self confidenceAn affirmation is a positive self talk statement. They are usually goals – such as tangible things (to earn $xxxx a year) – where you can clearly say yes or no whether they have been achieved. But affirmations can also cover personal qualities – “to be a positive person” or “to have great self confidence”.

An affirmation is always stated in the present tense – “I am a positive person”, “I earn $200,000 a year”,” I have great self confidence”. The logic behind affirmations is that giving yourself positive messages, the mind starts believing it to be so. This is exactly the same principle as how negative thinking undermines us – being told repeatedly “you’re useless”, we believe it to be true.

Affirmations won’t work unless you repeat them to yourself with conviction. The more real and tangible you can picture them, the easier it becomes for your mind to take this on as reality. If you immediately follow an affirmation with “that’s never going to happen, who am I kidding” – well, it won’t happen.

What you are doing is trying to reprogramming your unconscious mind. Another way of looking at is thinking of the mind as a computer. If you change the input, the output will change accordingly. Or, to quote Henry Ford:-

“If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

As I have referred to before, positive self statements act internally, not externally. Whilst some believe that by thinking, you can “attract” things into your life as if your thinking has influenced others to act in a certain way. But by changing your thinking and altering your belief system, you will change the way you behave. So if you start behaving in a positive, confident way, and work hard as if you are worth that $200,000 a year salary – then others will react differently towards you, and you may “attract” job offers that reflect the new you.

Affirmations, if written correctly, should stir up the emotions and shouldn’t make it that difficult to believe. Obviously they need to be realistic. I don’t have an affirmation “I have won an Olympic gold medal for 100 metre running”, or any gold medals for that matter! Not only would this be totally unachievable, whatever I thought, for me winning medals has never been that important. Likewise for me “I earn £100,000 ($200,000) a year”, isn’t an affirmation as I’m not driven by money and don’t want to be.

So before you draw up affirmations, do think about what you really want from life first.

Holli Jo September 10, 2007 at 6:14 pm

Thanks for this post, it’s very helpful for forming affirmations. I have recently become interested in affirmations, and have really felt a difference in my day when I use them.

Thanks again for sharing.

The Writers Manifesto September 11, 2007 at 2:43 am

Great post David,

In the past I always wondered why my affirmations didn’t seem to work. Only later I understood the process and that unless I truly believed them myself they wouldn’t work.

The mind is like “yeah right, how can you possibly think to make a lot of money, you are a just an average jo”. So naturally I failed in manifesting things.

When I started to affirm myself free car parking spaces where I needed them and green traffic lights, that worked. Because they were tangible enough for my subconsciousness to believe.

Since then I have gradually moved on to more powerful affirmations. But I don’t repeat them loud, I just think them over and over in a positive frame of mind.

It seems to work 😉

David September 11, 2007 at 11:00 am

I still see affirmations as just changing us internally – there is no external force that makes traffic lights turn green, etc. What I think happens is when we use affirmations correctly, we see the world more positively and positive things register more readily in our conscious, a sort of positive filter. Normally people tend towards a negative filter – for example, if you do something and several people praise you, but one is slightly critical, with a negative filter you only pick out the criticism. Positive affirmations have the effect of helping to focus on the positivies (the praise), not the negatives, and see the world more brightly. David

The Writers Manifesto September 14, 2007 at 2:10 am

I see what you are saying. I’m a strong believer in the law of attraction. So if we think positively, good things happen to us.

The same is with negativity. Like you said, it does come from within, but magnetism plays in my eyes a huge role.

Gee, at least until somebody designs that remote control for traffic lights anyway. 😉

David Dann October 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm

I quite agree about the law of attraction.

We’re so convinced about positive affirmations that we have set up a service to create mind movies for people! No we’re not millionaire grabbers… we’re teachers. We have looked at most of the Positive Mental Attitude programmes and have come to the conclusion that some are just on a band wagon for cash. We are trying to cover our costs to help folk. If I become loaded I’ll let you know. I’m more interested about having a peaceful life. Before I discovered the LOA (Law of attraction) I had had 6 deaths, 3 in the family 2 friends and a colleague plus a near fatal car crash. Now I rehearse with my rock band, am changing careers and am totally relaxed. That has not required me to be a millionaire. That is where these programmes go wrong. They prey upon greed. WRONG! It’s how you feel, how you are grateful and then what you wash your positive feeling over (ie the things you really want.). IN the LOA Bob Proctor asks, ‘What do you really want?’ This is the most difficult question to answer. Think carefully. I did. Find you ambition and then hit it hard. Love what you do and do what you love.

Just to give you some idea of the my PMA working…. I’ve played music across the UK, had a fab teaching career and now live in the country with a lovely view, life and no stress. I’ve also been able to take a year off work. Have a look at it’s fab.


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