Tag Archives: Affirmations

The Hermit-1In a past article I covered many of the dynamics behind how an affirmation works mingled with some of the operating rationale behind the process. But sometimes more is needed to give you clear signposts in a checklist making sure that what you’re putting into operation is actually working with the laws of attraction and that you’re utilizing all the potential that a properly framed affirmation can give you.

For most people, an affirmation simply becomes a verbalization of a wish or desire with an assumption and hope that enough repetition will produce it. Granted, repetition will intensify any focus we might put out into the universe through increasing its attraction to us but, more importantly, how we end up putting it together often contains factors that actually work against what it is that we’re seeking. And then, when we include the vague and irrational components of hope or assumption, we let go of our clarity totally diffusing its energy and power and our affirmation simply falls flat. For an affirmation to be effective it must have clarity, force and enough energy behind it to replace the inertia of the circumstances that are already being held, by us, in place. The key is in our replacing the circumstances not opposing them.

Concentration-11. Focus ONLY on what you want. This is probably the hardest thing for us to do. Why? Stop and consider. When you say what you want, how do you usually phrase it? You almost inevitably say, “I want…but…” That but is the killer. It pulls conflicting conditions into what you’re saying about what you want. Let me explain.

Our mind is a very powerful tool and the subtleties of its operation are just as effective and operate by the same laws as its obvious mechanisms. Just because we don’t recognize them as such has no effect on diminishing their influence. So when we say “I want…” we’re giving the universe a very clear message. However, when we do what most people do, we say or think “I want…but…” which becomes death null for any projection of energy. Why? Because by adding but we split the energy of our projection into opposing forces causing a stalemate and maintaining the absence of what is desired. There is what we want and the but. Want + but = stalemate. They essentially cancel each other out. Affirmation; dead in the water.

When we acknowledge what might be working against us, we augment its influence. The Chinese have been known to say, “To acknowledge our enemy gives them power over us.” There is also an old Shamanic story that is told to a youth by an elder which illustrates how dynamic where we apply our energy is. When the elder tells the youth, “A good wolf and bad wolf both live within a brave’s heart,” and then asks, “Which one will win?” When the youth is unable to answer, the elder tells him, “The one that we feed will be the one that wins.” If we acknowledge and follow no other laws in the universe, we should know that energy follows thought and our attention directs that energy. Even Jesus knew and said, “As a man thinketh, so he is.”

So, the next time you tell someone what you want, listen to yourself. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts your first pass at stating what you want will include the infamous but. You’re really going to have to work on this one. It’s a very hard habit to break and it’s going to take a lot more energy and concentration than you think to push it out of your vernacular. If you can’t do this one, no amount of focus, phraseology or repetition will overcome your own projected resistance. Speak only what you want.

failure-success-road-12. Any affirmation used must allow for the possibility of success AND failure for the mind to believe in the potential for change. If in an affirmation we tell ourselves, “I am a confident and competent person,” and we really don’t believe it, how effective do you think this affirmation will be? What we feel and believe about ourselves has everything to do with what it is that we attract into our lives. If at our core we truly believe that we’re not competent or confident, how much truth do you think our mind will see in an affirmation that states that we are? There’s a gap as large as the Grand Canyon between what we’re telling ourselves and what we actually believe.

If our spoken affirmation is too far off what we truly feel or believe about ourselves, our reality based mind can’t accept the tremendous gap between the two. This, again, will create an internal conflict and lock up the energy applied to the affirmation. It, again, becomes a stalemate. In other words, the mind cannot accept the validity of any sweeping and, obviously contradictory, affirmation. Again, affirmation dead in the water.

So, rather than affirming that “I am a competent and confident person,” better to say, “Each day that I work on being more competent and confident I am growing stronger and stronger.” The key is that this phraseology allows for the possibility of defeat but focuses on our wanted progress which allows for the uncertainty of doubt. The mind can accept a balance over a one sided argument.

Glasses & Clarity-13. Be clear on what you want and phrase it in a proactive frame. One of the biggest difficulties that we have, especially in our Western culture, is that most of us phrase what we want in terms of what we don’t want. Perhaps we do this because we’ve been subliminally trained that we are to be considered selfish if we state what we want outright. Hence, we couch what we want in terms of what we don’t want so others around us may not feel threatened. This may sound illogical, but we feel that our indirectness makes us less accountable if someone is either offended or incapacitated should we get what it is that we want. It’s almost like those of us who are self-conscious have an aversion toward expressing ourselves openly for fear of criticisms or accusations of selfishness or having a lack of compassion for the “shortages” of what others might feel.

Regardless of the rationale behind why we phrase what we want in the negative, it’s very important to understand that the universe does not recognize, use or accept the concept of don’t, not, can’t, won’t or any variation of a negative connected to a desire or an action. All it hears is the action or want and fulfills it without the negative. So, if we were to say, “I don’t want to be lonely,” the universe only hears “I want to be lonely” and we get more of the same circumstances that contribute to our feeling lonely. Realize that any negative projection creates resistance in the energy flow. Verbally, we essentially use don’t as a wall or a blockage toward what we feel is undesirable. This may seem totally bonkers but it’s only what the mind understands and has no bearing on what the universe actually does.

Power of Now-14. Phrase your affirmations in the present tense. Phrasing your affirmation in terms of the past or the future has a finality or a feeling of, “This is as far as I can go or as far as I’ve been able.” They stop the energy dead in its tracks. When we say, “I have become more…” or “I will be more…” the statements are static, unmoving, and dead. There’s a prevailing assumption that there is or was no more potential for further change or movement. When we focus our affirmation on the present, it becomes dynamic, alive and moving. Better to say, “I am becoming more…” or “My life is changing…” Focusing in the present channels the energy into dynamic and presently occurring action not just a memory (past) or potential (future).

Thesaurus-15. Change up the phraseology often. When we repeat an affirmation over and over with the same words and cadence, the rhythm and the cadence start becoming wrote or automatic. When something becomes automatic we tend to lose the contextual feeling and the meaning that originally powered the affirmation. It becomes mindless. When we no longer feel the context, the energy diminishes and the affirmation loses the potency of its edge and its power. We’ve all noticed the “fall off,” if I can call it that, from when we’ve begun an activity we’ve really had an urge or a taste for all the way to the time when we conclude the activity. The feeling of novelty eventually wears off and it then feels like we’re just going through the motions. When we no longer feel the novelty or context, our loss of feeling and enthusiasm no longer empowers the affirmation. When this occurs we lose momentum and, more importantly, we tend to forget what our original intention felt like. Changing up the words we use makes it new, fresh and exciting. This renews its energy, power and effectiveness.

Faith-16. Have faith in the process. Expect your progress in small bite sized pieces not in larger than life sweeping assertions. When we learn to use any new tool we don’t immediately become masters at handling it. It takes, time, persistence and practice in using it and developing the refinement of its use. In the same way, when we change any of our internal habits or abilities, they happen intermittently until the new pattern takes a consistent form holding a place in our daily routine. Ask yourself, do you lose all your weight dieting overnight? Do you stop smoking and immediately reduce the urge and all the life cues that contribute to its occurring? No. They all occurred gradually. Affirmations function the same way. They are simply a tool or vehicle for bringing about change.

Any major change in our life that has any permanence occurs slowly over time. Remember, some patterns may have taken a lifetime to develop. If you’re attempting to change a pattern that you’ve either been taught or have allowed to develop over the years, expect a reasonable amount of time for its replacement pattern to take hold. Celebrate your small successes as they come. Express appreciation for them. Appreciation “greases” the wheels of the universe. And more importantly, don’t cave in at the first setback. There will probably be plenty. Just have faith that your consistency and carefully applied focus will win out.

Zen-117. Lastly, one of the most important factors in implementing any affirmation is clarity of focus. The trouble with most of us humans is that we tend to attach all types of conditions to what we want and how we want it to manifest. We cannot control how the universe will bring us what we want. When we do, we end up blocking what we want and getting in our own way with our conditions while what we want might be just around the corner but coming to us by means that we simply don’t expect.

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So much has been proffered and promoted about affirmations as being an energetic path toward realizing our desires and ambitions. Yet, little is understood about how they actually work. Most of us share a common belief that if we say something enough times, it will slowly come to pass. This is only partially true. There are other dynamics at work that can either augment the effects of that practice or weaken it if not totally extinguish its effects. Let’s take a look at what we think we are working with as compared to what is actually happening when we use an affirmation.

affirmationsThe simplest definition that I can offer is that an affirmation is the verbalization of a wish or desire with the assumption and hope that enough repetition will produce it. This seems simple enough but we must realize that there are factors that we must consider and understand for this to work for us.

First, if we are choosing to use an affirmation we must realize that, most likely, it is to have or be something that we feel that we are either lacking or unable to be or accomplish. This feeling may be conscious or unconscious. The unconscious feeling is the one we will find the hardest to ferret out and recognize. The conscious ones are those that we can understand “straight up.” The problem with an affirmation arises when what we really feel and believe about ourselves is too far off from the affirmation and our intended change. Let’s use a simple and common example.

There are a great many people that feel and believe that they lack the competence and confidence to accomplish a goal that they might wish for themselves. The goal, whatever it might be, is not as important as the feeling we have about ourselves that triggers the desire for the affirmation. Feeling doubtful about our competence is a lot less damaging than feeling overtly incompetent. Our rational mind recognizes the difference and will direct energy and support effort toward the doubtful while assuming that we still have the potential for “adjustment” but sees an overt feeling of incompetence as being a hopeless investment. So, affirming that “I am a competent and confident person” and feeling its opposite not only cuts off the energy toward becoming competent but serves to reaffirm the feeling of incompetence confirming for it deeper and more powerful roots.

OverconfidentAny affirmation that we use must allow for the possibility of success and failure for the mind to see the potential for “adjustment.” So, rather than affirming that “I am a competent and confident person,” better to say, “Each day that I work on being more competent and confident I am growing stronger and stronger.” This phraseology allows for the possibility of defeat but focuses on our wanted progress which allows for the uncertainty of doubt.

The active principle behind using an affirmation is that the affirmation focuses the energy consistently toward our desired goal or as meta-physicians describe it, “staying positive.” On the flip side of this perspective, when we verbalize our perceived short-comings and inadequacies,tug-of-war-1 our energy is fed into the resistance we feel toward accomplishing what we want or hope to do or become. Our desire then gets locked in an energy "stalemate." Of this the Chinese have been known to say “to acknowledge our enemy gives them power over us.” There is also an old Shamanistic story that is told to a youth by an elder. When the elder tells the youth, “A good wolf and bad wolf both live within our hearts” and asks, “Which one will win?” When the youth is unable to answer, the elder tells him, “The one that we feed will be the one that wins.” If we acknowledge and follow no other laws in the universe, we should know that energy follows thought and attention directs energy.

There is another understanding that I’ve learned that I’d like to impart. It’s that the difference between Self-Talk and affirmations is that the Self-Talk is dynamic and that the affirmation becomes static through becoming wrote or ritualistic. Let me explain.

When we repeat an affirmation over and over with the same words and cadence, the rhythm and the cadence start becoming wrote or automatic. When something becomes automatic we tend to lose the contextual feeling and the meaning that originally powered the affirmation. It becomes mindless. When we no longer feel the context, the energy diminishes and the affirmation loses the potency of its edge and its power. We’ve all noticed the “fall off,” if I can call it that, from when we’ve begun an activity or action we’ve really had an urge or a taste for all the way to the time when we conclude the activity. The feeling of novelty has worn off and it feelsenergy-follows-thought like we’re now just going through the motions. When we no longer feel the novelty or context, the feeling stops powering the affirmation. When this occurs we lose momentum and, more importantly, we become less conscious of what our original intention felt like. Like the law that energy follows thought we can also say energy follows feeling.

When we do an affirmation it is important to maintain an awareness of the feeling behind it so it continues its momentum of power and effect. If your affirmation has lost its “umpf,” change it up periodically by phrasing it slightly differently and by changing the words and cadence. When you do this it will regain “novelty” by sounding and feeling fresh and different enough to get you to pay more attention to its focus and intent. In this way your refocusing becomes dynamic as opposed to static in a constant process of evolving the energizing of your desires.

Lastly. Phrase your affirmations in the present tense. That is, don’t say, “I have become more…” or “I will be more…” But say, “I am becoming more…” Focusing in the present channels the energy into action not just a memory (past) or potential (future).

So, to recap: focus in the present tense. Allow more for your success and failure in its phraseology. Change up the words and cadence to keep it fresh and focused and speak of your progress in small bite sized pieces not in larger than life sweeping assertions that your mind can’t accept the logic behind. Hopefully, these tips will help. Affirmations do work but only in certain situations and we must craft them carefully so they don’t backfire on us. Enjoy and keep it simple.