Whether you realise it or not everybody uses affirmations, they are a part of our everyday self-talk. Whenever you make a judgement about whether you can or can’t achieve a task you are using an affirmation.
This includes all the simple things like your ability to eat breakfast on a morning, you know you can do it and every morning when you eat breakfast you affirm to yourself you breakfast eating capabilities.
The problem with these types of affirmations is that in many cases they’re unconscious. You don’t think about them, you just do them. This is all well and good for something like eating breakfast but what if it’s a negative affirmation and is preventing you from achieving your dreams.
The type of affirmation I’m referring to is on those occasions when you hear the words in your mind ‘ I can’t do that’. What’s worse is these words often pop into your head when you’re first confronted with a difficult situation, before you’ve even attempted to overcome the challenge, paralysing you into inaction. After you’ve said these words to yourself enough times they be-come engrained in your mind and you start to believe them.
After a few years has passed you by and you’ve developed the skills needed to handle the sit-uation with ease this ingrained affirmation will still prevent you from even attempting it despite now being more than capable enough to handle the situation.
In order to overcome those negative beliefs, you can install positive affirmations to replace the old ones. Creating effective positive affirmations can be quite tricky, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. I’ve listed below some tips to help you construct your own affirmations.
Affirmations should always be constructed in the present tense using words like “I am” instead of “I will”. Using the present tense pre-supposes that you already have the types of behaviours necessary to achieve what it is you’re setting out to do. Saying “I will”, presupposes you don’t yet have those capabilities and you have no idea when, if ever you’ll have those capabilities. When constructed in this manor your affirmations will fail.
Affirmations must always be stated in the positive and be centred around your desired outcome. Affirmations should never contain anything you don’t want. Whatever you focus on you’ll gravitate towards.
If you want to stop smoking the affirmation should not even contain the word smoking, if it does that’s what you’ll move towards. In this situation, your affirmation should centre around the desired outcomes of a non-smoker, clean lungs for example. Smoke free lungs won’t work because again you’re mentioning the undesired behaviour in the affirmation.
For affirmations to be effective they must be precise. You must state exactly what it is you want to achieve. Woolly, generalised affirmations will not work. If what you’re attempting to achieve is quite general then you need to split it down into its individual parts and craft your affirma-tions around each of them. No matter how long your affirmation is if it’s not precise it won’t work.
The next thing you need to consider when crafting affirmations is how they move you. They must have the emotional hold over you to move you action. Without the emotional connection to your affirmations they will be completely ineffective.
Ideally you will make your affirmations punchy, cut out as many words as you can. The need to be succinct, you may find your affirmations need to contain quite a lot of content and words surplus to requirements are just taking up time.
Finally, your affirmations need to be achievable. By achievable I mean is it possible, has it been done before. The whole point of affirmations is the change your beliefs about what’s realistic, realistic and achievable are two different things. Realism is a self-imposed barrier, achievable in an externally imposed barrier.
To review, there are a few secret ingredients for crafting effective affirmations, these ingredients are using ‘I’, stating what you want, leaving out what you don’t want, they must be precise, emotional, punchy and achievable. If you follow these seven rules you’ll be able to create un-believably powerful affirmations.
The final step once you’ve finished them is to recite them every day. This must be done with conviction and it must also be congruent with the affirmation. If your affirmation is ‘every day in every way I’m getting stronger and stronger’ you must feel strong whilst reciting it. Engage your whole body, say it with power and confidence.
You should start to see measurable effects after about four weeks. You may notice them before this but it usually takes about four weeks to create a new habit and that’s what you’re trying to do with affirmations. You’re trying to create new habits, new habits for feeling strong, feeling confident and taking action. Most of what people do is habitual and affirmations are an excellent way of creating new ones that will aid you instead of hindering you throughout the rest of your life.