All self-help books, motivational speeches and psychological therapies talk about using Affirmations. They are recommended for goal achievement, overcoming blocks, attaining good health and even earning more money. So what exactly are these affirmations? How and Why do they work? To put it in a very simple words, an affirmation is a goal oriented statement that we repeat to ourselves.
'An affirmation is a goal oriented statement that we repeat to ourselves'.
Why do the affirmations work? Our sub-conscious mind is nine times more powerful than our conscious mind. But it's not very smart. It can't decide for itself. It's the slave of the person. So whatever you feed to it, it will work towards making it a reality. Secondly, our thoughts are a neural pathway in our brain. These form our belief systems, eventually leading to your life script. So by changing your thoughts, you are changing the neural pathways and hence your belief systems and ultimately your life script.
What statements should you be giving to your sub-conscious mind? You can have a clear goal of where you want to reach or what you want to achieve. You just need to keep 4 guidelines in mind while framing your affirmations.
1) Have a positive goal with a positive intention.
Ask yourself 'why' do you want to achieve that goal. If it's from a positive premise, go ahead! If not, pause and change it.
2) Use positive words
Words like no, not,don't, can't etc need to be avoided. This is because our sub-conscious mind does not understand negative words. It will omit them altogether.
For e.g. - 'I don't want to feel angry' will become 'I want to feel angry'. This might lead you think that the affirmation is not working for you.
3) Use Present Continuous Tense
For e.g. - I am addressing a crowd of 5000 people.
This is because the sub-conscious mind is very literal. If words like 'will' or 'shall' are used, the goal will always remain in the future. The sub-conscious mind only understands the present, the NOW!
The sub-conscious mind only understands the present, the NOW!
4) Feel the feelings
You can also add one more part to your affirmation by describing how you will feel when you achieve that goal. For e.g. - I am answering all the interview questions confidently. And feel the confidence while repeating the affirmation.
I have heard people say that it's difficult to believe as if they have already achieved something when they clearly haven't. "I am living in a villa when I am clearly coming home to a 2 bedroom apartment." That's when the feeling part of the affirmation helps. You just need to imagine how you will feel when you are already living in your dream villa. This helps in believing in the affirmation.
You just need to imagine how you will feel when you are already living your dream.
Once, you have framed your affirmation, the next question is how do you use them?
There are many ways to use an affirmation. You can repeat it 21 times for at least 21 days right after you wake up in the morning and just before going to sleep. This is because your sub-conscious mind is more powerful and easily accessible at those times.
You can also practice the affirmations while meditating.
Another way is to write down your affirmation 21 times everyday for 21 days.
Remember, no matter how you practice it, the feel the feeling you associate with achievement of that goal. Allow yourself to experience those emotions and sensations in your body.
The neural pathways in our brain take 21 days to form. Hence, it is recommended to continue the practice of each affirmation for 21 days. Once you build the neural pathway, you change your beliefs and ultimately your life script.
One more way of using the affirmation is by doing the visualization exercise. This will be discussed in the next blog post next week!
Tell me how you have framed your affirmation and how would you be using them!
To understand in further detail how affirmations play a role in the Law of Attraction, this book is a great read!