The Bad News about Affirmations

How many times in a day do you tell yourself how stupid you are for forgetting something or how fat you are when your favorite jeans feel tight or make some other critical self judgment?

Imagine how different your life might be if you just as diligently used affirmations to reinforce the positive things about yourself! Stop reinforcing your old, negative thinking that keeps you caught in a rut with these three simple techniques.

As you go through life, you’re constantly affirming your own thoughts and beliefs. Throughout each day, you consciously and unconsciously tell yourself things based on your belief system.

The problem is, much of the time you may actually be re-affirming negative thoughts rather than positive ones. This is bad news. After all, if your affirmations are negative, you can expect only negative outcomes!

Negative thinking reinforces an internal belief that you’ll never be able to change yourself and that you’re destined to continue repeating your self-destructive behaviors. When you re-affirm your negative thoughts, you enter into a vicious cycle that leads to even more negative thinking.

Affirmations work wonders if you use them properly. By making a few simple adjustments in the way you phrase your inner dialog, you can begin using this powerful technique to change your thinking and change your life.

Your subconscious mind accepts things on a very literal basis, so for affirmations to work effectively, you need to follow a simple formula.

Follow these tips to create positive affirmations that can change your life for the better:

1. Be present. Your subconscious needs to know you’re doing something now, not in the future. For example, if you state an affirmation as something you want to change, such as “I will quit smoking,” your subconscious hears that you wish to continue smoking now, so you can change in the future.

It has no sense of planning for the future. In fact, your subconscious mind will accept what you tell it, even if the behavior has not yet happened, that’s why you should state your affirmation as if it’s already a fact.

  • “I am free from the desire to smoke” is an effective affirmation and programs your subconscious mind to think as a non-smoker, even before you put down the cigarettes.

2. Be personal. An affirmation must be personal for your subconscious to accept it. Saying, “You need to eat healthy” won’t help you change your diet. When your subconscious hears the word “you,” it doesn’t interpret it as a statement directed at yourself.

Instead, phrase your affirmation in the first person. Stick to “I” in your affirmations and you’ll soon notice a strong positive effect on your behaviors.

  • “I enjoy eating healthy foods” is a positive, first person affirmation that will help you begin making better choices when you reach for a meal or snack.

3. Be positive. Your subconscious mind is very literal. It can’t process the concept of “not.” The statement, “I am not going to lie on the couch watching TV when I should be exercising” won’t do anything other than re-affirm how you should lay on the couch in front of the television.

Form your intention in a positive way, even if you haven’t completed the behavior change yet.

  • “I enjoy exercising regularly” is more likely to motivate you to get up and go to the gym, instead of reaching for the remote control and a bag of chips.

Positive, personal, present tense affirmations are extremely powerful in changing how your subconscious affects your behavior.

Make an effort to stop reinforcing your old, negative thinking that keeps you caught in a rut. Try using these three simple techniques today to create affirmations that can change your subconscious programming, your actions, and your life for the better.

All good things,
John

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