Unplug with a personal mantra

Friday, March 6th is National Day of Unplugging. While it’s unrealistic to think you’ll end up ditching your devices completely for 24 hours, I am challenging you to take five minutes “off the grid” to do the mantra exercise I’m sharing with you today. It requires absolutely no electronics — just a pen and paper — and gives you a chance to reconnect with your confidence and core values in a lasting way.

Having a personal mantra is a powerful way to remind yourself of what you’re capable of, how far you’ve come in your life, and how strong you are.  It is especially powerful as an ally through big personal journeys – for example, when going after a big promotion, during a weight loss journey, or when you’re getting back into the dating scene.  Your mantra is the ultimate positive reflection of your spirit.  It feels, in many ways, like an uplifting affirmation and a massive confidence boost.

There are many ways to create a personal mantra, but the following exercise (adapted from Susie Moore) is one of my favorites. It leads to a mantra that is ultra-specific to you.  It elicits powerful memories, helping you remember the confidence that’s already inside you, rather than causing you to wish for confidence you don’t realize you already have.

The exercise

Start by listing five accomplishments of which you’re most proud. Don’t tone it down, please – this list is for you! These can be personal, professional, and everything in between.

Next, score each accomplishment on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how much pleasure each memory brings you today. 1 doesn’t excite you at all; a 10 still gives you goosebumps and makes you want to jump for joy as you remember it.

Finally, for the highest-scoring accomplishment, write a mantra that represents the aspects of that memory that make you proud. It should be stated in the present tense.  If you have multiple accomplishments that are tied for the highest score, pick the one that makes you feel most proud and joyful.

I’ll share my own example with you.  The accomplishment of which I’m most proud is having left a big executive job at Amazon to follow my dream of starting my own coaching business.  My mantra?

I have the courage to make big power moves that fulfill me.

It’s personal to me – every time I say or think it, it reminds me of that courageous move I made.  I was scared but exhilarated and so proud of myself.  Now, when faced with other situations I’m fearful of, I use my mantra to remind me that I’m capable of following my dreams.

Using your mantra

Once your mantra is written, use it daily, especially when you need it most.  I say my mantra in the car, have it on a sticky note on my desk, and always say it before major meetings.  I’ve also used it in the past to get myself back on track when I’m faltering on a goal or when I need a big confidence boost.

Moore has advice on how to take this concept even further: “Say you want a mantra to use in a dating context. You can still take the same steps: Recall great relationship experiences, fun dates, and happy times you had with someone you cared about. These need to fuel positive emotions and capture a feeling that makes you feel good about yourself and excited about being in a relationship again. Maybe your mantra becomes ‘laughter,’ ‘be open,’ or simply ‘summertime.’”

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the noise of our daily lives, especially with our electronic devices constantly beeping and yelling at us. Take a few moments this week to unplug, recall some of your proudest moments in life, create a mantra from one of them, and notice the lasting impact this exercise can have going forward.

Let us know in comments what mantra you choose!

Haven Coaching