What’s Your Mantra?

What's your mantra? Stop the negative talk. Find out how choosing one will help you reach your goals! self care, personal growth and motivation, positivity, life lessons, live your best life, life hacks #selfcare #life #personalgrowth #lifelessons #motivation

You must have a mantra, which is a self-affirmation that causes transformation. Hey! That rhymes. Anyway, I have used many of them through the years. I came up with some examples and why you need them to reach your goals

I stole one from my college friend, Dean, who was dared to ride his bike down a steep hill, onto a pier, up a make-shift ramp and into Lake Mendota. He turned to me before launching himself and said, “I am so massive,” and then flexed his spindly arms for effect.

I think he had used this mantra so many times he convinced himself his massive body could take it. I don’t believe he felt very massive when he hit the top tube on his bike while plunging into the water. OUCH! I used this mantra for years realizing the irony of having an equally wimpy body as I moved boxes and furniture in and out of friend’s apartments.

What's your mantra? We all need them. Stop the negative talk and start cheering yourself on toward your goals! Life lessons, live your best life, Positivity and motivation, personal growth and motivation, self care #positivity #personalgrowth #motivation #life #goals

While attending the University of Wisconsin – MadisonI lived with three girls in a flat. On the weekends, we would hit those parties that made the school famous or infamous… The next morning (or early afternoon), I would wake up, look in the mirror and say, “You are soooo ugly!”  Then I would laugh knowing that the puffy-eyed sleeping on my face-look would dissipate later that day and I would once again resemble my twenty-year-old self. I think I stopped using that mantra in my thirties when the sarcasm began to wear thin.

Saying a positive mantra before doing something scary or after a triumph is super important. Find out how you can use them to reach your goals! self care, personal growth and motivation, positivity, life lessons, live your best life, life hacks #selfcare #life #personalgrowth #lifelessons #motivation

When my husband, Danny, and I went on our first ski trip together, I was aware that he lived in Colorado to ski black diamonds on the weekends. I didn’t want to sit in the lodge warming my toes for the rest of our marriage so I came up with a new mantra. I said, “I can do this,” while learning how to navigate moguls as big as Volkswagens. After that weekend of face plants, I gazed at my chapped chin and neck in the mirror knowing “I could do this.” After almost 25 years of trying to keep up while skiing off ridiculous cliffs, through glades, and headwalls, I still use it to help gather my courage.

Last year, I toured apartments with my daughter and came upon a self-affirmation that would have been more positive for me when I was in college. As we walked out of a messy bedroom I noticed the mirror hanging on the back of the door. Drawn in red lipstick was, “Damn you’s a sexy bitch.” That would have been so much better than “I am so ugly!”

many croissants

As I have grown older, my mantras have become more serious. I can no longer tease myself about looking like Hell in the mornings since sometimes I have done nothing more than watch The Bachelor while drinking green tea the night before. That’s when I decided to pull out the big guns. Sometime during the last year I started saying, “I am SO good at what I do.” It just popped into my head one day after baking dozens of croissants without burning them or maybe it was after I planted every last one of the 650,000 annuals I bought. It might have been after I washed my mud-caked car or when I finished setting up my blog on WordPress. I am sure it was something amazing. Anyway, now I use it all the time because I AM so good at what I do.

We beat ourselves up when we make a mistake. “I am so stupid!” Do we give positive affirmations when we accomplish something? Mantras are important. Next time you win a small victory, pat yourself on the back and use a catch-phrase: “I knew I could do this.” Or, “I am BADASS.” Whatever you choose, make sure to say it out loud, even if you’re alone. You need to hear positive reinforcement, even if it’s from yourself.

What’s your mantra?

If you don’t have one, make one up! I dare yah.

Photos by Susie Lindau

113 thoughts on “What’s Your Mantra?

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  1. You have a very positive attitude Susie! Knowing you I’d say you’ll see even an empty mug half full (or air!!). Growing up I was taught in school “God is with you” & that motivated me a lot during my early life until I gained some scientific knowledge to rationale things. Now I saw grass is green on the other side (and I am on the other side of them). 🙂

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  2. Hi,
    I read this ages ago, and I have never forgotten it:
    “If you keep pursuing your dream and not give up, you will ultimately find your destination. Inspiration often comes when you seek it, more often from the deepest of your heart.”
    I thought is was spot on. 😀
    I loved the video, oh if only I wasn’t a coward. 🙂

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  3. Mine is “you have permission to forgive, you have permission to move on, you have permission to be happy” so whenever there is any stress, anxiety, fears to confront in my life I relax and just repeat these sentences and I’m free.

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  4. Hi, Susie. At first, I really didn’t think I had a mantra. Then I thought about how I lived through my 20’s and well into my 30’s only wishing that I would be a writer and not really doing much about it. I really didn’t start trying until I turned 38. I finished that first novel and saw it published in 2010. This spring I will release the sequel. I work too many hours at the day job, spend the rest of the time balancing family with writing/networking/promotion, and next month will turn 43. It’s a lot, but I really am living the dream. I guess my mantra would be: “I’ve wasted too much time already.”
    Loved the video!

    -Jimmy

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    1. That is so great! It is amazing that you have been able to write two books with so much going on in your life. That does take perseverance and determination. Your mantra is a great motivator!
      The video is crazy!! Now that is going for it!

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  5. I love this! And I enjoyed reading everyone’s mantras! I change mine often during the years, I think I’m going to take on yours next…I am SO good at what I do! My mantra has been “I am overblessed” (in leu of my saying I am overwhelmed!!)

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  6. This is another great post from you…
    I don’t think I have ever caught myself saying a mantra to me, but friends say am found of saying ‘Com’on! Let’s do it! and I hear this often in my head: ‘You’re beyond the sentiments of mere mortals!’ which naturally sets me apart from doing so many things!

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  7. I think I often use mantras even if I don’t put them into words. They are this strong belief in my abilities when I face a difficult task or a situation. If I had to put them into a sentence, it would be something like “How difficult can this be? I’ve done more than that!” 🙂
    I love the “I’m massive” mantra, although I don’t think it would do anything else but make me giggle!

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  8. Coming in late with this comment. My mantra is “Never surrender. Never retreat. Vikings go to Valhalla.”

    The first part is based on what William B. Travis wrote as he faced Santa Ana’s army at the Alamo in Februrary of 1836. Travis knew he would be killed by the Santa Ana’s men, no matter what he did. And what he decided to do was fight until there was no breath left in his body.

    The last part of my mantra is from Norse Mythology. Simplified, it went like this: a viking’s greatest wish was to die in battle because that was the only way he would get into Valhalla (which was their version of Heaven).

    Great post. I’ve been saving this one all week for my “online” day. 😀

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    1. Thank you so much Catie!
      That is a fantastic mantra. It really puts my life in perspective since in comparison mine is pretty laid back and cushy. Hahaha!
      Thanks for putting me on your list for “online day!”

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  9. Love your post Susie! Very inspiring. I love mantras. Here’s a couple I use–when things get really tough, I tell myself –tomorrow is another day. It’ll be better. And if whirling in indecision — Just do it. Of course all stolen/borrowed from movies or Nike. Enjoyed reading these today, thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much Marian!
      Those are very positive mantras. I think that we can always count on Nike to give us something phrase to motivate us and I think we have all used that one at least once!

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  10. I love your post, also. I finally remembered one I’ve been saying for years- “Water off a duck’s back, water off a duck’s back” to shake off my stress or worries, and “Happiness is a CHOICE” for all the times I am moping around looking for things to complain about. This is good stuff. I also really like the one from The Help. Thanks!!

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    1. Thank you Lee!
      My husband always says, “Be a duck and let it roll off your back.” He just said, “I haven’t said that one in a while.” That is a good sign!
      I believe that happiness is a choice as well!
      These are great mantras!

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  11. I loved the affirmation Aibileen, a character from The Help spoke… Everyday, with the little girl she cared for on her lap, she said, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

    It’s crucial to speak positive words to our children… In fact, to any child in your atmosphere & every chance you get.

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    1. That was such a great book! I am looking forward to seeing the movie now that it is on PPV. It is so true that we have a responsibility to the children around us….
      Thanks for sharing!

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  12. This was an awesome entry. Love how your mantras evolved. Mine have too. One of my favorites which I still stick to today is: “You’re so money and you don’t even know it..”

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  13. Wonderful post Susie. You are definitely SO GOOD at what you do. 🙂 Hmm mantra…. I’m not sure if this counts but when I get worried about people’s opinions I say to myself, “Who cares what everyone thinks. I am who I am – they can take it or leave it.” And that’s that! 🙂

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  14. Riding a bicycle tube in the pool, in a tube top while baking perfectly flaky croissants? Damn…you sho is one sexy…erm…Lady
    Yeah,..Wonder whose bright idea it was to manufacturer the Boys bikes with the bar going across..I racked up a few ouches myself in my bike riding days…I often think they somehow got the two mixed up…anyway, as this, and all the other great yarns you’ve provided for our reading entertainment…You absolutely are Great at what you do…

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