Have you ever placed a note in the bathroom mirror, like, “I am successful. I am free.” I have. And it just doesn’t seem to work? And for every affirmation that doesn’t work, there seems to be one that does work? What’s going on?
I can tell you that I’ve found both instances to be true in my experience. Ever since I was a kid, I was trained to think that affirmations especially when written big and clearly and posted on the wall, are supposed to work. Like “I am confident.” Or better still at that time when I was schooling, “I love math.” Well I didn’t suck at math, but I was just, well, ok. Friends who posted many things on their walls began to tell me after a few weeks, “Hey, I don’t think those affirmations work.”
For the longest time, I was really baffled. Not to mention frustrated too, when they didn’t work. After all, I put all my heart and soul into repeating them over and over again, all day every day!
Some twenty years later, again, when I was more focused into the spiritual practice, again, a friend asked me, “How is it that it works sometimes only?” Clearly, some affirmations backfired big time, and some helped big time too. Then it came to me to give my 2 cents from my own trial and error (with less errors and more positive outcomes as time went by, happy to say).
Here’s what I’ve found.
The secret to using affirmations successfully is, to be in a place of being able to truly believe in what you’re saying. If you’re too far off what you’re saying, it will go against you, for even though the affirmation may sound appealing intellectually, in the back of your mind you could be fighting it due to unconscious programming. But if it does resonate and sound true for you, then the chances of it working for you, are vastly increased.
So, next time you want to take home an affirmation and practice it, I’d recommend, first become aware of how you feel when you say it out loud or in your mind. Does it ring true for you or not? Do you truly feel comfortable with it? If you’re not comfortable with it, play with tweaking it so that it does sit well with you.
For example, if you were impressed by the affirmation, “My life is joyful,” and yet if you feel like most of the time, you are feeling overwhelmed, then don’t worry about forcing this particular affirmation down your throat if it doesn’t feel right. Instead, here’s what you can try something along these lines:
– “I am open to finding moments of joy in my life.”
– “Joy is possible for me as I do recall there have been quite a few events that I’ve felt joyful about.”
– “I’m willing to open up to new thoughts that authentically bring more and more joy to me over time.”
– “I’m willing to be easy with myself and let myself feel open whenever possible. I know this will bring me joy.”
Again, the key here, is don’t over think it. Just allow yourself to feel how each of these statements ring true for you or not, and pick the one that resonates most authentically for you.