A lot of the emails I get are related to affirmation usage. How to create an affirmation, how often to use them, the best ways to use them. This article is an attempt to answer a few of these questions for those that have wanted to ask but never got around to sending an email. It is an affirmation primer of sorts. Anyway, on with the questions.
How should an affirmation be formed?
Building an affirmation can be a complex process, but if you follow these four simple rules you are well on your way to creating affirmations that work. The rules are:
- An affirmation needs to be present tense
- An affirmation needs to be positive
- An affirmation needs to be personal
- An affirmation needs to be specific
Present tense means that you should write your affirmation as if what you are affirming is already a fact. An example: If you would like to be more confident, you would say ‘I am confident’ rather than ‘I will be confident’ This is important because the present tense ensures you act now, rather than putting it off till later. If you always use ‘will’ then later will never come, and the affirmation will not be effective.
Positive means focusing on what you want, instead of what you don’t want. It is sometimes very hard to phrase your affirmation like this, but it is important that you do. Your mind does not distinguish between positive and negative, so you need to flood your mind with the positive so it doesn’t get confused and go the wrong way. An example: Instead of saying ‘I am no longer anxious’ you would say ‘I am confident’ or something else more specific to your particular situation.
Personal means using the word I. You do not want to refer to an indefinite article, you need to refer to yourself. Many, but not all good affirmations start with the word I. There are cases where this isn’t appropriate, but prefixing your affirmation with ‘I’ is usually a good place to start.
Specific means that you should not use general affirmations. The example I have used above might be appropriate to you, but could it be more specific? If your particular issue is that you’re voice wanes when expressing your opinion then the ‘I am confident’ affirmation might work, but the affirmation ‘I share my opinions confidently’ might be more effective.
How often should I use affirmations?
If you want your affirmations to be effective you should use your affirmations whenever you can, at least a few times every day! I have a small notebook that I carry with me wherever I go. Whenever I have a spare five minutes I will take it out and either re-write them out, or at least read them out to myself. I use my affirmations every morning as a ritual. This is my morning jump start that sets the standard for the rest of the day. I also read my affirmations at night before I go to bed.
A really important time to use affirmations is when you need them. If your current affirmations are intended to resolve a confidence issue then you should use them whenever you feel your confidence wavering. No-one else needs to be aware of this! Take just a few seconds, take a deep breath, repeat your affirmations to yourself in your head, then address the situation with increased confidence and control.
Should I write my affirmations down?
Yes! As I mentioned above, I carry around a little notebook with me all the time. Whenever I get a chance I get out my notebook and a pen and re-write my affirmations in the back of my notebook. As a result of this my little notebooks don’t last very long, and their is a lot of repetition going on, but it works! It is a little like doing lines at school, maybe if the teachers made the lines positive instead of negative – ‘I am quiet when in class’ instead of ‘I wont talk in class’ – they would have been more effective!
There are times when I don’t have the time to write my affirmations down again, or I can’t find a solid surface, or I don’t have a pen, but because I have written them down so many times they are all there for me to read. Because of my dedication I don’t even need to read them, I know them by heart, but I think that seeing them on paper somehow makes them more real like they have materialized already. This is the reason that bmindful includes a print function!
Just a quick caution here, just because you have memorized your affirmations doesn’t mean that they are going to be effective. Repeating your affirmations like a robot isn’t going to get you the results you need. You need to say your affirmations with emotion!
Should I record my affirmations and play them back to myself?
There are plenty of people that recommend this practice. I have achieved success with affirmations without doing this, but different people learn differently. Certainly it isn’t a bad idea! The more you can make your affirmations a part of your life the more success you will have. These days you can pick up a microphone and mp3 player for a few dollars, so if you think this might help you out it isn’t worth not doing!
One particular situation where this might be useful is on the way to work. You might decide to recite your affirmations to yourself in your head, but all it takes is someone to break sharply in front of you in the car, or ask you the time on the train and your mind will wander. Playing your affirmations to yourself will ensure that your mind remains on track.
How long should I use my affirmations for?
You should use your affirmations until you no longer have a need for them! When what you are affirming is a part of your self, then you can stop using the affirmations. Some people make the mistake of stopping prematurely because they have encountered some success. Whilst congratulations is in order for making some progress, to use a cliche – a few wins in battle doesn’t mean you have won the war.
What do I mean by that? I mean that whilst you might have had success in one or two situations, you need to make sure it is deeply embedded in your subconscious. Only then can you be sure that the changes the affirmation has made will remain ingrained in yourself for the indefinite future.
How many affirmations should I use at one time?
There is a lot of debate on this topic, but my own personal opinion is that only a few affirmations should be used at a time. As I mentioned above, different people learn differently, but I know that personally I am no good at multitasking. Because of this, I use a few affirmations that address a few particular issues and use them until I have succeeded in making whatever it is that I am affirmation a part of my self at a deep subconscious level.
There are people that think otherwise. Process affirmations are one way of addressing many aspects of a particular issue and people have had a great deal of success with these. There are also bmindful users that are currently using hundreds of affirmations, so just know that there isn’t one right answer and you should try out a few different methods if what you are currently doing is not working for you.
This post was converted automatically from the old bmindful article archive. Some of the mentioned links or references may no longer exist.
“How easy it is in our life, to miss what’s being offered.” — Paul Haller