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Using Your Thought Ladder To Engage Your Affirmations - Debra Trappen
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Using Your Thought Ladder To Engage Your Affirmations

I talk about affirmations – A LOT. It is truly woven into my life’s Work and it is such an honor to help others flip their negative talk into constructive, intentionally framed statements that help them achieve their goals and live their lives out loud, on purpose, and on their own terms.

However, every once in a while, I will get a question on how an affirmation (or positive self-talk) works if you simply do NOT believe it or feel it.

Simply put, I don’t believe affirmations help us if we can’t connect to the words we are reciting. If you can’t feel the feelings you will feel when the vision you are painting is a reality – you are possibly even harming your potential to achieve it!

Thought LadderSo, now what? Create a thought ladder!

I believe in order to bridge that gap between what you currently think and feel and what you would like to think and feel,  you can start to think of your thoughts like climbing a ladder.  This process is called creating a “Thought Ladder”. Starting where you are and gradually climbing a ladder

by using the following steps:

Step 1 – Begin by assigning the bottom step on the ladder with your current thoughts. Usually, these tend to have a negative flair to them… 

An example of the bottom of the ladder: I may have gotten the promotion, but it was only because I am a woman and they are being forced to diversify leadership positions.


Step 2 – Head all the way to the top of the ladder and write the new (and likely more positive) thoughts you WANT to replace that thought.  It’s okay if you do NOT believe this year.  That is what this process is all about, my friend. 

An example of the top of the ladder: I am proud of my accomplishments and celebrate the successful woman I have become.


Step 3 – Now it is time to fill in the middle steps! Write out three alternative thoughts that will help you bridge the gap between the bottom thought and the top one.  

An example of the entire ladder:

      1. The Top: POSITIVE! This is the full-blow positive (non-toxic) affirmation!
      2. Slightly positive – you are almost there!
      3. Neutral (no feeling)
      4. Still negative, but less intensely negative than your current thought
      5. The Bottom: Negative, self-deprecating, filled with imposter syndrome

Step 4 – Read through the entire thought ladder and choose which thought resonates the most with you.

Once you choose it, practice it daily! Let it soak into your bones.


Step 5: Once you’ve practiced that thought and are ready for the next one – take that next step.

Keep climbing up to the next thought on the ladder until you reach AND believe your ultimate thought on the top of the ladder.

In order to change your brain and close the gap between what you currently think and what you’d like to think – be consistent and give yourself grace. 


Start today by implementing a daily practice of reviewing the thoughts and repeating the next one up that resonates the loudest! As you continue to intentionally choose a higher vibration thought and feeling, they will help you train your brain to make that new thought the FIRST thought!


Enjoy climbing the ladder to powerful, purpose-filled thoughts!

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