Decades ago, Louise L Hay wrote a best-selling book called, You Can Heal Your Life, on using affirmations to improve your life. She had specific positive statements to relieve almost every mental. emotional and physical condition. Admittedly the book has helped lots of people to take a more positive approach to personal challenges. It has assisted millions of people but its promise for a cure-all panacea has fallen short.
For some these affirmations have worked remarkably well and for others they have not. Why is this?
Conceive – Believe – Achieve
Well here is my take on why sometimes affirmations do not work. Let me refer to one of the first bibles of success psychology Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. He proposes a simple mantra for attainment: “What you can conceive and can believe you can achieve”. In other words, if you have a well-defined goal and are confident you can attain it then you can reach it.
Examining this statement is the key to where our use of affirmations can breakdown. If a person has a clear goal and articulates it in the form of an affirmation, for example “I have a new job in a small wonderful advertising firm where I am fulfilled and financially prosperous by January 2021” and they repeat this over and over again, they have taken the right first step. But then for some reason the opposite happens. They get fired from their old job, must give up their apartment and live with their parents.
The good luck they were hoping for turns to bad. They take the defeat personally and berate themselves concluding there is something wrong with themselves because they could not get the affirmations to work when they read about so many success stories in the book.
What has happened here?
There is a breakdown in the second step. In their hopeless situation of a terrible job, they were affirming a goal they did not consciously believe they could achieve. Their subconscious mind, which responds more to feeling, felt the opposite (I cannot get what I want). As a result, the negative belief is what got enhanced and the situation that was attracted was consistent with the negative subconscious belief.
Lack of belief was the problem.
If that is the case, what is the solution?
There are two solutions to this:
Create an affirmation you can believe in by thinking of an intermediate goal that you know you can accomplish, that moves you towards the larger goal. Then affirm that, for example: “By the end of this week, I have made an appointment with a career counsellor.”
When you have reached that goal, then create another goal for your next step. As you experience success achieving the smaller goals you will develop a belief that you can reach the larger goal. Then you can start affirming the larger goal.
On a file card write this affirmation and fill in the blanks: “I am finding my way to _____________ (insert larger goal) by ____________(date). Say this over and over to yourself several times a day.
This a great affirmation because almost anyone can believe they are finding their way and it can be applied to any goal. It is universal.
Then when situations or people in your life appear to help you or give direction, explore the possibilities. You will find that the path to your goal starts to open up and as a result you will develop more confidence that you can achieve your desires.
I have used this statement many times for many years and it has helped get me through the darkest times of my life. It is an amazingly simple technique and magical in its effectiveness. (The good thing is you don’t need to buy a whole book of affirmations.)
Try these out and see how they work.
This is a basic understanding of how to get affirmations to work.
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Be you to fullness