If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I use affirmation statements to help me reach my goals. So in this post I’ll share my affirmation routine, explain how I use affirmation statements, plus some do’s and don’ts about using affirmation statements. There are some things that you’ll need to to to make sure you get it right!
Before we get into all that, I felt it would be helpful to go over some basics about affirmation statements. I’m not an affirmations expert, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading about them and experimenting with them. I’d love to share my views and what I’ve learned so far!
What Are Affirmation Statements?
Affirmations are statements that reinforce what you want. If you repeat these statements to yourself, you’ll eventually create a new belief that’s desirable. Affirmation statements can be long or short (personally, I prefer using ones that are longer). They’re stated as if they’re certain and already true.
How Do Affirmations Work?
There are as many theories regarding the science behind affirmations as there are people who use them. I don’t claim to be expressing a foolproof, all-encompassing explanation of how the statements work. But I will share the information that convinced me to give affirmation statements a try. It all involves the brain’s selective filtering function.
This function filters through information in your environment before it’s processed by the conscious mind. It determines which things are important and which things you can ignore, so you won’t have to constantly feel overwhelmed. So basically, it’s your brain’s gatekeeper.
The filtering function is conditioned to perceive the things that are important to you, like things that will threaten your safety, or the sound of your name. But the rest of what the function lets you perceive is based on the things you focus on in your mind and the things you think about most of the time. For example, if you’re thinking about purchasing a new car, you’ll probably start noticing the ideal car for you everywhere. They’d been there all along; your filtering function has just brought them to the forefront of your attention!
This function relates to affirmation statements and goal-setting in that repeating affirmations trains your brain to focus more intently on your goals. When you’ve repeated your affirmation statements enough times, your brain will seek and let you process the information that’s going to help you to reach your goal, rather than disregard that information. You’ll start noticing opportunities that you wouldn’t have noticed before. You’ll meet people you never would have met before. You’ll start having ideas you never would have had before. And it will all feel quite effortless!
There are lots of other explanations about how affirmation statements work. The explanation I detailed is the most compelling one to me. I’ve tried it out regarding a situation at work, and it truly felt so easy. This is why my affirmation statement obsession started!
One more thing generally related to goals: creating affirmation statements requires you to be very specific about what it is that you want. Striving to be specific in your statement actually will help you achieve that goal, because people usually keep goals vague so they can avoid disappointment.
How Can I Create My Own Affirmations?
These are the steps I followed for creating affirmation statements to help me reach my goals:
- Be as clear and specific about your goal as you can be.
- Write a succinct statement that embodies your goal.
- Make sure that your statement includes certain and powerful language.
- Check that your statement doesn’t create any undesirable limitations or consequences.
- Make sure that your statement evokes positive emotions in you.
- Each day, write out your affirmation statement 15 times.
- Each day, spend time visualizing yourself achieving your goal.
- Let go of attachments to your statement, so you’re in a place of abundance as you work towards the goal.
For example, one affirmation I wrote and used with success is, ‘”I’ll celebrate the final day on my full-time job on June 30, 2015, or sooner.”
How Long Will It Take To Work?
The key to making affirmation statements work is repeating your statement. The more often you repeat your affirmation statement to yourself, the quicker it will turn into a subconscious thought. This is why I highly recommend that you take time focusing on your affirmation each and every day.
How long this will take to work depends significantly on the beliefs that your affirmation statement is facing. If you are using affirmation statements to assist you in achieving a major goal, it may take your brain a while to adjust to the new thought patterns. Of course there are other things that factor in to this too related to what kind of goals you’re trying to reach. Regardless, my advice to you is to commit to using affirmations for at least six months. That sounds like a long time. But that time will pass whether you’re using affirmations or not. So give it a try!
The Do’s and Don’ts of Affirmations
I recorded a podcast that details the do’s and don’ts of starting to use affirmation statements, so that you won’t make any major mistakes that could prevent the method from working. Be sure you listen to it to hear about the traps people commonly fall into when they’re using affirmation statements to reach their goals. Note that at some point or other, I’ve made nearly every one of those mistakes myself. They’re easy to make!
Learning how to use affirmation statements is a process that involves trial and error. I find it fascinating to hear about other people’s successes and failures, and details about what their affirmation statement routines are. Tell me about them in the comments section on this blog, or send me an email. I can’t wait to hear from you!