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"I have a flat stomach." That's what I told myself as I looked at my bulging midsection in the mirror. It was early 2020 and like most non-essential workers, I was sequestered at home, languishing in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

However, I was determined to change my bleak perspective of the situation, both physically and mentally. Just because my body in its current state appeared to be the culmination of “the Quarantine 15,” it didn't mean it had to stay that way. When I confidently spoke those words while staring at my reflection, I believed I could have a flat stomach. In fact, I continued to reiterate the phrase in the mirror for months and it wasn't long before the belly fat melted away. I had manifested my affirmation!

I learned then that the basic self-care ritual of repeating affirmations (i.e., positive declarations) can bring forth life-changing results if it is done with intention and discipline. To be clear, one has to put action behind their words for effective change to occur. Not only did I say I wanted to lose weight, but I also monitored what I ate. I exercised, made healthy food choices, and felt convicted if I didn't do so. I noticed that as my resolve to achieve my affirmation increased so did my positive mindset. Talking to myself in the mirror really worked!

In the psychology realm, a variation of this activity is known as the Mirror Technique. I have alternatively termed my process, Mirror Talk. When you speak aloud to yourself in a mirror, it is an opportunity to be vulnerable and honest about who you are as well as whom you aspire to become. Once you are able to be real with yourself, you can then undertake the formative task of implementing positive transformation in your life. Specifically, I found the following process to be helpful: Breath, Believe, Declare, Act, and Achieve. To begin, simply take the first step or rather first breath.

Stand in front of a mirror. This is your time for introspective reflection. Focus on the image staring back at you. Now take a long deep breath, then slowly exhale. Release any insecurities or limiting beliefs you may have about yourself.

Contemplate what you would like to affirm and verbally declare it with conviction. It is essential that you believe your affirmation is possible. Next, develop a strategy or steps you can act on to make your goal a reality. Repeat this exercise consistently until your affirmation is achieved. If you are willing to put in the effort, affirmations will not only improve your mindset, but they can serve as a catalyst for manifesting the life you desire.

Theresa Judge is the author of Mirror Talk: Reflect a Positive Image of Your Soul. The guided journal is available on

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