Why Affirmations Don’t Always Work
I love and accept myself openly
I am open to all good
I choose to be successful in each area of my life
These are wonderful affirmations. I’ve used them myself on occasion. Sometimes I’m successful in getting into a higher vibrational field (a.k.a. into alignment), or just feeling all shiny and happy by saying them. On other days, though, those same words seem foreign to me. It’s not that I don’t believe in them logically. In my conscious mind, I do love myself and choose to be successful.
The trick is to convince my subconscious.
I’ve struggled with this off and on. I wondered how there could be such a stark contrast in the outcome of saying these affirmations to myself. Some proponents of affirmations say that just by planting the seed and saying them over and over again that our subconscious minds will eventually join the paddy wagon. But, after doing them for days or weeks, I still experienced inconsistent results.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the simple act of saying affirmations won’t work for all people and, in fact, could possibly have a negative effect. This is especially true for people who’ve experience depression or a traumatic event in their lives, such as death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce, abuse, etc.
I’m no depression or grief expert, but I can say from personal experience that unless we’ve dealt with the underlying cause of those feelings, saying affirmations is like putting a band aid on a severed artery. Unless your subconscious believes the affirmation is remotely possible, it will call you a liar. Add that onto the top of the pile, and you’re setting yourself up for failure.
So, how do we overcome our hurts in order to get the best use of affirmations? That will be different for everyone. I’ve tried different things over the years to deal with my grief issues stemming from Narcissistic abuse, including seeing therapists. While I saw a bit of progress, it was really more of an avenue to awaken my consciousness. I saw each counselor once or twice, but I knew intuitively that they were far from seeing the way to my recovery. I recently developed my own method for overcoming my grief, which has, so far, been successful.
Other people may experience great results with a counselor or therapist, so please don’t interpret my post as professional advice. In fact, some people need this form of treatment, perhaps in combination with medication, because some disorders are caused by something one may be blocking or a chemical imbalance.
Back to the main point here…affirmations can work if they feel real to the subconscious mind. For example, if you have self-esteem issues, saying “I love myself” probably won’t achieve much. However, saying, “I let go of negative self-talk” several times a day might be more beneficial.
Affirmations are simply a way to change the programming of our subconscious minds. All events and experiences we’ve had since childhood make up that programming. Each time we experience an event, our subconscious mind sorts through our stored data to find a connection between the past and the present. When it finds a similar event, it sends back a signal to behave the same way we did before.
Positive affirmations are a way of writing over the old code in order to get different results, kind of like installing new software. In order for them to be effective, they must be stated in present tense. Only rarely should you use the words “one day” because the mind will delay the desired event to a future time that never really arrives.
In short, affirmations will work when combined with your unique method of overcoming the past and saying affirmations that your subconscious believes. It’s best to write them down and keep them in a place you will see them throughout the day. (Some people have been known to secure them on the ceiling above their bed to see them first thing upon awakening). Here are some good ones to get you started:
I am always doing the best I know how
I forgive any guilt at all times
I send love to my fears
I am willing to step out of my comfort zone
In this moment, everything is okay
I release my attachment to _________________
I can’t wait to see what gifts this day brings
And my personal favorite:
Can it get any better than this? This one challenges the universe to raise the bar on your current circumstances 🙂
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