Saturday, April 11, 2009

Affirmations - Some work, Some Don't, WHY?

I am asked frequently if affirmations really work or why don’t affirmations work for me. Some ask if affirmations are the same as self talk. Let’s start with an example. When you finish this paragraph, get up and go do it then come back. Find a mirror. Stand in from of the mirror and look at yourself and say, “I am the world’s greatest tennis player” or “I am going to be the world’s greatest tennis player” or “I am going to become a great tennis player.”

If you were too lazy to really get the experience by doing it then just imagine that you did the exercise. Now, when you said the example affirmations, what happened? Did you hear that little voice in the back of your head? What did it say? You can comment back and let us know. It probably said something along the lines: “Yea, right, never” “Who are you kidding” “Like S..t” “Not in this life time” “Oh really” “What a joke”

The point being that while some of the affirmation examples given above seem to be more believable than others, they are all really unbelievable.

They are unbelievable because they are all IDENTITY STATEMENTS. They all say “I am.” This one small set of two words is the destruction of the affirmation or self talk. You can say “I am human.” Most brains will accept that as truth. You can say “I am a student.” If you are enrolled in an educational institution, then the brain will probably accept that even is you are a bad student or do not study. The brain may accept “I am a student” even if you are not enrolled IF you are active in a particular subject area and say that you are a student of “Nature” or “Human Nature” or “Martial Arts.” Otherwise it will reject this also.

The last affirmation above is probably believable for some on you as it emphasizes “going to become.” However, it fails because your intention has failed before. You have intended to do lots of things and they never happened; so what is one more.

So what are the keys for affirmations to work? First, no identity statements; on I am. Second, it must be believable by you. And by you, I mean, your greater mind, your subconscious, your inner self, what ever you want to call IT. Third, and totally missing from the above examples and examples I have seen everywhere, is a process instruction.

When the brain and greater mind gets a process instruction, gets direction, gets a goal and all are connected, then it will constantly work to achieve that result. Let’s take that same example and reword it.

Read this and go stand in front of that mirror again or for the first time and say it. Yes, listen for that little voice in the back of your head.

“You will obtain the foot speed and hand eye coordination to become a great tennis player”

“You will acquire the foot speed and hand eye coordination to become a first class tournament tennis player”

“You will acquire the backhand skills and serving skills to move up to the next level in local tennis club”

It is your serve. Comment with your goal and the affirmation that hasn’t worked. You can also include what you think might work based on this bit of information.