I’ve spent the last several posts taking apart some affirmations I came across. Affirmations in general are a great tool if you use them correctly. They really are nothing more than a deliberate, targeted version of the conversation that already goes on inside your head all the time. Some people may not say much inside their own heads, but I don’t think there’s really very many who really don’t do this.
Many don’t realize this internal self-talk is going on because they aren’t paying attention to it. Whe you don’t pay attention to it, your self-talk, or random affirmations, will tend to focus on what’s most pressing. For most of us today, that will be what our problems are. We will think about and dwell on the challenges we face. If those are overwhelming or seem that way, then our self-talk will tend to be negative in nature. The only way to turn it from negative to positive in those, and any, situation is to focus on solutions to the problems and challenges we face.
That’s the real key to successfully using affirmations.
An affirmation is a statement you read or speak aloud that is supposed to focus your thinking or direct your actions on things you want to do. Generally speaking affirmations are intended to change current behavior or thinking to something better. In other words, affirmations are intended to overcome our current situation and move us closer in some way to our goals. Affirmations do this by helping us focus on concrete things like actions to be done or by modifying our beliefs about ourselves.
This last part is key. Before we can make a lasting change in our lives, we have to make sure our core beliefs will support that change. For instance, if you are 100 pounds overweight and think of yourself as fat, then diet and exercise will be a challenge to say the least. It won’t be challenging because you are so overweight so much as it will be challenging because you think of yourself as fat first. Fat people overeat and don’t exercise, right? Well, if you’re fat then you overeat and don’t exercise too, right?
Our core beliefs about ourselves will define the bounds of our behavior without our even realizing it. Affirmations that assert new, empowering beliefs will support the actions you want to take. Affirmations that are positive and forward looking will reinforce the changes in your life that you want to make. If your core beliefs are already supportive of those changes, then affirmations can help keep those beleifs when you encounter more challenges.
Affirmations are not absolutely required to become successful in life, but they can be an incredibly useful tool.