Do you have a go-to mantra you find yourself using day in and day out? I used to focus on (and murmur to myself) the same 2 or 3 phrases to instill mindfulness, confidence, and gratitude. But lately I’ve been looking to switch it up! So, in search of some inspiration, I asked 9 folks to share their favorite mantras. Here’s what they said…
“The mantra I utilize most often is, ‘Be kinder than necessary.’ There is certainly a place in this world for strong words, but I believe you can be kind in your intent, even if the message you need to deliver or the actions you need to take are difficult. I find that if I am mindful and make my intentions, actions, and words kinder than is strictly necessary I have fewer regrets and am less prone to the useless over thinking of past interactions – which I am very prone to as an anxious person. The hardest part of applying this mantra is trying to be kinder with myself!”
“My favorite mantra is, ‘Keep your mind where your feet are.’ I think it’s important to not let what is ahead or behind you distract from what you’re currently doing. Every experience or challenge requires and deserves your entire presence. I say it a ton and I encourage my students to use it as well. Two of my students even got the word “Mind” tattooed on their feet!”
-Chad, University Instructor & Debate Coach
“I actually have two favorite mantras. First, ‘I am exactly where I need to be today.’ It’s easy to get caught up in comparison mindset when you’re working towards goals. It seems someone is always prettier, smarter, more successful, more creative, further along, etc. This mantra really helps me put on blinders and breathe into just knowing I am exactly where I need to be. It allows me to have more peace and quiet, which is far more productive than those icky feelings of inadequacy which often result in burnout and pessimism.
Second, ‘If you’re not failing often, you’re not trying hard enough.’ In order to really scale and take it to the next level, I believe failure is a requirement. I’ve never met anyone who says they have only succeeded 100% of the time. Failing is a great thing because we’re able to learn and grow. I often try to set goals around failing and currently my goal is 3 times a month. This means I’m going to plan and tackle something I’ve never tried at least three times. I don’t look at failure as a setback, but rather a required action to move me forward.”
-Emily, expert career coach at CultiVitae
“I’ve actually started praying a Hail Mary anytime I need a mantra for a difficult endeavor. It worked wonders during a race I ran two weekends ago, as well as during my first backpacking trip this weekend! For self-affirmation, I tend to just say to myself, ‘You are enough.’ Too often I get stuck thinking friends, family, or even God, will only love me if I do certain things or become a certain way. But this statement reminds me that I am loved right now, just as I am.”
-Johnna, Community Organizer
“There are many mantras I use depending on the circumstance. ‘I am Human. What do humans do? Humans adapt and overcome.’ That helps me a lot when I am feeling tired or getting depressed. ‘Life is suffering.’ This isn’t said in a pessimistic tone. More of a tone that evokes the idea that suffering is an indication of an opportunity to grow. Working out? My legs hurt but pushing through it will make me stronger. The ping of loneliness? Connect with the divine and find an inner peace that doesn’t waver in the face of circumstance. ‘The only way to fail is to quit, setbacks are part of the process.’ Breaking new ground means sometimes I will get in over my head and maybe I will miss the mark. That’s life. That’s how it works. I say or do something stupid, then I know, ‘ok, that was stupid. Let’s reconsider and learn.’”
-Dylan, digital nomad & filmmaker
“‘Everything is always working out for me,’ has been a mantra of mine for quite some time, perhaps close to 8 years, since I really started to believe that I create my own reality.
I love reminding myself of this regularly as a part of my daily gratitude. I also love, and find myself repeating this mantra, during times when things feel hard, or like something feels amiss. It feels so normal at this point to know that things are happening FOR me and not TO me. This simple shift alone has radically changed my life.
The mantra also helps remind me that whatever is happening right now must be an important part of the bigger picture, and that even if things feel challenging, they will not feel this way for long, because even in this difficult moment, things are working out for me. It helps me feel the universe supporting me, even in the moments that feel clouded. It helps me feel inspired to keep believing, and to know that everything I do matters and contributes to the journey that I’m on. When I remind myself that things are always working out for me, I stay in a positive, more love-filled space. I share that loving energy with myself and those around me, and feel like I am actively choosing to become the person I truly want to and can be.”
-Brittany, Simple Living and Travel expert and entrepreneur
“Hmm, choosing a favorite mantra is tough because I’ve been using mantras differently lately… I’m about to sound super hippie, okay? Are you sure you’re ready?! Lately I’ve been trying to embody my mantras instead of “think” them. So when I sit for meditation, I think of a word or feeling, and then I manifest that feeling inside my physical body. So if I want to be sensitive to inspiration and see it everywhere, I focus on “feeling” what it feels like to be inspired. I summon that buzzing productive energy and allow myself to truly feel it in the moment. I dive all the way in and simmer in whatever feeling I need to cultivate for the day. Not your traditional mantra, but it makes meditation more tactile and less theoretical. It’s really helpful!”
-Erin, Bad Yogi
“My two favorite mantras are ‘There is always tomorrow’ and ‘You WILL get through this.’” The first one is pretty self-explanatory – it keeps me from beating myself up about something that happened today – I’ll always get a second chance tomorrow to do better. The second one sounds really simple, but it allows me to step outside myself and realize that I have been through tough and frustrating times before, and have thought I would never got through them, but that in the end I survived. Nothing lasts forever, and sometimes I need to remind myself of that!”
-Megan, Book Coach
“I love this mantra: ‘This, just this, I am comfortable not knowing.’
— Debbie Millman
I write it down at least once a week, and it’s such a good reminder in staying present and being okay with not knowing everything. I am someone who has always wanted to know how things are going to go in my life. I remember as a small child being shocked to learn we have no way of knowing when we are going to die. That we don’t receive that information on a piece of paper slipped under our door. As an adult, I still struggle with the unknown, which is to say, my entire future — any moment that is not right now. I’d like to know it all, because then I think I could relax a little. If only I knew who I’m going to marry, and how many kids I’ll have, and if my dreams will become a reality, and if I’ll finally eat pasta in Italy. Of course, life doesn’t work this way. I know this on an intellectual level. But being in your 20’s, I’ve realized, is an entire world of unknowns. On a bad day, I remind myself of the mantra, and I pick one thing to be okay with not knowing. It’s easier when it’s just one thing, and even if it’s small (what I’m going to have for dinner, for example), it’s good practice in staying present, in letting go.”
Do any of these mantras resonate with you? What’s YOUR favorite mantra?
In this multi-week series, #MantraMania, I’m going to lay the ground work for you to make mantras a part of your life. Here’s what you can expect from the series:
- Do you use mantras?
- How to Incorporate Mantras in Your Daily Life
- Revealed: People Share Favorite Mantras
- A 30 Day Mantra Challenge to Welcome Positivity, Productivity, and Self-Care (+ FREE activity guide)