Most of us have heard about using affirmations as a way to bring about change in our lives. In fact, many coaches, counselors and motivational teachers recommend using them.
Unfortunately, affirmations are often taught incorrectly or misunderstood.
In this post I’ll teach you the 7 steps to using affirmations effectively.
What are affirmations?
Affirmations are any statement that we make. It’s that simple.
When we use negative statements, we are tapping into a low energy, which can make us feel heavy, hopeless or stuck.
Positive statements or affirmations open higher channels in our consciousness to create new feelings, beliefs, thoughts and outcomes.
So to work with affirmations, it’s important to get the wording right.
What affirmations do
What we put our attention on grows and becomes permanent in our lives. The best results will come from training ourselves to think and speak in positive ways.
The words we speak to others represent just 7% of the results we get from communication. That’s because tone and body language are important communication tools as well.
But the words we speak to ourselves represent 100% of the results we’ll get in life!
Our self-worth is 100% reliant on our inner dialogue — both thoughts and words.
There are two kinds of thoughts: thoughts that empower and those that don’t. Period.
When affirmations don’t work
According to Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles:
“When it comes to sheer neurological processing abilities, the subconscious mind is millions of times more powerful than the conscious mind. If the desires of the conscious mind conflict with the programs in the subconscious mind, which “mind” do you think will win out?”
Last week’s post was about the superpower of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind uses 95% of our brain power, as opposed to the 5% used by our conscious mind.
So the subconscious rules, and in working with affirmations, you must use statements your subconscious mind can accept.
For affirmations to work they must be reasonable, believable and acceptable to both the conscious and subconscious minds. Otherwise they could be dismissed by the conscious and sub-conscious mind as wishful thinking.
For example, a man in a hospital bed in a full body cast saying “I feel great” won’t work, because it’s obvious to everyone, including his subconscious mind, that he doesn’t feel great.
By making the affirmation a process, such as, “every day my body is healing itself” it will be believable to the subconscious mind.
7 steps to powerful affirmations
1. Use affirmations as a process. If you have zero $, saying “I am wealthy” won’t work because your subconscious knows it’s not true.
Rather than a bold statement, change it into a process by saying, “every day in every way, I feel myself attracting prosperity.”
“Each day in every way my body is healing itself.”
“I am so happy that money comes to me in increasing quantities in multiple ways.”
If you’re bad at math, don’t say, “I’m good at math” because you’ll know it isn’t true. Shift it into a process: “Each day I am improving at math.”
“Each day in every way, I’m feeling a little better.”
“Each day my neck is improving.”
2. Experience it in your body: For an affirmation to work, you also need an experience of it in your body. That’s why it’s good to say it out loud three times. You’ll then have the physical sensation of saying it as well as hearing it.
“My body knows how to heal itself.”
3. Read it off a card and you’ll also see it. Post your affirmation around the house. When you see it, say it out loud.
4. Where: According to Louise Hay, people who do affirmations in front of a mirror make much quicker progress than people who don’t.
“Each day in every way, I’m open to receiving love.”
“More and more…..”
5. Use present tense: Continually make positive statements about how you want life to be. Always make your statement in the present tense such as “I am” or “I have.” If you make it in the future – I want, or I will have – that is where it will stay: in the future.
“I am open to receiving love in my life.”
6. When: Say your affirmations first thing in the morning and last thing at night, 3 times out loud in front of the mirror, to help reprogram your subconscious mind.
7. For how long: work with an affirmation for at least 21 days. That’s the minimum amount of time it takes to implant a new habit.
For inspiration, check out this short video as an example of a good way to start your day!