If you’ve been a student of self-help and personal development for a while, then you probably know what affirmations are. They are a staple of personal development.
Just to be clear and for those who might not know, let’s define what an affirmation is.
An affirmation is a form of self-talk in which you use your conscience mind to influence and change your subconscious mind. You can look at this as a way of “re-programming” yourself by changing your negative subconscious “programming.”
A classic example of an affirmation is the one Charles F. Haanel provided for us.
I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.
This affirmation was used it to overcome what could have been a most debilitating ailment.
22. But at last the victory came, and I have grown from a little, crooked, twisted, cripple, going about on my hands and knees, to a strong, straight, well formed male.
23. Now, I know you want the formula, and I will give it to you as briefly and quickly as I can.
24. I built up an affirmation for myself, taking the qualities I most needed, and affirming for myself over and over again, “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy.” I kept up this affirmation, always the same, never varying, till I could wake up in the night and find myself repeating, “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, lov- ing, harmonious, and happy.” It was the last thing on my lips at night and the first thing in the morning.
25. Not only did I affirm it for myself, but for others that I knew needed it. I want to emphasize this point. Whatever you desire for yourself, affirm it for others and it will help you both. We reap what we sow. If we send out thoughts of love and health, they return to us like bread cast upon the waters; but if we send out thoughts of fear, worry, jealousy, anger, hate, etc., we will reap the results in our own lives.
By repeating the affirmation in a mantra-like fashion, this man, Frederick Elias Andrews, overcame his sickness.
So, this begs the question, do affirmations work?
Depending on what you mean by “work,” I would say that yes they can — and do.
At the very least, they don’t hurt.
At the very best, when used properly, then they can work seeming miracles.
Let’s be clear, you will not have a million dollars appear from nowhere simply through the repetition to yourself of an affirmation. Affirmations are there to correct “bad habits” and unproductive thoughts. They can soothe and relax a person. When done properly, they can impregnate a person with enough spirit and force of will so that you can overcome any adversity.
They are not magic spells, though. Although they may seem like it.
The best way to utilize affirmations is to use them when one is relaxed and when one is open to “suggestion.” That’s why it is paramount for you to master the exercises for the first four Weeks of The Master Key System.
When one states an affirmation from a point of fear (often in a reactionary manner), one will, rather than displace the bad habit or thought, instead reinforce the bad habit or thought. That’s why the very first exercises in The Master Key System were geared toward helping you relax. This state is very important!
When you’re using your affirmation…
Clear your mind.
Cast away your thoughts of fear and anxiety.
Then recite your affirmation to yourself.
You’ll notice I wrote when you’re using “your affirmation.” Yes, you can — and should — devise your own. While the one Haanel provides is great and useful, you can make your own to correct the thoughts and habits that you have that you wish to change.
In The Master Key Workbook I provide you with a few good ways to create your own affirmations. Check it out.
Share your favourite affirmations in the comments.