What are affirmations?
Affirmations are positive statements designed to combat negative thinking. Seemingly simple, overtime they can help you make fairly profound changes in your attitude. Consciously or subconsciously, we use them all the time. Like when we tell ourselves, ‘I am confident’ repeatedly, before stepping on to a stage or when we start praying for our team to win in a match. All of our self-talk or inner dialogue is a stream of affirmations. We are continually affirming subconsciously with our words and thoughts and this flow of affirmations is creating our life experience in every moment.
The word ‘affirmation’ implies a positive, a nod of approval; however, when we have the little voice in the head, which constantly tells us that ‘we can’t do something’, it becomes a negative affirmation. So it is still a nod to your subconscious mind except it is a nod of disapproval. For example, you tell yourself it’s not going to work out, and it doesn’t so you now have affirmation that it will never work. Those who have read ‘the secret’ will know that a supposedly positive affirmation, which has the words ‘don’t, can’t, won’t’, will necessarily fail.
Now, you might say ‘but I’m saying it positively but it still wont work’. In which case try and figure out what you are thinking or visualising while saying it. If you are saying ‘I’m confident’ and have images of people throwing tomatoes at you…you know why it’s not working 😉
Affirmations work because affirmations actually reprogram your thought patterns, they change the way you think and feel about things, and because you have replaced dysfunctional beliefs with your own new positive beliefs, positive change comes easily and naturally. For example, a lot of us are brought up believing too much money is bad, so if we believe it’s bad for us, how will we ever be super rich? Which is why money always goes to money and your income tends to be the average of the incomes of the ten people with whom you associate yourself the most. And which is why your parents always encouraged you to hang out with ‘good people’.
How do they work?
The science behind it is that if you say something (or write it) 21 times a day for 21 days it creates a neurological pathway in your brain and therefore becomes a belief.
Writing it, some believe, is even more powerful as it is literally a physical link (motor skills & brain). Which is how graphology works as well and how changing a signature can miraculously turn life around.
The metaphysics of it is that you are sending out positive energy to the universe and because what goes around comes around, you are getting amplified positive energy back. In effect you are are manifesting your wishes or desires constantly.
How to make them work for you?
- Use the present tense. Do not use the future tense. If you say, “I will be rich”, your being rich will forever be in the future! The subconscious mind tries to literally bring about what it is asked to do. Hence say “I am rich” or “I choose to be rich”. According to some psychologists, the term “choose” is better as then, being rich becomes your choice. And anyway, isn’t it true that your present life is the result of the choices you have made in the past?
- Be POSITIVE. Only positive statements work. It seems the subconscious mind is incapable of dealing in negatives. So, if you say “I am not fat”, then when the statement reaches the subconscious mind, the term “not” is ignored and it becomes “I am fat”!
- Affirmations can either be spoken or be written down. When speaking, repeat them emphatically, preferably throughout the day. The least you can do is repeat them at least 21 times in the evening just before you go to sleep. Another great way is to write them down at least 21 times daily. Writing is a faster way of impressing your subconscious mind.
- Repetition. In order to bring about significant changes in your life, affirmations have to be done several times a day till such time that they become a reality. If you do them for a few days only, the expected results may not come. Be bull doggish about them, i.e. continue doing them till your goals are accomplished. The story is told of two neighboring villages A and B, which always faced water shortage. Village A then learnt of a rain dance which they performed and duly received rains. Seeing this, village B also performed the rain dance but did not get any rains. They did this several times but still no rains. Ultimately, the chief of village B approached the chief of village A and asked “we’ve done the rain dance for 10 days and still no rain. How long do you do it for?”. The chief of village A replied, “We do the rain dance till we get the rains.” Ditto for affirmations. Do them till you get your desired results.
How to enhance their power?
- Visualize: When saying an affirmation, visualize it happening. If it is about confidence, then visualize people telling you ‘well done’ or getting an award. If it about being slimmer, then visualize yourself thinner.
- Use crystals: read about the beautiful energy of the crystals, coming up soon. Hold the crystal in your hand or place it on your body while saying the affirmations.
- Get a Chakra reading to get to the right affirmation. Usually the right one is really tough to say but it usually is the life changing one.
Also see Mind your Language