Since affirmations first became popular a few decades ago, there has been a lot of confusion and disagreement about how they should be used. You’ve probably heard some of this advice from experts before: affirmations must always be stated in present tense; they must be repeated 100 times each day; they must be spoken aloud; they must never include negative words like won’t or can’t…
There are good reasons for this well-meaning advice, and in certain cases it may be helpful. But I have found that these “rules” are not always required to make affirmations work for you. In fact, sometimes affirmations can work BETTER if you ignore the so-called “rules” that most people insist upon.
Let’s look at a few examples of common affirmation myths:
Myth #1 – Affirmations must always be stated in present tense.
The reason why most affirmations are stated in present tense is so that you will start feeling as if your desire is already a reality now. For example, you might say, “I am fit, healthy and strong,” rather than, “I will be fit, healthy and strong.” That makes sense, right?
However, sometimes using present tense stirs up a lot of resistance. You just don’t believe it, so the affirmation won’t work for you. Using FUTURE tense can help make an affirmation more believable, and therefore more effective. If you were to say, “I am fit, healthy and strong,” but you don’t FEEL fit, healthy or strong, your mind is going to reject that affirmation. It just doesn’t feel true for you. Instead, if you were to say, “I am becoming healthier and stronger every day,” or “I am willing to feel stronger and healthier right now,” you might have an easier time absorbing the message.
Key insight: If an affirmation in present tense stirs up negative feelings, it’s too strongly worded for you! Adjust the wording so that it feels better, and it will be easier to believe and absorb.
Myth #2 – Affirmations need to be very specific.
You may have heard that affirmations need to focus specifically on a certain outcome you want. For example, “I easily earn $10,000 a month,” rather than, “I am financially successful.”
This is true ONLY if the specific outcome doesn’t contradict your current situation too much. Sometimes when you get too specific, you highlight the discrepancy between the words you are saying and the reality you are living. If you are currently struggling with some serious financial problems, the last thing you want to do is recite a specific financial affirmation! That will only make you feel worse.
Instead, in a case like that, being more general can ease the resistance and help you feel more optimistic. Some good general affirmations for a difficult financial situation might be: “I am willing to start allowing more money into my life,” or “I am ready to allow financial solutions now.”
Key insight: Be specific ONLY when it doesn’t stir up negative feelings. Otherwise, if an affirmation makes you feel bad, try making it softer and more general in its focus.
Myth #3 – Affirmations need to be spoken aloud.
You may have heard that affirmations work best when they are spoken aloud, but sometimes it’s not easy to do that. If you don’t live alone or you are otherwise surrounded by people much of the time, you may not want to advertise the fact that you are using affirmations.
I have found that affirmations can work just as well if they are mentally recited or written down rather than spoken aloud. However, because our thoughts move much faster than our spoken words, it’s helpful to mentally recite an affirmation very slowly and deliberately, while focusing on the words just as you would when speaking aloud. If you allow your mind to move too fast, you won’t be focusing too intently on the affirmations so your results may not be as impressive.
Key insight: Take your time when focusing on an affirmation. Really tune in to the words and the essence of the feeling behind the words. The more keenly you focus on the concept, the more easily you will absorb the new message.
When you start working deliberately with affirmations, you quickly realize that there are no “carved in stone” rules for using them. Different techniques will work better for some people, and not for others. The key is to practice and find out what works best for YOU.
You’ll Never Look at Affirmations the Same Way Again!
Affirmations are one of the most powerful personal development tools you can use to change your life, but they MUST be used in the right way to be effective!
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