Do Affirmations Work? Yes, If You Know the Rules!

by Evelyn Jacob

“Do affirmations work?” is a very common question that all personal development teachers hear over and over. The short answer is, YES.

Think about it. All day long, you are talking to yourself. Whether what you say is positive and empowering or negative and disempowering, the point is, YOU LISTEN, you believe yourself, and you act on what you tell yourself. Therefore, what you tell yourself over and over again, with feeling, does imprint in your subconscious mind and it does influence your behavior.

For example, if all your life you’ve been telling yourself, “I’m no good at art. I can’t draw even the simplest thing!” then that is a command. With repetition you start to believe it, and so anytime you’re asked to draw something, you hesitate or refuse.

So based on all the negative self-talk you’ve been subjecting yourself to, with negative results, it stands to reason that if you shift your self-talk toward the positive end of the spectrum, your behavior and your results will change for the better.

Knowing that you DO listen to yourself, and follow through on your self-commands, here are some rules for saying the right affirmations in the right way, that will make them effective in creating a better life:

First, eliminate the word “affirmations” from your vocabulary if you’ve tried saying affirmations in the past and they didn’t work. You don’t want the negative connotation tainting what you are telling yourself. Let’s call it “self-talk” or “commands.” If you don’t mind the word, go ahead and use it.

Be in a happy frame of mind - exercise helps!And now, the rules:

1. Be in a relaxed and happy frame of mind. That’s not always possible, for example if you’re buried in debt, stressed out about it, and you want to change your financial situation. But you can do it. Exercise is one way to snap out of a negative mindset so that you can use positive feelings to drive your self-talk. If you’re stressed, your self-talk creates negative feelings and these in turn cause you to think more negative thoughts. Flip that switch! Go for a run, bike ride, walk, do some yoga, dance, hit the racquetball around, play some hoops… whatever – get those endorphins coursing through your body and then when you’re feeling great, do your self-talk (even during exercise, if you want!).

2. Focus only – emphasis on ONLY – on what you want. That is, think about the end goal and how incredibly fabulous you feel when you think about that goal. Never mention the current situation because every single mention or thought about it, only gives it that much more importance. Your subconscious mind’s job is to match your outer reality to your inner reality so don’t think about what you want to get away from… think only about what you want.

3. Feel it. In fact, you’re going to use these positive feelings to drive the idea “home” into your subconscious. The secret key is to be happy, and at the same time talk about how great you feel when you think about your goal. For example, “I love how I feel when I think about having a successful web design business!” or “I feel so good when I imagine helping women with career and business coaching!” or “I feel like I’m soaring, I’m so happy thinking about traveling the world as a photojournalist!”

Using feelings is the secret to moving past “what is” in your physical reality and allowing yourself to believe the “what is” that lies in your imagination… the “what is” that is already real in your mind and just needs to be brought into your physical reality.

The reason using feelings works because your subconscious mind has filters in place that disallow conflicting ideas to enter. That’s why affirmations like, “I am a successful artist” will work eventually, but it takes a LOT longer because your mind creates resistance to this idea based on what it already knows. However, the mind does not filter out feelings. So use the feelings as a carrier. It’s a sneaky way to imprint cool new ideas and beliefs into your subconscious mind!

4. Never mind “how.” That’s your subconscious mind’s job, so just let it do its work. Say your affirmations in the present tense, and let that idea “ferment” in your mind and solutions will come forth. You can always add, “or better” to any affirmation to open yourself up for a better alternative!

5. Never put timelines on your affirmations! Who’s to say it won’t happen sooner than you think? The fact is, unless your beliefs are in line with what you want, you won’t receive what you want. So be patient and work on those beliefs. Once they’re aligned vibrationally, manifestation can be quite spontaneous.

6. Practice daily. It took time to create self-defeating mental habits, so it will take time to create empowering mental habits – anywhere from 21 to 90 days to imprint a new belief. Do not quit before saying an affirmation feels natural and comfortable; it’s as natural to think this new thought as it is to wear your favorite pair of jeans. Embody your command with feelings, visualization and repetition.

7. Be happy now. Never wait until your desire manifests to be happy. That’s not how it works. You can’t attract happiness with unhappiness. The Law of Attraction only attracts what you vibrate. So be happy now! Be grateful for what is in your life right now, put a smile on your face and take that great feeling with you all day long.

8. Finally, take your wish for granted. That means, quit worrying about whether you’ll get it. Make it as part of your everyday existence as the dishes in your kitchen, the clothes in your closet, the furniture you sit on… make your desire an “already mine” feeling. Just expect it to come to you. If you’ve been faithful in saying your affirmations consistently, persistently and with feeling, those commands will NOT be ignored and whatever experience, thing or situation you want in your life, will manifest.

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