What are Affirmations?
Affirmations have been a staple of the self-development genre since the 1950s. A definition from Wiki: ‘a carefully formatted statement (present tense, positive, personal and specific) that should be repeated to one’s self and written down frequently’.
Certainly, the self-help literature enjoys telling us to ‘think positively.’ For one to succeed, one must visualize attaining the object of success. Affirmations have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives.
Does Positive Affirmation Works?
Yes, positive affirmation works. let’s say you already have great self-esteem, are confident and sure of yourself — then positive affirmations are just the boost you need to get through that school test or work presentation, get to the gym or stay productive during your day. Affirm away!
Canadian researcher Dr. Joanne Wood at the University of Waterloo and her colleagues at the University of New Brunswick who have published their research in the Journal of Psychological Science, concluded “repeating positive self-statements may benefit certain people, such as individuals with high self-esteem, but backfire for the very people who need them the most.”
Why Positive Affirmations Don’t Work
While affirmations can be very helpful, they don’t always work. Here are 3 main reasons why positive affirmations don’t work, and what you can do to make sure they work for you to help you achieve your goals and maximize your potential within your most important roles.
1. You’re lying to yourself
Affirmations don’t work unless they are true and factual, it’s useless to lie to yourself. Even if we are not consciously aware we’re lying to ourselves our subconscious knows it, and we can sabotage the effectiveness of affirmations.
When my problem is a pain in my knee, saying, “Even though my knee hurts, I deeply and completely accept myself,” sounds true. I do accept myself even though my knee hurts. There is no resistance to getting over this knee pain problem.
But if I hurt my knee by kicking the dog for which I feel deep regret and shame, I would not accept myself, would I? Then that set-up statement doesn’t sound true. I don’t accept myself even though my knee hurts because I know I hurt my knee in a deplorable manner for which I condemn myself.
And that’s when the customary affirmation isn’t affirming. I cannot say, in this instance, that I accept myself. It just isn’t true. If I say it mechanically […] I will wince inside. I will feel a resistance toward the affirmation.Life Coach Ann Smith: The Affirmation That Isn’t Affirming
2. You’re doing it the wrong way
Affirmations are among the most powerful tools for personal transformation and can assist you in many areas of your own life and because they are incredibly successful, it’s extremely important to learn how to use them.
Looking at yourself in the mirror and repeating positive words about yourself may seem silly but it’s been proven that negative self-talk can have a biological effect on your body. Therefore, it goes without saying, positive self-talk can affect your mind and body as well.
Whilst watching the positive affirmations video above or listening to the affirmation audio allow yourself to empty your mind of other thoughts and distractions. Don’t think about anything. Simply embrace and allow the affirmations to sink in.
Repetition is key. The more times that you re-watch, re-listen and re-take in these affirmations the more you will allow them to sink into your subconscious until you really truly believe them. Remember it’s not about the words. The words themselves can’t change anything but hearing them and processing them can help to rewire your thought patterns.
3. You’re not doing anything
There seems to be a whole lot of misconception about positive affirmations, these misconceptions seem to peddle the idea that if you simply think about what you want, a “law of attraction” will magically bring it to you.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”― Benjamin Franklin
The whole point of affirmations isn’t that they do all the work for you, rather they help you change your behavior to get better results. Affirmations should be accompanied by goals, plans, programs, schedules, and other tools that will help make those affirmations reality.
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