I have been somewhat enthralled with affirmations for many years. In my perception, they seemed to hold a lot of power. I can’t tell you how many speakers, authors, millionaires I have heard who say things about the power of affirmations. Many even talk about how it was affirmations that brought them their success. I wanted that so badly, but something was missing. I tried every “magical” formula with very little success. I began a deep and thorough study of affirmations. Before we get into the mechanics of how to make effective affirmations, I wanted to address how to enhance the power of your affirmations. I learned a long time ago that when we hand write out affirmations, it enhances the power and strength that they have. This is because when we hand write out things it changes the programming of our subconscious mind. (Remember that 9-98% of habits and behaviors are stored in your subconscious mind). Therefore while goal setting is a conscious mind activity, goal achievement engages the habits and behaviors of our subconscious mind. I write them all over the place: on post it notes, toilet paper, regular paper, my checkbook. I am limitless in where I write them.
The other tip that I have learned is to allow technology to work for me. For many years I have set my screensaver on my desktop (wherever I worked) to affirm something positive about me. Imagine my shock when I learned that you could set alarms and reminders to pop up and remind you of affirmations! I was like a kid in a candy store when I discovered that.
I am a creature of habit (like most humans) and therefore I need constant reminders. I have been known to leave notes for myself: on my steering wheel, on my refrigerator, on my desk, on the wall next to a light switch, etc. There are no limits to my ability to provide visual cues for myself.
Keep in mind I had been doing some of those things for decades with little to no impact. The shift point came for me when I began to discover how to properly construct an affirmation. Here are the steps I follow:
- I am: I literally start every positive word of intent with the phrase I am. Because everything that we say/write/think after that programs our subconscious mind. Which our subconscious mind sets out to achieve for us. I’m very careful to not use the words I am followed by a negative today. It has changed my life drastically.
- Act as if: This is one of the biggest paradigm shifts for me of all time. Every affirmation that I write, I do so as if they have already happened. For example in the past I really wanted to get married and have a happy marriage. I wrote this affirmation on a regular and consistent basis: I am happily married. I am a wonderful wife. I am a phenomenal mother.
- Tense Matters: Our subconscious minds only know present tense. Therefore, every affirmation I write I do so in the present tense. For example: I am a published author. I am a well-respected public speaker. For the most part neither of those are currently accurate. But I have massive goals and will not be stopped.
- Don’t give up: When some people talk about affirmations they send a message that makes it seem as if after repeating the affirmation three times you will suddenly achieve your goals. If only life were that simply. Some affirmations I have been using for years. I refuse to loose sight of my goals, I believe that I have not achieved them YET. Everything happens exactly when it’s supposed to.
- Let go: Do you remember that expression a watched pot never boils (which is not factually accurate.)? The harder we try to force something to happen in our lives the more resistance we are going to experience. Whatever your spiritual belief system, allow someone higher than you to be in control (if only for a moment).
- Visualization: Here’s a huge component of affirmations for me. Every night as you go to bed, right before you fall asleep spend five minutes imagining your affirmation has already materialized in your life. Notice as much detail as you can. If you can manage to do this first thing in the morning as well, it’s just another bonus. There is tremendous power in visualization. If you don’t have the ability to visualize very well pretend. There’s not a huge difference in this context.
Jenn Bovee, LCSW is a spiritual life coach and psychotherapist. She offers face to face sessions as well as sessions for those who are not in person. Please check her out at www.JennBoveeLCSW.com