We have all heard of affirmations: positive statements you repeat to yourself over and over. Their aim is to override old subconscious programming and change negative thought patterns and beliefs; in doing this, you set yourself free to do and achieve what you want, be it improving your health, career, relationships, finances or preparing yourself for any specific situation that requires stretching out of your comfort zone.
While it may sound good in theory, many people struggle to make affirmations work.
This is due to lack of specificity and knowledge of how to create affirmations that work personally for them in their specific situations.
Why affirmations may not work:
- You don’t fully believe in your goal or what you are saying to yourself.
- You’re using negative or future-oriented language in your affirmations, which is confusing to the mind which only operates in the present.
- You are not aware of or paying attention to your mind’s objections.
- There is a subconscious block that is powerfully resisting the changes you desire.
- You don’t take the action that is needed to move forward.
To make affirmations work successfully, you need to first discover what thought patterns and objections you have. Thought patterns are based on past negative experiences that you hold in your mind. These are stored in your subconscious, which always affects your behavior, thoughts, feelings, and actions in different situations.
If you struggle in some area of life and feel that you can’t do what you want to do, then there are some learned limiting beliefs and subconscious blocks that keep you stuck in your situation. Luckily, we can release these self-limiting beliefs and blocks, and creating personal affirmations is one of the ways you can.
A Simple Exercise to Create Your Affirmations
Here’s one simple exercise you can do to help reveal your limiting beliefs and create affirmations that work for you:
- Write your desire or goal down: what is it that you want to achieve?
- Get quiet and turn inward to listen.
- Ask yourself: why is it not possible?
- Write out all the objections your mind comes up with.
- Keep going until there aren’t any objections coming up.
- When you have emptied your mind of objections, go through the statements and shift the sentences to positive.
- Use clear, authoritative, positive commands in the present tense: I feel, I can, I have, I am…
For example, say you want to elevate your career to the next level and find your dream job, but struggle with the habit of procrastination. You have all kinds of excuses as to why you don’t do the things you need to do (e.g., update your resume, make connections, etc.). For some reason, you keep yourself from following through with your plans.
To quit the habit of procrastination to find your dream job, you want to discover the self-limiting beliefs and emotional reasons behind the procrastination, and writing down the objections will show you these. You may think for instance, “What I want does not exist,” “It’s too risky to change jobs now,” “I’m not educated enough,” etc. All these self-limiting beliefs are raising inner fears: fear of the unknown, fear of success, or fear of failure.
When the subconscious objections come to the surface, you will often realize they are not true, and that already helps to release them. To empower your mind and believe new thoughts, create positive statements, such as: “I’m open for new possibilities,’” “It’s my time now,” “I have everything I need for my dream job.”
Used consistently, affirmations will help you reprogram your mind and change your habits, which will change your reality.
How to use your affirmations:
- Repeat the affirmations consistently and daily, and write them down. It takes about 21 days to change any habit.
- Use your imagination to visualize and meditate on what you’re affirming — feel like you would if you already had what you’re affirming.
- Keep your affirmations where you can see them every day (phone, journal, Post-Its) so your mind has a better chance of accepting your new truth.
- Motivate and encourage yourself by remembering your desire and its purpose, the reason behind the reason—why it’s so important for you!
Affirmations are an incredibly powerful way to increase self-belief, courage and help you expand your life. Knowing what you want is the first step to having it—and simply convincing your mind that you can have it will help you change your habits and make it your reality.