Many readers have been asking me various questions on affirmations and my thoughts on them in general so I wanted to write an article that would encompass everything about the concept of affirmations.
Affirmations are one of those things that many people get frustrated by. At first glance, from an outside observer, the whole thing looks silly and even laughable – a person speaking to himself, thinking that just by doing so, his every wish will come true. But we all know thatâ€™s not how it works.
Some people, after hearing miracle type stories attributed to affirmations, get curious and give it a shot, but they donâ€™t experience the same results as some other people have gotten and as a result, get frustrated, thinking that theyâ€™re doing something wrong, trying to pinpoint it and getting lost in the minutia of it all.
What are affirmations exactly? What exactly do they do? How exactly do they work? Whatâ€™s the exact correct way of doing them?
Letâ€™s dive right in and start answering these questions.
Affirmations are simply positive statements that you repeat to yourself on a consistent basis.
What do they do?
Theyâ€™re there to drill positive beliefs into your mind through sheer repetition because when you hear something often enough, youâ€™ll soon start to believe it.
Does it magically happen? Does the utterance of affirmations themselves magically cause the changes you seek?
Of course not.
Then how exactly does it work?
Affirmations give you something to focus on and the sheer repetition of it drives that affirmation into your subconscious mind where your subconscious mind then â€śfiltersâ€ť reality to match the affirmation youâ€™re telling yourself or shows you the opportunities that you can take in order to match the affirmations with your reality.
But thatâ€™s the extent of it. Itâ€™s up to you to take it from there.
But how exactly do you do it?
Do you use the word â€śYouâ€ť or â€śIâ€ť? What happens if you donâ€™t really believe your affirmation? Doesnâ€™t it just backfire on you and make the whole situation worse? Do you use future tense or present tense? How often do you have to do it before you see results?
When deciding whether to use the word â€śIâ€ť or â€śYouâ€ť, use â€śIâ€ť. â€śIâ€ť makes it that much more personal and is much more effective because when you use the word â€śyouâ€ť, it doesnâ€™t pack as much of a stronger punch than â€śIâ€ť.
Some people recite an affirmation that they donâ€™t truly believe in deep down inside, hoping that eventually they will believe in it due to the sheer repetition of it. That kind of thinking sounds logical at first glance, but look deeper and youâ€™ll see itâ€™s ultimately fails. You will be â€śfightingâ€ť yourself in the beginning stages so the affirmations never really take root and since you donâ€™t see any progress in your reality after time passes by because of your conscious disbelief (if you donâ€™t consciously believe, how do you expect your subconscious to believe?), your disbelief grows that much stronger until you never even bother to do the affirmations in the first place.
To counter all this, simply use a believable affirmation, but something thatâ€™s just on the edge of believability for you that you can almost taste it. Set an affirmation too easy and thereâ€™s no â€śkickâ€ť to it.
With regard to using future or present tense, the answer is simple. Use affirmations in the present tense. It gives it an â€śurgencyâ€ť factor. If you drill into your mind that you are currently â€śxâ€ť and your mind sees that isnâ€™t so, it will help you so that your reality will match what that â€śxâ€ť is because harmony must be achieved between mind and reality. There is a link between the two, albeit a lag in time in between the fulfillment of the two, but a link indeed. If you use the future tense in affirmations, your mind will literally â€śprocrastinateâ€ť as it sees that the current reality is fine with whatâ€™s in your mind because someday, you will be x,y, or z.
One final point to make is that many people get caught up in the minutia of getting the â€śformâ€ť of affirmations right that they miss out on backing those affirmations with â€śforceâ€ť.
Itâ€™s not enough to blandly recite your affirmations.
You must inject them with emotion.
Napoleon Hill stated that emotions are what drives beliefs into your subconscious mind (speaking of which, those whoâ€™ve read Think and Grow Rich as well as The Hidden Secret in Think and Grow Rich will be fully able to understand the place that affirmations have in the natural success process).
If you donâ€™t have any emotion coupled with your affirmations, nothing gets drilled into your subconscious mind so thereâ€™s no value to be gained from reciting them.
So letâ€™s take all of this and use an example to illustrate everything weâ€™ve covered in the article.
Take for example, someone using affirmations to lose weight. Letâ€™s say John Smith currently weighs 190 pounds and want to drop to 170 because for him, 170 is just on the edge of believability for him so it has that kick to it.
So he tells himself on a consistent basis:
â€śI weigh 170 pounds.â€ť
â€śI weigh 170 pounds.â€ť
â€śI weigh 170 pounds.â€ť
Now, while that affirmation is â€śtextbookâ€ť (uses the word â€śIâ€ť, is in the present tense, and is believable) that affirmation can get a bit boring really quick and John might lose all that emotion that goes along with it so in order to counter that, he can craft a more creative affirmation to give it more â€śkick.â€ť
â€śI weigh 170 pounds and look GREAT in my new slimmer clothes!â€ť
The same basic affirmation, but with a much greater kick.
This affirmation will drive John to hit the gym. It will penetrate his subconscious and instill the firm belief in there that it can be done, thereby filtering reality in order to show him the opportunities he can take to shed those twenty pounds by guiding him toward the right books (weight loss books, tapes, DVDs) and the right people (trainers, nutritionists, mentors) to help him with his cause, and all those things will come together to help match what is in his mind with actual reality in due time.
How long will it take until John Smith sees results with these affirmations? Thereâ€™s no â€śtextbookâ€ť answer. It depends on the individual but itâ€™s safe to say that the results wonâ€™t be immediate. It will take time and consistency to drive the affirmations into the subconscious but once the belief takes root in there and progress is seen as a result, we know that the end result is not that far off.
Ultimately, in the end, affirmations are a proactive approach in determining what to plant in your mind because if you donâ€™t take the time to plant something, then weeds in the form of negative thoughts will be planted automatically.
Affirmations are by no means the answer to everything in goal achievement. Itâ€™s merely a tool used to focus and drive new beliefs into the subconscious mind in order for the subconscious mind to filter reality in order to show opportunities that can be taken in order to achieve those affirmations.
Once those are shown, itâ€™s up to you to take them and see which of those opportunities will work for you.