Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Do Affirmations Really Work?

Do affirmations really work?

Affirmations (meaning a statement said with confidence about a perceived truth) have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives.  But they don't always work for everyone.  Why can one person have great success using this tool while another feels no results at all?

An affirmation will work because it has the ability to program your mind into believing the stated concept.  This is because the mind does not know the difference between what is real or fantasy.  For example, when you watch a movie and you start to laugh or cry your mind is empathizing with the characters on the screen even though it is only make believe.

There are both positive and negative types of affirmations.  I'm sure many of us can remember as a child being told by a teacher, or another adult that we didn't have the ability to do something, or we were fat, clumsy, etc.  These negative statements can stay with us in the conscious or unconscious mind, and can become the beliefs in which we live by.  Therefore, we then reinforce these negative beliefs throughout our lives.

Positive affirmations or simply positive self talk has the power to create successful outcomes in our lives because our thoughts shape our actions and our actions are what bring results.  Napoleon Hill examined this direct connection between thoughts -actions -results in his landmark best seller, Think and Grow Rich.

Affirmations can be a powerful tool to help you change your mood, state of mind, and manifest the change you desire in your life. As powerful as positive affirmations can be, if a negative belief is deeply rooted in our unconscious mind then it has the ability to override a positive affirmation even if we aren't aware of it.  This is why for many people; affirmations don't seem to work.  Their negative beliefs are over powering their positive ones.

So how can we add more muscle to an affirmation so it has the power to triumph over our negative thinking?  Here are some suggestions on how to make them work for you.

7 Guidelines for Creating Powerful and Effective Affirmations

1.  Identify any negative or limiting beliefs that you currently hold.  Make a list of what you've always thought of as your negative qualities.  Include any criticisms others have made of you that you've been holding onto; whether it's something your siblings, parents and peers used to say about you when you were a child, or what your boss told you in your last annual review.  Don't judge if they're accurate and remember we all have flaws.  Simply make a note of them and look for a common theme, such as "I'm unworthy." This will be a great place to start making a shift in your life. When you write out the recurring belief notice if you holding on to it anywhere in your body?

2.  Now write out an affirmation on the positive aspect of your self-judgment.  You may want to use a thesaurus to find more powerful words to beef up your statement.  For example instead of saying, "I'm worthy."  You could say, "I'm remarkable and cherished."

3.  Speak the affirmation out loud for about five minutes three times a day - morning, mid day and evening.  This is easy to do!  Write them down on index cards and just spen a minute in the morning while you have coffee or as you're getting dressed.  An index card can be kept in your glove compartment, hand bag, night table etc.

4.  When writing the affirmation(s) ... start with the words I am.  These are the two most powerful words in the English language.  The subconscious takes any sentence that starts with the words I am and turns it into a command - a directive to make it happen!  and be sure to use the present tense.  Describe what you want as though you already have it.  It is important to affirm what you want - not what you don't want.

5.  Keep it brief.  One simple, yet powerful sentence.

6.  Make it specific.  Vague affirmations produce vague results.

7.  Include an action word ending with -ing.  One that expresses the emotional state you would be feeling if you had already achieved the goal.  i.e. - enjoying, relaxing, thriving

I encourage you to think about the goal(s) that lie ahead of you.  Create positive affirmations that will excite you and inspire you to take the action necessary to move closer to those goals.  Affirmations do work, if you believe in them.  The most successful people whether they have achieved success in business, sports, financial wealth, or weight loss ...have all found the power in positive affirmations.

Your thoughts will shape your world.

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