The root of the word affirmation is affirm. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines this as to validate or confirm, or to state positively.
So, an affirmation is a positive statement or phrase. You can use an affirmation to retrain your mind and challenging negative references.
In the simplest practice, you just pick a positive phrase that describes the way you want to live and repeat it over and over. In this way, committed and disciplined exposure prompts more positive thinking. With many repetitions over time, you adjust your mental framework by building new positive connections. However, the negative connections remain and you might find yourself on occasion bouncing back and forth between the positive and negative. For true stability, add intentionally letting go of any contradictory negative statement.
With deep practice, affirmations are an invaluable tool for accessing mindset. They can be used to identify what your mindset is and to turn it around to increase motivation or raise self-esteem. They provide a way to change and release thinking that you acquired in your formative years when you were too young to process and question many of your experiences.
You can choose to use affirmations by thinking, writing, or speaking them. When you have your preferred mode of interaction decide how deeply you want to go with each affirmation. Find creative ways to incorporate the positive phrases into your day. You might choose to provide yourself with reminders such as post-its or calendar prompts for your dedicated time.
Some options might be coaching on a particular statement. Or, you could use the words to provide a focused meditative experience. With this deeper engagement, you can witness how your mind and body react to the words. You can then decide whether there is any aspect that you would like to shift.
You can also combine affirmations with Tapping or Ho’oponopono. Tapping allows you to access your energy meridians and release any negative association with your affirmations. Ho’oponopono uses the prayer “I’m sorry, Please forgive me, I thank you, I love you”. You can redirect the focus of this prayer to the negative phrase you are trying to shift.
For example, if your affirmation is “Money can allow me to heal wounds and prevent suffering”. But you discover a contradictory message that “Money is the cause of wounds and suffering”. Adapt the prayer as follows:
I am sorry that I believe money is the cause of wounds and suffering. Please forgive me for believing that money is the cause of wounds and suffering. Thank you for the belief that money can allow me to heal wounds and prevent suffering. I love you for the belief that money can allow me to heal wounds and prevent suffering.
Coming up with your own
When creating your affirmations use the following to guide you:
- Use simple language
- Frame it positively in terms of what you what rather than what you don’t want. If the statement is negative or involves the removal of something, turn it around and rewrite it in its opposite form as something that you will be adding to your life.
- Use the present tense as if it is already true. For example, “I experience abundance in every area of my daily life.”
- Link it to the deep thanks and celebration that you will feel upon receiving these gifts.
- Be definitive: don’t use words that leave an open question such as “I could” or “I ought”. Instead, make the phrase fully committed and endorsing as if it has or is happening with “I am” or “I can”.
Any phrase that speaks to the way you want to be in the world can be used as an affirmation. If you notice a particular limiting belief you can turn it around and make an affirmation out of the opposite statement. Use your wish list to create them. Identify the objective that brings joy and gratitude and make this your affirmation.
For example, I am so thankful to have wonderful, supportive friends. I can have fun earning all the money I need. I am so happy in my chosen career. You can even get more specific in terms of what they are supporting you with, or the actual amount of money, or the field of work.
Steps to deeply applying affirmations
- When you are ready to engage, select which affirmation(s) you want to focus on. You might pick according to a particular theme or interest, or just randomly.
- Check your alignment by experiencing the words. This is your opportunity to interact with it. How do you respond to it with your mind and body? Does it feel logical and generally true? Do you believe it for yourself at a gut level? Can you acknowledge it fully?
If you feel tension and constriction you can quantify it by scoring out of ten the extent to which you believe it to be true for you personally. In this way, you acknowledge the gap between what is desired and what is felt.
For example. Using the statement. “I am so thrilled to be surrounded by abundance”. Do you find yourself responding with “Yes, but …” or “Except …” Maybe your score out of ten is a six.
Perhaps another opposition statement seems more realistic such as “I am surrounded by limitations”.
- Using what you have learned, check back again with the positive statement that you would most like to be able to fully endorse at a ten out of ten. This might be the affirmation as originally written or edited slightly.
- It is likely that any opposition is due to past experience that is preventing you from fully affirming. This is your opportunity to intentionally let go of this history and choose not to bring it with you into the present or the future. These experiences do not represent who you are right now in this moment. This can be as straightforward as making the commitment to release it. If you wish, add Tapping or Ho’oponopono as mentioned above.
- It is possible that having done this your number may shift upwards but not to a ten. This may mean there is another related layer. A different statement of opposition waiting to be cleared.
- When all endorsements of contradictory phrases are lifted, the restriction eases and the positive affirmation will feel completely true and believable.
Benefits of using affirmations
Our mind is constantly streaming messages. This self-talk is often unconscious in quality coming forth unbidden from references that became embedded through our earliest formative experiences. This was often when parenting practices such as fear-mongering, criticism, shaming, and hate were used to get you to conform and be controlled. This means much of this stream of messages is negative. Since “What we think about is what we bring about”, the life you have today has come from this messaging. Changing that messaging is one way to create a more ideal life. You have the power to reprogram the negative self-talk. Essentially, you can change your image of yourself.
It might sound cliché to say that by using affirmations your life will improve. However, if you truly commit to being aligned on a soul level to these positive statements then you are essentially raising your vibration. Using the law of attraction framework “What you seek seeks you”. You are shifting the message to one of greater clarity and confidence in who you are and how you present and the universe mirrors that.
You will get more of what you want so that your daily experience will become closer and closer to how you would ideally like it to be. Each affirmation acts like a prayer and the more heartfelt or total your commitment to having soul alignment the more powerful the statement becomes.
I would love to know what you think. Let me know in the comments below.