I remember reading a lot of self-help books throughout the years. One of the most common self-help methods is known as affirmations. Affirmations are basically statements that you repeat out loud or in your thoughts on a regular basis. You repeat them to reinforce and bring about certain desires into your life. For example, repeating the phrase, “I am happy”, daily can subconsciously plant the idea in your mind that you are happy.
Supposedly whatever you practice, you become good at it… This makes sense because affirmations are just like that. They are repetitive statements you make, so that you create exactly what it is that you want within yourself. Or at the very least, it will trigger a response from within you to pursue after what it is that you want.
Affirmations are powerful tools that can help one develop a strong, and clear mind. It can also do the opposite. For example, if I say that “I am happy” or “I am successful” all the time, but my reality differs, then I could spiral down the path of depression. The more reality differs from my expectations and desires, the more suffering I can bring up.
Affirmations are tools you use to manifest certain actions or state of being. But they don’t always work. The reason is that affirmations are there to help you, but you must bring yourself to a certain level of awareness to use them. You must resonate with what you say. Else you are just uttering something that doesn’t even apply to you.
For example, your affirmation is “I am financially independent and successful”, but truthfully you are broke. Now you have created an easy opportunity for you to see the disparity between your current situation and your dreams. Just comparing your bank statements and your goals will lead you toward distress.
Therefore, affirmations used without context can be detrimental to your well-being. They will never work because you approach them without a single care. You utter them as an escape mechanism to slightly delude yourself from your current situation. It is escapism at its finest.
What should you do instead? You should only make affirmations that work for you.
Affirmations that Work
What are affirmations that work? How do you know if an affirmation will work? The truth is, no affirmations work. Affirmations are just statements that you say and state. They cannot work, you must work. Please see this.
Nothing in the world works for you unless you are willing to make it work. Nothing in the world works unless there is a certain level of involvement. You can affirm as much as you want on something. You can declare yourself to have this or that, but nothing substantial will happen unless you get involved.
Now involvement can be a conscious or unconscious choice. If you negatively affirm a thought, you are getting involved and attached to what you think. So in this case, negative affirmations can work too.
We know this because there are plenty of examples where people say “I am useless” or “I am depressed” all the time. Anything that is chronic in a person’s life meant that a certain degree of repetition and involvement was induced. Yes, you can remain unaware of your involvement. It could run on momentum that you created long ago.
But if you really want to bring about change, then you must consciously involve yourself. What affirmations do is that they allow you to move in the direction of where you are declaring. Affirmations allow you to ignite the desires to seek after what it is that you want or don’t want. Whether you are seeking or resisting, you will act accordingly to achieve what it is that you are after. In a sense, you are either evolving yourself to a higher possibility or devolving further into unconscious behaviors.
Evolving yourself to a higher possibility matters because if this doesn’t happen, then you will not be ready to receive. Even if you end up getting what you want, you may sabotage your own efforts. “I don’t deserve this” would be the only affirmation that you will be affirming!
If you realize this, then you would only make affirmations that work for you. For example, on a physical level you would make affirmations that are specific, measurable, and doable. If you say, “I want to save more money”, that is a very vague affirmation. It is not specific, measurable, and doable. What can you do to achieve this affirmation? You can do so many things, and you’ll be thrown in many directions. There will be no focus.
Instead, you say “I will save $1000 a month from work and put it into a 401K to save towards retirement”. Now this is doable, it is specific, and actionable. You can say that such affirmations are lame because it doesn’t scale with your grand dreams and ambitions. But don’t rush a dream or goal. A journey of a thousand miles begin with the first step, so take one step at a time. Affirm slowly and build on them. But remember to be specific with your affirmations. If you don’t, then the mind can only be confused on what to do. You must have clarity before you act.
There are many strategies to employ affirmations. Some of them include using present tense to declare affirmations, envisioning that you already achieve your affirmations the moment you say them, and so much more. They are all helpful, and it is up to you to decide what works for you.
On a mental level, affirmations must align with you. You must be able to visualize what it is that you want and bring about the same emotions that you would feel if certain affirmations come true.
For example, if I say that “I am happy”, then I should be able to envision what it means to be happy. Even though this is a very vague affirmation, it doesn’t mean that I cannot bring this into my own experience whenever I want. If I take charge of my body and mind, then I can bring about this sensation of joy with every affirmation.
When you affirm something, it isn’t about saying a statement. It is about creating those affirmations within you. “I am blessed” or “I am loving”. These are all human qualities. They can be affirmed and brought out, but they require patient practice in an unwavering manner.
Unwavering in One Direction
Affirmations that work are not just some statement you say. They are a process that you go through. They are the projection of your desires manifested from uniting the physical and psychological aspect of yourself.
If you are unwavering in one direction, then your affirmations are not temporary. They are lifelong mantras that you live with, not just some statements you say and forget. A lot of people take affirmations as statements to boost their motivation so that they are energized enough to act. Once motivation is there, the affirmations are dropped.
I find this a big waste because affirmations are more than that. For example, affirming that you are happy isn’t a onetime ordeal. When you are affirming that you are happy, you bring about the feeling of happiness within you. You elevate your internal energies and focus it in one direction.
This isn’t something you do and give up once you achieve your goal. You do this repeatedly and if possible, every day of your life, for the rest of your life. This is the best usage of affirmation because if you truly want something to happen, then it must happen by your prerogative always.
In a sense, you are consciously and at every moment deciding that happiness and joy is your constant companion, no matter what. This kind of affirmation works because it is your choice. It is also something that you exercise all the time. It is not based upon external situations, and it will always strengthen your resolve because you are affirming it every moment.
If you do this often enough, then naturally it becomes an easy process to be joyful. Even success works like this. If you are unwavering in the direction of success, which is entirely defined by yourself, then your affirmations will work.
Unwavering in one direction means that it doesn’t matter if an affirmation works or not. If you are stuck with the idea that an affirmation must work, then you are missing the point. You will only look for solutions in words, while not knowing a single thing about yourself.
The reason I put so much focus on being unwavering in your affirmations is that people change direction all the time. If an affirmation doesn’t work right away, they pivot and change direction. If you do this many time, you won’t get anywhere.
If you truly want things to work, then you must be committed to your affirmations. Today your affirmations look like heaven, you stick to them. Tomorrow they look like hell, you stick to them. Whatever happens, you stick to them. Only when you stand by them, will you truly know the power of affirmations.