Why and How to do Affirmations
Have you wondered why there is so much floating around the internet now on creating and practicing affirmations? It is because they work. Jack Canfield calls them “releasing the brakes.” They help to get you excitedly focused on your goal. And that releases the brakes on attaining it in the following ways:
1. First, it gets you excited about it. That keeps you motivated and working toward its achievement happily. The more you enjoy something the more you are likely to stay with it.
2. Secondly, it shapes the filters by which you perceive the world. There is no way we can attend to everything that comes into our world or potential awareness. (At least we don’t know how to do that now. With training we can learn to be more “aware” but even then, we have to do some things on auto pilot.) For example, it is a very good thing I don’t need to focus every minute on getting my heard to beat. And when I drive a car, I am not usually keenly focused on now push the gas pedal and then turn the steering wheel. I need some things to work automatically for my life to work. But if it is not a part of my current habits, I could be filtering things OUT. And what I do NOT see may well be what I need to see to achieve my goals. So affirmations help us to establish those filters that are in line with our goals.
3. And the third reason is because it helps with Improvement of performance. Athletes have known this for years. That is why worldclass athletes place so much emphasis on working on their mental game through visualization and affirmations. Affirmations are a great way to help you visualize the goal you want.
These are all reasons that our current science can prove. And then there are reasons that our current science cannot prove as easily. Have you ever heard of the “law of attraction”? The essence of the law of attraction is that you will attract into your life whatever you focus on. In other words, if you focus on being poor, you attract into your life all kinds of situations that lead to your being without money. Whether you believe it or not and whether it can be proven or not, just think about whether this has any truth in your life. Think of something (good or bad) that seems to be a pattern or repeating element of your life. And then ask yourself if you have been focusing on that as well. I guess it is one of those chicken and egg occurrences. Which came first? But if they seem to go together, it would seem that consciously placing your focus where you want it can only help. It certainly isn’t going to hurt.
One quick disclaimer. Affirmations are not helpful when trying to heal a significant hurt or change deep ingrained anger. In general, they are not helpful when dealing with the impact a past incident has had. (Therapy may be the most help in these situations.) They are helpful only in getting you to focus on a different future.
Hopefully, you are convinced at this point that affirmations are a good thing to try. So here are some tips for how to “try” them:
Focus on you, your behavior, your results. It is not fair to do this for anyone else’s behavior or results. That is none of your business.
State it in the present tense with an exciting action word like a verb ending in “ing.” This really helps you to “feel” into it.
State it in the positive. The brain has trouble processing the word NOT. So if you had an affirmation like you were enjoying a life where you did NOT have something—what is the brain going to focus on? Just what you do not want. So, for example, you would not have an affirmation for a life free of some health problem like a disease (because then you are focused on the disease) but rather choose an affirmation that focuses on good health.
End it with “this or something better still” so that your mental filters are open to that which you cannot imagine at this point.
Here is an example of an affirmation:
I am happily celebrating having earned a $10,000 bonus from selling over 2000 books. This or something better still.
If you write these on a 3-by-5 card and post them around the house, you can say these out loud every day several times per day.