Affirmations are easy to lampoon. Many
people's first exposure to
affirmations was Al Franken's Saturday Night Live character Stuart
Smalley, chirping "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it
- People LIKE me!"
Standing in front of the bathroom mirror and
telling yourself you're
healthy, wealthy and/or happy may seem ridiculous to some - surely just
saying something over and over doesn't make it so. Can it really work?
No one denies negative
Everyone has heard that a parent can damage
a child by continually
telling them they're stupid, lazy, worthless or ugly. If you hear
negative things about yourself from someone you love and trust, of
course you start to believe them. Undoing the damage of these early
messages keep any number of psychiatrists in business.
So why is it so hard to believe that
positive affirmations can work
Many affirmations are simply people's
attempts to undo the early
negative programming that is effecting their lives. "I am so
pretty!" or "I'm important to people who matter" is just one way of
trying to overcome the effects of bad programming.
But often, people set themselves up to fail
by how they
For affirmations to be effective, they must
be couched in positive
language, and in the present-tense, even if the present-tense statement
is not yet true. It's easy for negative language to creep in, so write
your potential affirmation down and study it to make sure you don't
have a hidden negative in there.
"I'm losing weight" - the verb is 'lose',
which is a negative.
Change to "I'm increasing muscle mass" or "my stamina and endurance is
increasing every day" or "I'm gaining healthy eating habits."
"I don't crave chocolate" - the verb is
'crave' and 'crave
chocolate' is what your mind is going to latch on to. Change to "I
crave fresh fruit and crunchy veggies."
- "I am energetic and productive."
- "My work is admired by everyone who sees
- "I am a good friend and a wonderful
- "I am surrounded by people who love me."
Select the affirmation(s) you want to
concentrate on. Write them
down and keep them near you. Say them, either silently or aloud,
several times in the morning. Repeat them before you go to sleep. Chant
them while alone driving in your car. You may find yourself 'arguing'
with your affirmations. "I am surrounded by people who love me... oh
yeah? then why do those kids sass me back every chance they get?" and
so on. Silence your inner critic by saying your affirmation louder.
Shout it if you have to, to get the critic that lives inside all of us
to shut up.
You can change your life by changing your
attitude about yourself.
But what about changing your place in the universe? That's the subject
of my next article: Affirmations for Wealth and other Tangible Things.