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★Where Affirmations are Falling Short

Affirmations have become flat, common, and ineffective. As people grow more skeptical, affirmations must evolve. With techniques focusing on their mechanics, as well as on your internal qualities instead of the external aims you desire, you can leave the paltry affirmations in the dust. You can experience the new generation of affirmations- the ones that have the power that you were promised. Below are three reasons why affirmations are due for an upgrade:

  1. Using Affirmations as an excuse to lie to ourselves: Deadbeat affirmations are being pedaled all over the world. But they are being sold to make their sellers rich, not to help you get what you want. If you want money or a car or something external, no affirmation relating to the external world is going to help you.

In fact, studies have shown that those types of affirmations are actually damaging. For example, “I can afford that vacation!” or “I am very wealthy!” fall flat when you have $3 dollars in your checking account! Lying isn’t going to work because of how difficult it is to emotionalize statements you know to be untrue. You may believe in a lie if its told to you enough. But you’ll stop long short of that point out of frustration.

Instead, affirmations should focus on inner resources that can result in external wealth. For example, affirmations that bolster your confidence and your willingness to take risks. It isn’t the affirmations or thoughts that attract the external stuff into your life. Its your actions (which are of course conditioned by your thoughts). Better people take better actions.

#2: Affirming is a weak act: In high school we learned the different type of sentences. Affirmations are declarative. They are statements of fact. But the more aggressive older brother of the declarative statement is the IMPERATIVE statement. To get someone to pass you the ketchup, you don’t say “I need the ketchup, and there it is right next to you.”(affirmation). You say,“Pass me the ketchup.”

Commands work better. Demands work even better than commands, because they are commands with insistence. The mind responds to commands better and faster than it does to affirmations. If you say, “I’m a good public speaker!” Three hundred times before a speech, it might make a difference, or it might not. But if you say, “I command my subconscious mind to put my brain into an incredible, energetic, state. I command myself to be the best speaker I can be, right now!” 50 times, you will definitely give the speech better.

Stop affirming, start invoking.

#3: They’re badly written: Most affirmations are catch-all, because the person writing them is trying to make the applicable to as many people as possible. But we all know that one of the cardinal rules of an SA is that it be personal in nature. Most people misunderstand this to mean that it must be phrased using a first person pronoun. That’s true, but also hopelessly incomplete.

In order for an SA to really work for you, it must become emotionalized. If you have to push yourself to say them, they’ll fail. The affirmation itself should be doing the work. Which means the text has to be designed to PULL you along. It has to be personally compelling for you. If its based on a calculation of something you SHOULD have or be, you’ll give up. Why would you bust your butt to force yourself into something that you don’t care about deep down?

Once you’ve worked about better subject matter for your affirmation, pick some POWER words. Nouns, verbs, adverbs if you must. Pick words that you like the look of and sound of, words that have a good texture in your mouth, words that mean something to you emotionally.

Another common mistake I see with affirmations is making them one short line. Why limit yourself like that? There’s nothing intrinsically exciting about saying the same one line over and over again. The affirmations that work best for me and my clients are multiple lines. They are four short pithy lines in the form of a rhyming verse. A quartet if you will.

They work better because they are FUN. You find yourself enjoying the act of saying them. You WANT to say them. You catch yourself saying them automatically, like a song stuck in your head. That’s how an SA gets results.

The bottom line is that common thoughtless affirmations don’t take root. They don’t get the job done, and you end up more frustrated than you were before. Take advantage of your words, of the form, and of the context to supercharge your affirmations into godlike mutant affirmations!

A few years back I started referring to these comprehensive, power-hitting affirmations as ‘prayers’, and it stuck. I’ve collected some of my favorites, as well as detailed more insights into the topics mentioned in this post in my recent book, found here: https://gumroad.com/l/zaDW

Until we Meet,
Penn Savage


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