What if you say affirmations, but you’re doing it wrong? Do affirmations even work, and if so, why aren’t the ones your saying seeming to make any difference?
Bruce Lipton described what beliefs are and how powerful they can be in his groundbreaking book, Beyond Belief. Lipton is a cell biologist that has helped to expand the field of epigenetics – a body of scientific research that suggests you can change your life, and your DNA even, by how you think.
Many people mistakenly believe that if they say enough affirmations consciously, then they can change the trajectory of their lives. Though affirmations can be very powerful, if they aren’t done right, they can be a bit of a waste of time.
That’s because your subconscious mind – the part of your consciousness running on autopilot, and controlling you about 90% of the day, leaves only about 10% of your experience to be influenced by your conscious thoughts.
If we deeply desire to change our lives, we need to change our subconscious programming so that it reflects our conscious desires for more love, success, joy, great friendships, a beautiful home, more travel, or whatever our goals are.
Here are five ways to make sure your affirmations are working for you:
Everything You Think or Say is an Affirmation. You can’t spend ten minutes a day saying out loud, “I am full of joy and bliss,” and then walk around thinking how horrible your life is. If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts at random times throughout the day, it is likely that you are affirming a different reality than the one you think you are when you ‘do’ affirmations. Try to catch yourself when you think a negative thought and replace it consciously with a positive one.
Change Your Mind Every Time. For a positive affirmation to stick, you need to think it over, and over again, until it becomes subconscious. If you’ve been ‘practicing’ negative affirmations for your whole life, understand that it can take some time to change this pattern. It’s no different than changing a bad habit. At first it will seem monumentally difficult to think differently, but if you CHANGE YOUR MIND EVERY TIME you think a negative thought, you will eventually start to tip the balance toward the positive side, and reap the benefits in your life.
Start with Just One Area to Change. It can be overwhelming to try to change your thinking in every department of your life at once. Ironically, though, even if we change one area, this will bubble over and ripple out into all aspects of our lives – so focusing on changing self-limiting thoughts in one aspect – say our finances or our relationships – can expand to affect everything including our health, and our job success. Pick one thing to focus on and notice when you aren’t thinking or saying something that is positive. Change that, and do it repeatedly until that area of your life starts to manifest different results. Once you change there, you’ll have even more confidence to change other areas of your life, too.
Notice Not Only How You Talk to Yourself, but How You Talk About Yourself to Others. Our negative (and positive) self-talk will make itself apparent in how we speak to others, too. You may have your own private thoughts which you can become aware of in order to change them, but noticing what you say when someone compliments you or you are just having a regular every-day conversation can shine some light on your deepest beliefs, too. Do you simply say, “Thanks, I think so too!” when someone compliments you? If not, it might be time to start.
Meditate to Uncover Deep Beliefs. Did you know that most of your belief about how the world functions and how kind or generous it will be to you were formed before you were seven years old? Often we react to life and think a certain way about it based on programming which was installed a long time ago. To discover if there are self-limiting beliefs lurking in your subconscious — meditate. It will show you what you really think about yourself and others, so that you can choose a different belief.