The first thing to keep in mind is that an affirmation is always positive. Anything else is simply negative self talk. Negative self talk is equally powerful but will only negate any attempts to positively impact our lives. What we want to do is use affirmations – or statements rather – to help shift our minds in ways that improve our lives.
Affirmations affect our energy, by transforming our vibe into a more positive one. By focusing consciously on what we want, as opposed to what we do not want, we strengthen certain neural pathways for our thoughts.
‘Affirmare’ is a Latin word, and translates as ‘to make steady, strengthen’. Employing an affirmation, you reinforce and strengthen the helpful positive thought that may manifest the shift you aim for.
The practice of affirmations consists of picking a positive phrase and repeating it in your mind. The key is to pick one that you really want to be true and, as you repeat it to yourself, feel that it is so. One example is, I feel peaceful, but do pick your own.
This article offers up some insights into why some affirmations might not work. It also dips into what can be done to adjust and bring about that much longed for inner transformation that also changes outer circumstances. The art of practising affirmations can go beyond the popular ‘always positive’ culture and can bring transformation of health, happiness and fulfilment on a profound level.
Affirmations do not Equal Bypassing
It is easy to belittle affirmations as a pseudoscience, as something that people want to believe in. They seem to fit into the category of a hype around staying positive. Our culture makes us look up at people, the so called modern-day ‘spiritual influencers’ who seem to have mastered life.
But why does the prevalent ‘culture of happiness at all costs’ causing people so much stress? Paradoxically, if used indiscriminately it can reduce both your happiness and your peace of mind. This is easy to understand if you think of an Instagram personality needing to always portray happiness and being ‘perfect’ – why put oneself under so much stress? To portray a certain image.
Also, I want to make it clear that I am not talking about bypassing troubling emotions; those always need to be addressed in a proper way. If experiencing a depression, you likely need professional support before you can use affirmations productively.
Golden rule #1:
Don’t fall for the illusion of affirmations from the place of your ego-mind.
I do want to share on the profundity and sacredness of keeping an affirmation practice. As long as it is not based on hype or false promises, it can truly demonstrate real, positive change.
Often the pseudoscience of affirmation makes you want to create that extraordinary lifestyle beyond material worries – a big house, the infinity swimming pool, the cool car, or the perfect holiday (what is ‘perfect’?). Essentially, your mind is seeking a trouble-free life. There is nothing wrong with living a ‘good life’ but ask yourself:
Does wealth and/or material goods or even ‘perfect experiences’ bring lasting happiness?
Is it realistic to wish for anything ‘perfect’? Even if we are talking about health or anything similar, challenges or flaws. Isn’t life made up of all kinds of experiences? And yes, sometimes we have to deal with loss in our lives whether it is an end to a relationship, marriage, losing a loved one or overcoming health issues.
If we continue to be led by the ego-mind, at some point the ‘perfected’ castle (our life) most likely will begin to crumble. It’s like building a house on a foundation which is neither stable nor secure.
Be mindful regarding what you affirm. It may come true.
Golden rule #2:
Always be gentle and kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
We all want to live a healthy, happy life and avoid suffering. That is why we practice affirmations. And yet it will serve us well to acknowledge that suffering is a natural part of the human experience.
A gentle pathway towards positivity and happiness is acknowledging how you feel. Always remember that it’s ok not to feel ‘on top’. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel.
Only when we feel what we feel can we transcend these emotions and make space for new emotions and feelings to enter our consciousness. There is no need to focus on what might be the cause of any of your misery, sadness, or disillusion; instead, do focus on how you want to feel, and then say it is so, firmly. Repeat. Repeat.
Affirmations, when correctly understood and practised help clear the path towards the kind of inner transformation that brings more joy, happiness and abundance to that solid base of your life.
“I allow myself to feel everything.” “I allow myself to become who I am here to become.”
The above is an affirmation I have been practising lately.
Golden rule #3:
Practised correctly, affirmations always initiate and sustain progress, even when we cannot feel or see any of it.
Do not give up too soon.
Many of us have ‘tried affirmations’ and, after a short while, dropped the practice due to lack of results.
We can break down the cycle of practising affirmations into three phases. Knowing about these three phases can help us sustain the practice even when we want to give up hope and stop.
Affirmations Practice – Three Phrases
Positively influencing the mind by expressing
We generally feel good when we express an affirmation, whether silently to ourselves or out loud (also to ourselves). On the other hand, at this early stage we easily get overrun by our conditioned minds telling us that ‘the affirmation doesn’t work. In short, make sure that you are indeed positively influencing your mind, not the other way around.
Rooting the affirmation in the body: Feel it
As I shared in an article here on Food for Your Soul, there is merit in bringing our growth focus closer to heart, and into the actual body. After some time of consistent and correct affirmation work (ideally it won’t feel like work but as a gift to yourself), you will start to feel the energy of the affirmation in your body. Your beingness is always aligned to your thoughts and the energetic vibration of your affirmation should have a positive impact.
For example, if your affirmation is, ‘I am happy’, as you express it, make sure to feel it at the same time. Real feeling can only be experienced through the body. As this vibration gets its footing and spreads throughout your body, you will start to enjoy the powerful sensation, unique to you. This, in turn, will create a fertile ground for more of the same.
Living the affirmation
The beginning of this phase means that the affirmation has ‘been installed’. You have rebooted your system and are experiencing, living, and expressing an entirely shifted state of being, as per your wish. As you note that you are established in ‘simply’ living the truth of your affirmation, which must in some way represent living your truth, you may want to affirm, “it works”, I have become my affirmation, I am happy (for example). Of course, you may slip out of it at times, but the dependence of that regular practice of this particular affirmation is no longer as needed as in the beginning; it’s as if your central point of balance has shifted entirely and you have rebooted your being.
Some Key Ingredients for Successful Affirmations
Affirmation practice is a powerful tool. Not only is it relatively simple and straightforward, it also comes free of charge. Look at it as a renewable energy that you plug into, recharging yourself. But let us look at some key ingredients that you do need to bring to the table.
As mentioned already, the first pitfall would be giving up too early due to not seeing evidence of positive affirmation-based manifestation. I too, am ‘guilty as charged’. Belief change takes time. Even when you want to give up, when your conditioned mind is telling you it is not working, continue. It is precisely by ignoring any ideas of self-defeat that you can override the programming of your ‘old’ self and step into your ‘new’ one. Keep repeating your affirmation for a minimum of 21 days.
If you are really struggling, remember that this means only that opposing energies are fighting for your attention. And this is precisely when you make progress. Solution: Keep on persevering.
Any one of us will feel resistance, if at different levels and intervals. If needed, add the affirmation, ‘I release a major hindrance on my path towards… (whatever your original affirmation entails).’ There is no need to know the hindrance.
See your ‘new’ self. Be that already. There is no other option, no matter how long time it will take. Keep going with your affirmation practice. I promise you that it will be worth it!
Do you remember struggling at school or university, to prepare for an exam? Or even fighting thoughts to give up on that grade, degree or career goal, altogether? Was there ever a time when you thought, “oh well, I can only keep doing my best, but I will keep going”? That is perseverance, but it is also surrender. It means knowing that I will keep doing my part here (practising affirmation by expressing a positive statement of myself or my life and already knowing it as truth which is the key) and leaving the results up to the higher power.
Since this is also a practice that helps overcome ego, it is more valuable than any high grade achieved, or graduation. Look at it as a spiritual test, a spiritual graduation of sorts.
A deep sense of knowing – it is a belief in the higher powers that guide you – can help you not only persevere but feel the joy of the transformation that awaits you. It can make any feeling of self-doubt and/or irritation bearable. Know that you have only to surrender to your own liberation. How do I know? Ask yourself how many of the big decisions in your life have truly come about by your own doing only. There is a higher power at your service. You just have to know it, believe it and tap into it.
When you know from that deeper inner place not only all will be good, but that all is good, that is when you have fully surrendered, not only to life but to your own complexities.
This is the stage when you open yourself to higher guidance that leads you to knowing who you truly are. Your innate state of being is one of deep peace, bliss or Ananda of Divine Love. It’s an experience which is deeply personal and beyond words. Trust! You will know.
The word discipline comes from the word disciple. So that means to ‘follow’, right? But who are you following here? You are following the higher guidance in you and stepping into the true you. We could say that it is all about sticking with it, trusting, and learning. But discipline, the word as it reads, also refers to being able to implement whatever structures are required to achieve the very success – that blissful state of being – that we are longing for. Remember what you are seeking is seeking you.
Think of it like this, if you have set the rules, why would you break them? What do you need to do, practically, to overrule those lazy / self-doubting / complex aspects of yourself?
As the disciple of your own truth, even if not yet fully sensed, you are opening yourself to a sacred space within your own being.
Remind yourself of all the times that you have overcome your own self -sabotaging ways. Perhaps it was when you committed to daily exercise for a full year, or when you didn’t eat sweets for a full month as a kid. Or only when you left that chocolate bar overnight. I am not saying that it is bad to eat that sweet, but I am sure you have sometimes overcome even the most intense temptation, knowing that it would be the best action to take in that moment.
I look at affirmations as the multiple doorways that I choose to open and step through in order to immerse myself into the full potential of myself, in this life. This work is my passion and I have already seen good results from applying affirmation in my daily life even though I was sceptical. I am not one for hype rather than being an explorer of the truth. I have discovered the sacredness of affirmations. That is why I have fallen in love with the practice or perhaps I have fallen in love with myself. Has my affirmation practice turned into a prayer and communion with my Higher Self?
Are you ready to create your affirmations and step into the energy of who you truly are?
– I invite my soul to be fully present in me now.
Ps. Join me on a 4-session Soul Journaling Journey where you are guided to the personal affirmations that can most help you in your life right now. You will learn to access the blueprint of your soul and work with affirmations that can guide your inner journey. More info HERE
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My name is Claudia, and I am the founder of Soul Luxury. Since my twenties I have had an interest in personal development. At the same time my career took me to the top of my industry. While pursuing material success little did I know that I was neglecting myself.
Fast forward 3 decades: I combine my business experience as a global executive in luxury hospitality with a lifelong interest in how our thoughts, beliefs and emotions impact our lives. Life is ever changing and so am I.
✨ I am an Explorer of Life, Visionary, Spiritual Mentor & Author and also a Retreat Facilitator and I much enjoy writing ✨ Increasingly I feel comfortable without ‘labels’. I work with people who want to make changes in their lives and run a community for soul visionaries. We meditate together, we do breath-work together and so much more www.soul-luxury.com