You only have to look at my Facebook or Twitter pages to know that I love empowering and positive affirmations. I started consciously using them back in 2002 when I became passionate about my personal development and decided to transform my life.
Positive affirmations are positive statements in the present tense that feed positive messages to your mind and open the way for positive change for you. To this day, I use empowering affirmations daily, and I encourage my private coaching and mentoring clients to do so too.
Positive affirmations are empowering. They can make you feel good in the moment, instil self-belief and confidence, and make a better future inevitable for you as our thoughts create our reality.
When used correctly, empowering positive affirmations can lead to lasting change.
Contrary to what most self-help books will tell you, however, I want you to know that the use of positive affirmations is not always effective.
Let me share three reasons positive affirmations may not work :
#Reason 1: You say the words of your positive affirmations but counteract them by inwardly saying something else.
E.g. There is no point in going through the motions of saying the words of the affirmation, “I love my body. I am beautiful.” – and then in your head saying, “I am ugly, and what’s more, I look fat.” These two statements contradict each other, and the one you believe to be more true will win through for you. The one you believe to be more true is likely to be your more long-standing way of looking at things- a habitual way of thinking and a learned thought – and often with powerful emotions attached.
All you are doing when contradicting positive affirmations like this is reaffirming the negative and often long-standing belief you hold and creating a place in your mind of conflict.
Affirmations won’t and don’t work like that.
Another example would be saying the affirmation: “I am confident, I can do this.” and then immediately inwardly telling yourself “, Who am I kidding? No, I definitely can’t!”
#Reason 2: You don’t take daily action aligned with the said affirmation. You say the words but do nothing to help make them your reality. Instead, you expect as if by magic to ‘receive’.
Saying your affirmations is only part of the process. What you actually ‘do’ is even more important. If you want your affirmations to work effectively and help create your reality, you have to take action in alignment with the outcomes and results you want.
For example, saying, “I feel energised and healthy. I eat only nutritious food.” and then downing four boxes of jaffa cakes, slumping into the sofa and doing no exercise quite simply will not work.
Another example would be saying, “I let all anger, regret and guilt go now.” and then blaming others, not forgiving yourself or others for your wrongdoings, and continuing to harbour regret or judge.
#Reason 3: You have stronger negative emotions than the positive empowering words you say.
You cannot say something and FEEL another and expect the words you say to create lasting change for you. Your words and feelings must go in the same direction for them to impact your life.
e.g. There is no point telling yourself, “I feel alive and am happy and successful.” if you allow yourself to focus on the physical feeling of being stuck on a treadmill, unsuccessful and depressed.
The thoughts we think impact our feelings. So use that to your advantage. Imagine feeling alive and being happy and successful and cultivating those positive, happy and successful feelings instead!
My top tips to make your positive affirmations work for you
If you want your empowering affirmations to shape your reality, you must not only say the words but also mean the words and feel the feelings behind them.
It is important to come from a place of truth and knowing that what you are saying will be yours – and fully associate your emotions with the words you say.
If the affirmations you choose to say are not 100% true for you at this moment in time, step into that place in your mind where you see them and feel them as being true for you in the future.
Imagine you are already there now: See through your own eyes, hear through your ears, taste, touch and feel them as though they are true.
Your thoughts, pictures you make in your head, self-talk, and feelings must all be firing in the same positive direction. You must then back this up by taking positive action aligned with your words.