long as it will not hurt other's feelings. I will strive hard to overcome the shyness and bring back the confidence in me. :D

  • JadePenguin

    Haha, funny how this is about new beginnings when I’ve just moved into a new house, with new people :D (and very excited about it!)

    1. What are ONE area of your life where you’ve been limiting yourself in because of your past?

    First thing that comes to mind is playing music, but since that’s not a priority in my life right now, I’ll pick something else. Maybe money? I’ve never had much – usually barely enough to get by. I normally don’t need much, but recently I’ve had more ambitious plans, which require a bit of investment (to buy land, plants, food, energy sources etc to start a community). It’s not an end goal in itself but in the current system, I’m gonna need some before I can become independent of it.

    2. Identify the specific belief statement(s) limiting you.

    “Since I’ve never had much money and I’m too ethical, I’ll never have lots of it.”

    3. Change this belief(s).

    “I may not have had much money in life and been completely broke a few times, but now I have a degree and experience, so it will be no problem getting a well-paying job. And I don’t have to resort to jobs that are against my beliefs.”

  • Vinay Kumar

    I’ve been trying to improve the efficiency with which I work over a day. After very consciously keeping track of the exact amount of time I work, I’ve been seeing that I manage to get in around 5 hours of productive work at office, on a day I’m able to focus really well. From past few months, this 5 has become the upper limit that I aim to achieve, and it has served me well, because when I started off noticing it, I used to achieve an average of 1.5 to 2 hours of productive focused work a day.

    These days on the days I’m not able to focus well, my productivity again dips to 2 hours. On an average day it hovers around 3-4. I think this variation is creeping in because I consider 5 to be the upper limit and going by my past experiences
    think that 5 is great. However that sets me up for 3-4 hours of work on a normal day.

    New belief: I love my work. With a few other things I do in my life I’m able to give in 3-4 hours continuous focused effort without taking any breaks. So focus isn’t an issue for me. I’m catching myself short by setting lesser goals. I’m limiting myself by being ok with average. I’m assuming working lesser would somehow be a happier state. However, I’ve realized, at the end of the day, just before sleeping, I feel most satisfied on a day, if I’ve got good work done. If I’ve tried my best. If I’ve put in enough time, irrespective of the results.

    My past needn’t set my limits. Few months of conscious effort has doubled my normal. But that’s now tending to become my new normal. And things much better are possible. So it’s time to go to the next level of performance, because I very well know that it’s well within my limits. And limits are after all what you limit yourself to :)

    • Celestine Chua

      Hi Vinay, “I’m limiting myself by being ok with average.” this is such a powerful realization! The truth is that you’re capable of achieving GREATER than EXCELLENCE, and you need to first believe that you can and want to do so before this can happen. Realizing that you’re now at the peak of your current bracket of performance, and being ready to move to that next phase, is a huge first step.

      By the way, since you’re talking about productivity, you may want to check out my latest book on 10 Rules of Super Productive People — it’s about the 10 underlying tenets of what it takes to be super productive. It’ll definitely be critical if your goal is to supercharge your productivity and achieve more in less time.

      • Vinay Kumar

        Thank you Celes!

  • Jfwarrick

    I have a very hard time believing in myself, in spite of my accomplishments. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I’ve managed to complete many of my goals. It’s hard for me to understand why I can’t be proud of myself, instead of finding reasons to minimize my accomplishments. This lack of belief in myself often hinders me from pursuing my goals. I want so much to change this.

    The specific belief statement that is limiting me is, “I am not good enough/smart enough/motivated enough to be successful in completing (insert goal).”

    My new affirmation will be, “I celebrate all that I have accomplished so far, as well as those things that I had the courage to try. I will continue to focus on my success and learn from my mistakes, and use this knowledge to empower me as I move forward.”

    Thank you, Celes! I’m very excited to be a part of this.

    • Sandra

      Your words echo so much of how I feel.

    • kelli

      Thanks for that I really needed to read that!!!

  • Mikey

    Self-limiting area: I am very hesitant to speak my mind and open up myself to others because I’ve been hurt many times before when I do either. Because of that, I often say what is considered “the right thing to say,” as that limits my potential to get hurt.

    Change in this belief: When I look back, those who hurt me were dealing with bigger issues inside of themselves. They were either fighting issues at home, their own insecurity, or are put in a bad position where they acted out of fear or impulse. I realize that for many times, my opinion and suggestions were valued and taken seriously. My dearest friendships were also based on me speaking how I truly think. With better observation of situation and techniques, I believe I can be true to myself.

    Action: Be attentive and choose the right situations to speak my mind. Use the right technique so people won’t find it offensive while I express my thoughts/opinions. Be ready to defend myself if someone takes offense to it.

    New belief: I can speak how I truly feel. What I need to do is choose the right people and technique, and stand for myself if someone takes offense to it.

    • Celestine Chua

      Hey Mikey, it’s so great to see you in this challenge, and this is such an amazing realization! You are right about those hurting others dealing with bigger issues inside of themselves. Sometimes people do hurtful or say hurtful things and that can well be nothing to do with us.

      Whether people treat your opinions/suggestions seriously is their own choice, but for ourselves we can choose how we conduct ourselves and what we say to others. I believe that if there’s something you want to say/speak up, feel free to do so, and own that. You never know who can benefit from your words of wisdom; if something never gets aired, it never gets aired; but if it gets shared, then the other person at least has the opportunity to listen, evaluate it, and learn from it (bear in mind that initial resistance can also be a learning lesson).

      • Mikey

        I agree Celes, and I’m working on applying that more to daily life. I’m optimistic that this will open up some interesting conversations and perspective – looking forward to it!

  • Shiku

    My limitation is lack of focus. Growing up my success was measured by my academic excellence and I was mostly top of my class. My father expected it of me. Then I left school, moved abroad and found my other side – my creativity and love of making things. Away from family scrutiny and academic expectation, I blossomed into this person that loved colour, shape, beauty and I could not believe how much I was missing out. My heart was just bursting with hope and dreams, Coming back home, my bubble was burst and the ” new person was termed a failure.” I yoyo between other’s expectations of me and what I AM. That is why I hop from idea to idea, pick and drop, start and stop and the giant wheel goes on and on. I’m like I a little girl with all these wonderful toys to play with and I keep picking the more colourful one or softer one etc. I’ve failed in many businesses doing this balancing act. Sadly when I do start something I can’t decide how, where, when or how to do it.. (procrastination) So I make endless lists and my days blur into weeks, months and years of nothingness and I’m tired and depressed.

    ( I believe I am a failure because my world constantly reminds me of my shortcomings- financial, emotional, physical and mental.) And it is driving me insane. I read your post yesterday on Affirmations and did a life audit. I am amazed at some of my past accomplishments. It feels good to know what I’m dealing with.

    Today is a Brand new day
    My Past does not define me
    My future is mine to create

    My new belief / I am talented and creative and that is Nature’s Gift to me. And this is what’s important to me. My new challenge FOCUS
    Thank you Celestine

    • Jackson Nyarko

      “…and did a life audit.”
      “Life Audit”?, that was awesome Shiku. I never heard it before.

      Well done.

      • Shiku

        Thank you Jackson. Try it… Amazing what you’ll find.. we do accountability in everything else, why not our lives? Try checking your emotional, mental physical, spiritual and financial status. Brilliant results to the audit! Sometimes the results are encouraging and sometimes you’ll be shocked you can barely remember where you placed the five pillars.. That’s where the affirmations help balance the sheets. ( I am not an accountant but I can add and minus things)

        • Jackson Nyarko

          Splendid. Thanks for the insight. I’ve already started trying it.
          You just mentioned “five pillars”… that refers to what?

          • Shiku

            Oh the five pillars are the Emotional, Mental, Physical, Spiritual and Financial aspects of you. Look at each of them closely and see how you are doing so far. For instance after a relationship breaks down you might find you are empty emotionally. This is where you take charge and begin to use the affirmations to heal the emotional part of you.. I tried this exercise with friends years ago and 5 years on we are still working on it. On a scale of 1-10 rate each of your five pillars. 1- low and 10- high. Every 3 months do a quick check on the pillars and grade yourself.. They say figures don’t lie. Try it and tell me how you’re doing. Thanks to Celestine the affirmations will help strengthen the pillars.

    • Calae

      I can relate to the “balancing act” aspect of things. I also tend to hop from idea to idea, from hobby to hobby. I wish you luck in focusing! Have you tried reading Celes’ articles about finding your purpose? Maybe it will give you some guidance in what to focus on. Just a suggestion! =)