I bet you use affirmations every day. And (maybe) you don’t even know it.
What is an affirmation?
An affirmation is the declaration that something is true – for you. So it’s completely subjective.
When we talk about affirmations, it’s usually in the context of positive thinking. You can also use negative affirmations, but that would be rather stupid.
And affirmations are usually a conscious statement that we repeat, we are aware of the statement and do it on purpose.
Now here’s the thing: every thought that you think is also a mini affirmation.
When you have the habit of telling yourself “Oh! I’m so dumb!!” then that’s also an affirmation.
It’s not that you have to repeat these things after making a mistake. That’s not a given thing, because you can choose. As I said, it’s completely subjective, and you can change the meaning of a situation. You could, for example, also say: “I’m learning from my mistakes.”
If you have the habit of negative self talk, don’t worry. It’s a habit, and you can always change habits. (A good method to easily change habits are baby steps.)
Why is it useful to use affirmations?
Affirmations are a good tool to change your belief system.
Why is your belief system important? Because your reality is shaped by your beliefs. Beliefs are filters for your reality. And if you have lots of limiting beliefs – like “I can’t do this” – you will experience limitations in your reality.
A friend of mine started to use affirmations. He did it every day, for a year, and he told me:
“Every day at night I would repeat to myself things like ‘I love myself’, ‘I really like me’, ‘I’m awesome in many different ways’. After a while you just start believing it, and living it.”
When you start the habit of using positive affirmations regularly, then you will also start to notice when you talk yourself down. It will just feel wrong. And after a while the negative self talk will just fade away.
I’ve used some affirmations for myself, but I’ve decided to use them much more.
That’s also the reason I’m writing this article – to remind and educate myself how affirmations work. (That’s the secret – I write all these articles for myself. But don’t tell anyone! Shh… )
I’ve discovered affirmations when I was a teenager and read the book “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy. I’ve used them on and off for several years. The important thing–as with a lot of things–is to use them regularly.
Examples of affirmations
My teacher Coletta Long told me one particular powerful affirmation. It goes like this:
“Every day in every way I’m feeling better and better.”
It’s by Émile Coué, a French pharmacist and psychologist. He used it with his patients and found that it worked really well.
Some other examples of affirmations:
“I am willing to attract all that I desire, beginning here and now.”
“As I unclutter my life, I free myself to answer the callings of my soul.”
Both affirmations are by Dr. Wayne Dyer.
How to make powerful affirmations
Always make the statement in the present tense, and always word affirmations in a positive way.
Don’t say “I don’t feel bad anymore.”
Say “I feel good” or “I feel better and better” if the possibility of feeling good right now is too far away for you.
How do you make affirmations more powerful?
Repetition makes it stronger – when you regularly use the same positive affirmations every day, it will have a cumulative effect. The more you repeat them, the better.
(It just should not get on your nerves, though–that would be a wrong interval. Just imagine yourself saying “I’m calm! I’m really calm!” while what you really think is “I soon will explode doing these stupid affirmations! Only 150 repetitions to go! Yikes!” )
When you add strong feelings to an affirmation, it also gets stronger.
When your feelings and the words don’t match, the feelings will win. So be aware and use affirmations that you can believe in. You don’t have to believe in them right now, but there must be the possibility that they might become true.
One way to achieve this is to put an action element into the statement, like “I now decide to focus on good things”.
Another example: “As I work to achieve my goals, I feel better and better.”
A practical way to use affirmations
This is how I use them.
Get a deck of cards – index cards/file cards 3″x5″. You can clip them together with a binder clip. Now write your affirmations on those cards.
Using a deck of cards has some advantages: you can always change the order of your affirmations for variety, and you can carry the cards with you, so if you have to wait for something, you can quickly look at your affirmations, one by one.
Use nice colours. I like yellow and orange, you might like red or violet. Maybe use similar colours for similar affirmations. Just play a bit with it.
Write only one affirmation per card. This way it’s easier to focus your mind on it.
The act of writing the affirmation in longhand makes them more powerful. And more personal, too.
Use different modalities to make it easier for your unconscious mind to accept the suggestion:
- Read the affirmations in silence.
- Read them out loud.
- Write them down again.
A particular good time for using affirmations is right before going to bed, and after getting up.
The reason for that is the following: when you’re still a bit drowsy, your subconscious mind is more open to receive suggestions. You can get a similar effect when you’re in a meditative state, so you can use affirmations after or during meditation.
“I am in the process of positive change.”
–Louise L. Hay
Affirmations can work really well. They’re not a panacea, but used well they are a good tool for changing your beliefs.
Do you use affirmations? Do they work for you?