Affirmations have been around for centuries, dating back to ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures. We like them, we use them, and we know that they don’t always work.
Affirmations are what I do for a living. Some people might call them hypnotic suggestions or empowering statements. There are a million ways to describe the phenomenon; I have my point of view–here it is.
Whatever the desired change is, wherever we are on the spectrum of desire, there is always resistance. We defend against change. However much pain or dissatisfaction we have, at the subconscious level we don’t want to change. Don’t even bother to deny this—remember, I said at the subconscious level.
I can give you a few good ideas about using Affirmations in the best possible way. For my purposes in service to clients, I use a combination of direct suggestions and indirect suggestions.
First, remember that Affirmations are true statements that we use to re-train the subconscious. The subconscious accepts some things and rejects other things. If you want to train your subconscious using the conscious mind technique of repetition that we call Affirmations, try using a series of statements that begin on solid ground, rock-solid truth.
Square One is different for everyone. Some people can’t begin with “I love my body and my mind” because it isn’t true at the deepest level. In this case, try, “I am at my best when I love my body and my mind.” This is an example of a true statement that also serves as an indirect suggestion.
Are you overweight? If so, it’s possible that your subconscious will reject the Affirmation, “I am a thin person.” It’s not a true statement, and every cell of your being knows that. Try this: “I feel so good about myself when I eat sensibly.”
The use of Affirmations is highly effective when you connect the dots from what is fundamentally true to the conditions that you consciously desire. Beginning with a positive, indirect suggestion such as “I am at my best when I love my body and my mind” is effective because the subconscious is then cued to review what it knows about self-care, self-esteem, Love, and the associated thoughts and emotions. The mind begins to turn in that direction. That is entirely necessary, because you will not lose weight unless you change your eating habits and activity level. Affirmations are a beginning and a support technique—not a panacea or cure-all.
When you begin to have success with “I feel so good about myself when I eat sensibly,” progress to a new Affirmation, such as “My extreme joy is increasing as I am becoming fitter, healthier, and thinner.” Conjure your positive emotions and feel them wash over you as you repeat the Affirmation!
For the best, most effective use of Affirmations in your daily Life, write them out and word them carefully! Your subconscious is literal. Tell it what you want and speak to it as you speak to a child. Use simple language and shorter statements. Put your affirmations in order and start at the beginning.
Have a plan. Begin with the more fundamental statements and have an awareness of your emotions and behaviors becoming more positive over time. Give yourself some time to allow the changes to take hold. When you notice the positive changes taking place, change your Affirmations to more direct statements, fine-tuning your direction toward your conscious goal. Connect the dots.
Remember that your subconscious does not rationalize or analyze; however, it has beliefs and it is quite dug into what it knows, and it will resist change. My personal favorite method is to use Affirmations in combination with Self-Hypnosis for faster and more effective change. Hypnotism goes right to the heart of a belief and it can deal with the resistance instantly and profoundly.
One more point, and this is very important: Affirmations and Hypnotism are no substitute for expert medical or psychiatric care. Persistent physical, mental, and emotional symptoms might be an indication of a condition that is best dealt with by a qualified health-care professional. I have many such qualified professionals in my network and I regularly refer my clients to them in order to rule out serious conditions. I am at my professional best when I work as part of a team that includes my Client, myself, and other qualified providers who might be needed.
Once you rule out any serious indications, let your subconscious mind take over and watch the changes taking place in your Life!