Copyright (c) 2013 Mark D Bowden
Before asking 'do affirmations work?' we need to be clear what we mean by an affirmation
The definition of an affirmation is the 'declaration that something is true'. Many people use the declarations to improve and progress their lives.
But when it comes to improving and progressing your life do affirmations work? The answer is - yes they can have a big impact and yes they can be great as a tool to help you on your journey to improvement in many areas. However, you need to know how to use them to create this impact as they can also be virtually useless if used incorrectly
Do Affirmations Work? Not like this!Do you ever remember doing lines at school?
I will not run in the corridor;I must not throw chewing gum at the teacher when his back is turned;I must not use chalk to write 'kick me' on peoples backs.Did they ever stop you from doing these things? I doubt it, and if they did it was likely to be down to the telling off you received or the fact that you were writing them whilst all of the other kids were out in the sunshine playing, rather than the lines themselves.
However, lines are affirmations and if we were to conclude here and ask 'do affirmations work?' the answer would be no. For the purpose of this article they are perfect for showing when affirmations do not work. They have the two critical elements that make them useless... in fact worse than useless as you will see.
The reason for affirmations is to influence your subconscious mind, which is responsible for your automatic behaviors and responses. For example, if I wanted more confidence I may repeat the affirmation 'I am highly confident in all situations'. When I continuously repeat this affirmation I am hoping that it seeps in to my subconscious and it starts to believe this.
The first issue about the above 'lines' affirmations are that they use the word 'not' and the subconscious finds it difficult to register the meaning of such negative words in a sentence. For example, what if I say to you 'do not think about pink elephants!' What is the first thing that comes in to your mind?
So your subconscious, if it is taking any notice (read the second issue) will actually be storing the lines as:
I will run in the corridor;I must throw chewing gum at the teacher when his back is turned;I must use chalk to write 'kick me' on peoples backs.Not the desired outcome!
So, do affirmations work? It doesn't seem like it so far!
The more feeling associated to an event the stronger the message that is passed from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind. For example, if you are watching a sporting performance you may watch your team make 100's of passes throughout the game. It's unlikely that your subconscious mind will be able to recall many of these a year or week or even a day later. But what if with the last play of the game your team snatches victory from the jaws of defeat. Not only will you remember this the next day but you may even remember it for the rest of your entire life due to the emotional message that was passed from your conscious mind to your subconscious.
How much emotional message was passed with the 'lines' affirmations? Somewhere between zero and none I would suggest. So with these declarations, do affirmations work? No... but wait.
Do Affirmations Work? They most certainly do!Affirmations are fantastic at putting you in a resourceful state, to be at your best in a moments notice and to begin to change your natural behaviors for the better. However you have to remember the two key factors in making affirmations work.
Firstly, phrase them positively. After all your outcome should be one of positivity so even if you want to stop thinking a certain way, or stop acting in a certain way, or stop doing something you don't want to always do in a certain situation, phrase them positively! For example the three lines could have been;
I will walk with poise and confidence every time I am in the corridor;I will be on my best behavior at all times when I am in the classroom;I will treat all of my peers with the utmost respect and treat them how I would like to be treated.Now that is the fundamental. Do this and then ask the question 'Do affirmations work?
Now for the final factor. Try to remember 'the body leads and the mind follows'.
Before doing affirmations try and think of a time where you felt great. Feel how you felt and try to recreate the great feelings in your body. Now think of what you would like to improve and create the affirmation. Maybe you are going to a party and you are a little apprehensive. You could use the affirmation
'I am confident in all situations and I am excited about going to the party this evening'.
This is an okay affirmation. To make it a great one, you need to feel the affirmation in your body.
If it is possible, say the affirmation out loud.
Whilst you say the affirmation visualize yourself being perfectly confident at the party. Interacting, smiling and seeing others around you smiling also.
Make big bold gestures when saying the affirmations. Feel the meaning of the words you are saying. Feel the energy of the words pulsating through your body. Make the emotional connection for your subconscious. Imbed the actual meaning of the words into your subconscious and make them a part of you.
Then when I ask you Do Affirmations Work? Your answer will be an unequivocal YES THEY DO!
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Article Added on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
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