We hear a lot about affirmations from self help sources. You find them in many books, hypnosis CD sets, seminars and the like, and they are often touted as a magic pill for self change. “Tell yourself something enough times and it will be so”, they say. On the other hand, you could tell yourself that you’re a millionaire until you’re blue in the face and still have poverty on your hands. I know plenty of people that have had no success with affirmations and there are many articles written by scientists and opinion writers that say there is no evidence to support that affirmations are effective at all. Affirmations are a favorite subject for skeptics and naysayers because there is so little scientific data that supports them and so much data that denies them. Yet, scores of people swear by them.
The truth is affirmations don’t work. The truth is also that affirmations do work. It depends on how they are used, and they actually require a degree of mental and emotional effort in order to be effective – something that is extremely difficult for science to quantify and study, which is why many scientists say affirmations are rubbish. The truth is that most scientists are either too lazy or too fearful of the status quo to really study the benefits of using affirmations appropriately in creating lasting life changes. And for those that actually do study the phenomenal results of correctly used affirmations, it’s often too difficult to find anyone to provide professional support or funding for that kind of research.
It saddens me to think of all of the potential renowned geniuses, near-celebrities and people of influence forever unrecognized in history, whose unprovable ideas were dashed by the rigor of ignorant scientists and skeptics. It saddens me to think of all the tremendous ideas cast aside in the name of disproving what science could not yet understand, applied against the proof of what science barely understood, by men and women with an eloquence and cleverness that appeared educated and wise, but from a position bereft of understanding. This is largely true with the “scientific analysis” of affirmations through recent history.
Affirmations do work. But they only work if you believe in them, believe in yourself and take inspired action toward their completion. And while they do work, they won’t usually work on your schedule. A great deal of faith is involved in making affirmations work. This formula is so far untestable by science and as such, drives most scientists away lest they be branded as weirdos or mavericks by their peers. Hell, I’d be scared to waste my research on affirmations too if I’d gone 6 figures into educational debt for the honor of being told what I could and could not study in the pursuit of science.
Your beliefs and emotions are key when it comes to affirmations. It is true that you can tell yourself a million times that you are a successful person without ever seeing any results. It’s also true that they can have a profound effect on your subconscious if done in a certain way. It all depends on how they are used. If you recite affirmations and are just going through the motions without any real emotional involvement, then you will get what you expect: Barely any results whatsoever. However, if you reach deep into the substance of your emotions, engage your beliefs and are aware of your present attitude when using affirmations, and apply them several times daily, they are extremely powerful in eliciting change in your regular behaviors, your fortunes, your life and even miracles that manifest in your life. This is beyond science. This is an experience of belief and application.
The difference in those that are successful with affirmations and those that aren’t successful with them is in their emotions and beliefs, how well one’s subconscious can relate to them, and most importantly, what is being done about them. Affirmations can do nothing all by themselves. They are pretty much cool sounding sentences, often vague, usually a pollyanna, but aren’t much of anything without feeling, repetition, faith and action. Taking action on a daily basis with faith consistent with your affirmations is key to making them work.
If you sit on the couch and affirm to yourself that you make thousands of dollars per week, mustering up as much emotional energy as you can and visualizing yourself living a lifestyle of someone who makes thousands of dollars per week and you really, earnestly believe that it will be true and that you are worth it, guess what? You won’t make a dime until you actually get up off the couch and take action consistent with the affirmation. Affirmations must be mixed with belief, decisive faith and action. This is the essence of internal integrity as discussed in Thoughtwriting classes and coaching sessions. For real forward momentum from your affirmations, a high level of consistency between your beliefs, thoughts, words, attitudes and actions must be there. Only then will the magic of affirmations begin to show up, and this is only the beginning in making them work for you.
Affirmations are particularly effective if they are created from your core values. Your values represent some of the strongest positive identities or belief systems that you have. They make up much of your personality, direct much of your behavior and are the basis for many, if not most of your decisions throughout life. Ensuring that your affirmations are consistent with your values goes a long way in helping those affirmations create opportunities to support you. When you then create strong beliefs with properly applied affirmations that are tied to your values, you have a great deal of strength from which to draw. And then when you take decisive actions consistent with those values and beliefs, get ready for a change.
Keep moving forward. Keep affirming. Keep believing. Keep taking action. Have faith, and you will have it.