The notion of talking to yourself, that is affirmations, have been around for as long as the personal development industry. If you’re not familiar, an affirmation is a positive declaration usually beginning with the word “I”. It is meant to bring into the present some future behavior or condition that you would like to see occur now. The power of affirmation is that they can control your thinking, but you control the affirmation. So, the more affirmations that you recite, the more you are focusing on what is truly important to you.
Most of you are familiar with the psychological notion of affirmation, and I will explain that in more detail, but I doubt you are familiar with theological and metaphysical reasons why affirmations work. Thus, you will find three paths theological, psychological, and metaphysical to the same end.
Please keep in mind, the goal here is to get you to use affirmations! So here it goes:
The theological argument for using affirmations
There is an old saying in Judeo-Christian thought that God helps those who help themselves. If we are in a fugue, or mentally debilitating state, the theory goes that if we begin moving out of that state God will multiply our efforts. But it is up to us to begin the process. Notice, when Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive”, that the onus is on us to initiate the process.
Before we can receive, we must ask. Thus, the use of affirmations begins the process of us asking for divine assistance. Many religions use affirmations as a way of invoking greater aid from the divine source.
The psychological argument for affirmations
Since we consciously develop affirmations and repeat them over and over, it is assumed that our subconscious mind will absorb them and tag them as true. While the conscious mind has power of cognition, the subconscious mind has the power of accomplishment. And, the subconscious mind will begin to perform in accordance with what our conscious mind tells us is proper.
By repeating affirmations consistently, we are programming our subconscious mind for greater success and whatever else the affirmations contain. Most personal development programs use this argument for the use of affirmations, and it is very well researched and documented that this is a very dynamic process in rewiring our thinking.
“Affirmation without discipline is the beginning of delusion.” – Jim Rohn
The metaphysical argument for affirmations
By careful reading, you will find that the personal development and success industry over the last 60 years or so is based upon much of the metaphysical writing from the mid-19th century to the first quarter of the 20th century. This movement, called, “The New Thought” movement can be mapped directly to the aforementioned industry.
The underlying belief is that positive affirmations generate a higher level of vibration than simply allowing our mind to wander and perhaps entangle into negative thinking. Since higher-level vibrations always absorb or destroy lower-level vibrations, it is assumed that by consciously directing our mind we will attain a higher level of vibration.
So, there you have it, three different arguments as to why you should use affirmations. Over the past three decades I have found that many people have tried them and, unfortunately have stopped using them because they simply didn’t work for them.
Below, is a system that I have taught for a number of decades to firmly install the use of affirmations, and, more importantly to see their results. Give this a try before completely crossing out affirmations off your list.
- Here are seven broad areas of your life: physical, mental, spiritual, social, family, career, and personal development. Choose an area of your life that you are presently having some difficulty in. It doesn’t matter which one it is, and you need to absolve yourself of any of the vestiges of guilt for choosing one over the other. For example, if you are having family issues, but feel as though you are a physical wreck, and you want to work on that first, do it!
- What would you like to see changed in the particular area of your life that you chose? For example, if you chose physical, and you are overweight, what you might like to see is perhaps 30 less pounds. You might also like to see a firmer, more built-up muscular system. That’s fine. It’s your life. The choice is up to you.
- Develop the affirmations that make sense to you and that excite you. For example, to simply say, “I will lose 30 pounds.” is about as exciting as an old gym sock. Try, “I am 30 pounds lighter and fit into pants two sizes smaller, and I look great!” Do you see the difference?
- Dig down deep into the emotion of why you want the change in your life. Not just the change, but why you want to change. Then, on the front of an index card write the affirmation as you will say it, and on the back of the index card the reason you want that change to occur.
- Say your affirmations at least three times a day when you wake up, midday and when you go to bed. But have them with you. So, if you are stuck in traffic instead of cursing at the people in front of you. Use this as vital time to reprogram yourself by stating your affirmations.
- This point is critical! Don’t just say your affirmations! Feel them! Your conscious mind will utter the words, your subconscious mind will feel the result. It is up to you to infuse the affirmation with emotion.
I have seen this work countless times. And I still use this process myself. Let me know what you think about my affirmation routine below!