Positive affirmations are a technique used in several different religious, cultural and psychological situations. They have been used for several centuries and only recently (the last 25 to 30 years) come extremely popular in pop-culture. Individuals talk about positive affirmations to help you lose weight, increase your income, get that great job or even attract your perfect mate.
And while positive affirmations really do work for specific individuals who use them in specific ways, they can also create more negative results in a persons life than positive. Let me explain.
Most people who use positive affirmations create a statement that is vague and abstract such as “I am a thin and beautiful person” or “I am the next CEO”. The statement about being thin and beautiful indicates that you are getting thinner in a specific way but does not tell you if you are losing weight, you are thin or you are getting beautiful.
Another problem with positive affirmations which are structured by telling yourself that you are what you want to be in the future is that your brain knows that you have not yet achieved that goal. You are fooling only yourself and will not achieve any positive benefit from these statements. Your subconscious mind will not be fooled into believing that you are thin today when the scales said you are 50 pounds overweight.
Another problem with positive affirmations is that they are often not action oriented. Every time an individual achieves success they achieve it by doing something. This means they are performing an action and not sitting around waiting for something to happen to them. Each time you tell yourself that you are the current CEO of your company, another part of your brain says “yeah, right”. You defeat yourself each time you repeat these positive affirmations.
There are times when an individual has such focus and mindset that they are able to repeat these positive affirmations daily and create this reality for themselves without editing the affirmations or negating them. However, these individuals are far and few between and based on the amount of focus and concentration it takes to use this type of affirmation without becoming discouraged, this individual would have succeeded with or without the affirmation.
Instead, individuals should attempt to create a positive story that includes action and evokes both a visual and emotional response. By pulling auditory, visual and emotional factors into a global story, an individual has a greater chance of incorporating his positive statement into his current state of mind.
So, instead of using “I am thin and beautiful” an individual may express “today I choose to eat fruits and vegetables and be excited about the flavors”.
The current thoughts in psychology and our culture is that we are what we believe we are and we become what dominates most of our thoughts. This is indeed true and will never be overcome by a simple one line positive affirmation stated over and over again all day long. Instead, the goal of an individual is to create a reality in which they are moving toward their goal in a positive and successful manner.
Believe it or not we already have affirmations that we repeat to ourselves on a daily basis without even thinking about it. For instance, when looking at a particular product we wish to buy the first thing that comes into our heads may be “I’m not made of money” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “I can’t afford that”. Each of these are negative affirmations about money and how an individual perceives their ability to spend money.
We each have these affirmations about the way we look in the mirror, the type of person we can attract, the number of friends we have, the type of job we have and the amount of money we are or are not capable of making. All of these affirmations or statements are important in the way that we’d perceive our own reality and the results that we can achieve.
The most effective affirmations will be the ones that you write yourself, that have a personal meaning in your life and that evoke strong emotions. You may choose to write your affirmations down on paper and carry them with you so that you might glance at them and repeat them several times a day. Be sure to remember the emotion that it brings up inside and hold onto that emotion because that’s what makes the affirmation powerful.
Remember that just staring in the mirror and telling yourself that your acne has gone, you are 50 pounds lighter or that your ears are smaller will not make it so. In fact, by doing that your subconscious mind will sabotage your efforts and make it even that much more difficult to achieve your goals and count yourself among the successful people in your life.