“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” You might recognize this affirmation, originated by Émile Coué almost a century ago.
Affirmations are ideas packaged into neat phrases that are used for the purpose of self-improvement. They are typically used as meditations just before sleeping or immediately upon awakening. The theory is that the idea will act upon the subconscious, causing desired changes. This effect has been produced and replicated hundreds of times in clinical studies.
But what if your affirmation isn’t working? It might be because the exact wording doesn’t match your suggestibility. Suggestibility varies greatly among all of us, so when it comes to affirmations, one size does not fit all. Not even close.
Are you the type of person who bristles when being told what to do? If so, it’s possible that your subconscious will reject a direct suggestion. However, even if your subconscious resists authority, there’s a way that you can present it with new ideas that it will accept readily.
Think of your subconscious as a child of about 10 years old. Even a stubborn child can be motivated—it’s all in your presentation. If you let a child think they came up with an idea on their own, they’ll probably jump all over it. Keep in mind that approximately half the population is very OK with authoritarian affirmations (direct suggestions), and can accept them at face value and get results, no problem.
How can you determine your own suggestibility? That part isn’t so simple for the uninitiated, but it’s possible. If you are highly empathetic or sympathetic, if you can easily imagine physical sensations in your body, and if you are usually outgoing and eager to converse, it’s likely that you will respond to direct suggestions. Conversely, if your emotions don’t translate quickly into physical sensations, or if you tend to have difficulty connecting immediately with someone else’s emotional state, it’s likely that you’ll have more success with indirect suggestions.
Coué’s affirmation above is a direct suggestion. If you don’t have success with it, change it to an indirect suggestion and try it again for a week or so. Here are some examples: “Every day, I can get better…” or “It’s possible that every day, I am getting better…” Does your subconscious require a super indirect suggestion? Here you go: “Every day, in every way, I can give myself permission to allow myself to consider that I am getting better and better.”
Remember, your subconscious mind doesn’t analyze or evaluate, it just does what you tell it to do when you’re speaking its language. So try your affirmations as both direct and indirect suggestions, and see which one works better!