Three Tips For Creating Powerful Affirmations
One of the most powerful tools used to create a more fulfilling life is the affirmation, but too many people develop affirmations that lock them into the very behaviors and circumstances they want to change. Words that are either spoken aloud or written are powerful tools for change; several religious traditions have utilized the affirmation in the form of the blessing for eons. But an affirmation must focus on the positive, it must be believable and it must evoke a strong emotional response in order for it to be effective.
Ask any person what they want, and nine times out of ten, the person will begin by stating those things they DON’T want. For example, when an individual is asked to describe his or her dream job, the individual normally begins, “Well, my dream job won’t involve working overtime, it won’t force me to commute an hour one way every day, and it won’t make me work for a boss that is a jerk….” The focus of their job description is on the negative aspects of his or her past or present experience, not on the kind of experience he or she truly needs. This actually is an example of an affirmation, but what the individual is affirming is a continuation of the negative situation they want to eradicate. This is the same person who eventually throws up his or her hands in exasperation, stating, “Affirmations don’t work” when in reality, they work all too well.
Affirmations need to focus on attracting the best rather than be focused on avoiding the worst. Reorienting the mindset to be positively focused brings about actions that lead to attracting those positives. An example of an effective “dream job” affirmation is: “I attract job opportunities that use my skills, talents and abilities in which I earn $50,000 a year or better.” A statement such as this triggers the subconscious mind to filter out those job opportunities that are outside of the skill set and are worth less than the stated amount, but doesn’t filter out opportunities that may be more lucrative. Another example – and one that tends to be common – are affirmations for weight loss that focus on NOT eating, rather than on eating healthy food in right sized portions. When an affirmation is phrased, “I will not overeat, I will not eat more than I need every day,” the subconscious focuses on two things: eating and deprivation. The natural response is to eat MORE and to be rather compulsive about it. A positively focused affirmation would be, “My body craves food that is healthy for me, and I am satisfied with small portions.” The focus here is on enjoyment and being satisfied rather than on doing without, and this creates less resistance on both the conscious and subconscious levels toward changing behavior.
For an affirmation to be effective, it has to be an idea that the conscious mind accepts as being possible. For example, if a homeless person affirms, “I am a millionaire, I own a home in Malibu” without having any experience outside of poverty, that individual’s conscious mind will begin an internal argument. The conscious responds to the positive affirmations, “Oh, who are YOU kidding? You live in a refrigerator box now! You’ve never held a steady job. You will never get out of the gutter …” In a debate between the conscious and the subconscious, the conscious mind wins. In turn, this reinforces the behaviors and choices that brought the individual into a place of poverty and will continue to keep that person firmly chained into a life of poverty.
Affirmations need to be believable, or at least be considered possible in order to overcome internal rejection. Using the previous example, the homeless person could affirm, “My finances improve every day….. I find resources and opportunities to earn enough money so that I have a place to live….” These are certainly possible for anyone, and for this reason, are more likely to be accepted by the subconscious mind. For the homeless person, “improved finances” could easily be manifesting steady employment. Having a place to live could be finding a small apartment or renting a room in a house. As one small goal is manifested, the affirmations can be expanded to manifest larger goals. When the currently homeless person is employed and has a room to rent, then he or she is less resistant to the idea that he or she can manifest something greater. The statement, “What you can believe, you can achieve” encapsulates the idea that affirmations have to be credible in order to be effective. Affirm the best that can be accepted as being possible, and also work on any baggage lurking in the subconscious that may be the root of resistance.
Words alone don’t imprint the subconscious with an idea or a vision; emotions that are triggered by those words do. A phobic reaction, for example, begins with a cluster of negative emotions arise when a person sees a photograph of the despised object. People with a phobia of snakes experience feelings of fear and anxiety upon hearing the word, “snake,” or when they see a picture of a snake, and the physical manifestations that coincide with a fear response – increased heart rate, sweating, goose bumps – also occur.
Emotions can be harnessed for positive results, and an affirmation that either evokes or is accompanied by a powerful emotional response is one that will cement itself into the subconscious and become the new reality. When a person is advised to “fake it ’til you make it,” a large part of the “faking it” is feeling as though a new set of behaviors has always been part of the person’s life. Actors trained in the “method” are taught to remember a time when they felt the way their character is supposed to be feeling and bring their emotional responses into the present. In doing so, the actor “becomes” the character, and his or her performance seems more realistic to the audience.
To generate a positive emotional state, imagine how it would feel to have already achieved their goal. How would it feel, for instance, to be able to have options when it comes to buying clothes and not have to shop in the hefty boys or girls shop? How would it feel to write out checks for the mortgage, utilities and food and still have money left over to save or invest? How would it feel to have so many customers that business income comes in like a tidal wave? Bring those feelings into play when affirmations for weight loss, abundance or business joy are spoken.
Emotions such as fear or a sense of unworthiness may compete with and eventually cancel out the positive emotions; find and use some techniques for overwriting negative programming. The initial affirmations may have to be ones that affirm a person’s value, purpose and worthiness to receive. When that individual realizes that he or she already has achieved positive events and circumstances in his or her life, the feelings of unworthiness begin to recede and the more positive feelings can then take up residence.
Affirmations are like vitamins for the soul, and like vitamins, there are affirmations made of low-quality ingredients and affirmations that include potent, high-quality ingredients. Affirmations that focus on the positive, are believable and invoke a strong emotional response are power packed spiritual vitamins that make manifestation of a goal nearly effortless.