Today’s blog is all about affirmations. You may or may not be familiar with them. I first learned about affirmations over 20 years ago from reading one of Louise Hay’s books, and throughout the years I have used them, forgotten about them, and rediscovered them. I have affirmations scattered around the house on post it notes in places where I can see them regularly. I want to share with you what affirmations are, how they work and how to use them to best effect. Also, why is it that they work for some people and not for others? Do they work for you?
First of all, what are affirmations? Affirmations are positive statements or thoughts which we wish to be true, even if that thought or statement is not yet true for us. They are thoughts or statements which reinforce a belief.
Example of an affirmation: “I love myself just the way I am”.
How do they work? Our minds, as clever as they are, do not know the difference between fantasy and reality. This is why, if I ask you to really imagine biting into a lemon, your salivary glands will start to work – your physical body reacts due to the message your mind gives it. Affirmations, when repeated over and over are accepted into our mind as fact.
Why do they work for some people and not others? As we have discussed in previous videos, often when we leave our mind to run on auto-pilot, it reverts to a stream of negative self-talk. When you think about it, everything we say and think to ourselves is an affirmation – so we are using affirmations every moment whether we know it or not. Not only that but we may be holding limiting self-beliefs. If a teacher, for instance, told us we were rubbish at maths, then we may carry that for our whole life, and our mind dutifully validates this by finding experiences and creating experiences to back up the limiting belief! Unless we change the manner in which we habitually think, and deal with limiting beliefs, we will find ourselves stuck in some aspect of our lives.
When we use affirmations then our inner-gremlin might say ‘well that’s stupid, that isn’t going to work is it!’ and this is because our brain likes patterns, and since our mind normally runs on a negative sound track, our inner gremlin sees the positive affirmation as ‘different’ so immediately dismisses it. After all, it isn’t what it is used to!
We might have some amazing affirmations and repeat them once or twice in a day, and the rest of the day leave our minds in auto-pilot to go through its usual negative stream of consciousness. That’s like scattering a seed in barren soil. In other words, affirmations are great but not the full answer. They are a technique but used alone can’t fix everything. We need to look at how we are thinking the majority of the time AND use affirmations.
The best way to use affirmations. Being aware of all that I have said, here is an effective technique to use affirmations:
Speak the affirmation out loud for about five minutes x 3 times a day — first thing in the morning, lunch time, and before bed. Look at yourself in the mirror as you repeat your affirmation.
Write the affirmation out several times a day. If speaking the affirmation at lunchtime is not possible for you, for instance, because you are at work, then you can write it instead.
Finally: Affirmations are a great technique to create positive change in your life but they are most effective IF you first deal with unlimiting beliefs AND become aware of your thoughts during the rest of the day. To do this you many need to work with a professional life coach to uncover your unconscious thought patterns and shift those limiting beliefs.
If you would like to find out about how to work with me, please get in touch.
You can watch all my videos to do with mindset and wellbeing on my YouTube channel.
I’d love to know, what affirmations work for you? What are your experiences with affirmations?
Thanks for reading!
Sue Jaycock – Mindset & Wellbeing Coach