Scroll through Instagram, and you’re likely to come across endless accounts posting mantras you can adopt to keep you motivated towards a goal. But what exactly are mantras, how do you choose one, and how can you use mantras to make you better at your job?
Mantras have been around for thousands of years, and feature heavily in ancient Indian yoga traditions, where they were used as part of meditation practices. Still today, many yoga classes include mantras that students chant to bring them together and focus them before they begin the sequences. In recent years, mantras have been adopted by mainstream society, mostly for personal development. As science is uncovering more and more links between what we tell ourselves and what we think, it seems like mantras hold a great deal of power in helping us achieve our goals.
Even though the idea of a personal mantra may be new to you, you’ve probably experienced chanting something to yourself to help you get through a difficult time. Maybe you’ve taken part in a long run, where you chant in your mind “just one more step”, or maybe you’ve been through a really tough breakup, where you’ve told yourself “it will get better”. These examples give an indication of how, when you say something enough, you start believing it. And when you wholeheartedly believe something will happen, you tend to align your actions towards making that thing happen, whether that’s an active or subconscious process.
How to find your own mantra
In order to come up with your own personal mantra, take a look through Instagram and Pinterest for phrases that resonate with you and inspire you. You could pick one of the most famous (along the lines of “She thought she could, so she did”), or you can adapt one you find to your personal situation. Often, the more specific the mantra, the more likely it is to work. If you’re struggling with self-doubt, or want to make a certain amount of money this year, include that in your mantra. You could try “I am worthy of great things”, or “I will make the money I deserve”, or a mantra including the specific amount of money you want to earn.
Live and breathe it
Once you’ve settled on your mantra – and you can have multiple for different situations – make sure it’s somewhere you will see it regularly. That might be on your phone background, on your phone case, or on a post-it that you stick to your bathroom mirror. As you brush your teeth each morning and evening, read your mantra through over and over, absorbing it and channelling all your energy into believing it. You can keep your mantra private from friends and family if you want, but it’s important to repeat it to yourself as often as possible, so that you really begin to embody its message.
Mantras for professional life
From a professional perspective, mantras can help you achieve very specific goals, as well as keeping you motivated towards a broader mission in your businesses. Try assigning a mantra for each of your 2020 goals this year, and include one more general mantra to inspire you when you’re lacking motivation. Chant them to yourself daily, and remember to update your mantras when you pass a certain goal or come up with a new target for your business. When you work for yourself and are juggling numerous different projects at the same time, it can be difficult to remember your wider goals. Mantras can help you align your various projects under one goal (empowering women, for example), and can help you feel as though your work has a higher purpose. Mantras are powerful partly because they are so simple: you can turn to yours when you feel frustrated, full of self-doubt, or in need of a jolt of energy. Your mantra will remind you to keep going when work gets tough, and will keep you inspired and focused when you’re killing it as well.