Forming Words for Change
An affirmation is a short statement we use to assert an idea. We use affirmations when we have a goal in mind, to help us focus on reaching that goal and to be able to visualise it. It is a way to tell ourselves, “That’s what I want”, but we do it in such a way that we bring it to the present.
Rather than working forwards, starting with what an affirmation should be like, we’ll work backwards, then we’ll break down the content to understand the logic behind it.
So, lets say you want a new car and you care about the environment and your carbon footprint. There are hybrid electric cars on the market and fully electric, mainly Tesla.
Your affirmation would be something like:
I am excited driving my new cream Tesla through the mountains.
You can also get a picture of the car you want and imagine yourself driving it. From imagining go to visualising (there’s a difference between the two) and feel what it is like sitting in it, the smells, the sound, driving it. If you have never driven a Tesla it might be an idea to test drive one so you can get specific about what it’s like to be in a Tesla, or the car of your choice.
The affirmation is to remind you of those feelings and emotions, to bring them forward into your conscious brain, creating an image that your subconscious will take on. Always remember, the subconscious cannot differentiate between what’s real and what is imagined. It will, however, only take on those ideas which you emotionalise (think of emotions as how you trick your subconscious into believing that something is real).
An affirmation is, at it’s root, a goal you want to reach, so be sure to affirm what you truly want.
Lets break the affirmation above down so you can form your own.
Putting an Affirmation Together
There are rules to forming affirmations correctly. These are tried and tested methods.
Firstly, it needs to be positive. By this I mean that you should affirm the positive outcome. For example, if you want to pass your examinations don’t affirm to “I passed my examinations”, but affirm the outcome, “I am a grade A student”.
In the same way, if you want to lose weight, you would say, “I am 70 kg”, rather than “I am no longer overweight” or “I am losing weight” (if you lost 100 grams you would still lose weight).
Which brings us to the second point – be specific. I mean really specific. When you think of the car you want, visualise every detail. You want to lose weight, what weight do you want to be, body fat content, waist size. Your affirmation will only reflect one specific part, but, when you read it, all that you have visualised will come to your conscious mind – you’ll remember the details.
Thirdly, it has to be in the present, not, “I will be…”, “When I…”. It’s happening Now! This is an important concept to grasp, because it plays a part in everything to do with changing your life and transitioning to the life you want.
You have to go beyond what you see and feel and hear and smell, and got to where you want to be. That’s why being specific is important, why using positivity is important. It’s to get your subconscious and you to believe that what you visualise already exists, so much so that it actually feels as if it already does.
Which brings us to the next point, emotional content. Within each affirmation you need to add an action, such as driving in my example, and emotion, such as the feeling of excitement.
The student wanting to pass they exams with a good grade would say, for example,
I am thrilled that I have passed my Math exam with a Grade A.
I am ecstatic that I have reached my ideal weight of 70 kg.
The last point is making it personal. That’s the reason behind the “I am…”. You can use “I’m…” if you prefer.
The words “I am” are powerful words, because you are empowering yourself. Say it a few times, with purpose, if you haven’t used it before and you’ll understand. You are directing all your energy and thought towards yourself, to a specific aim – that being what the affirmation is.
From the last point you’ll realise that affirmations are personal and specific to you. You can’t use affirmations for other people. For example, “I am happy being on holiday in Malibu with John/Jane”, because John/Jane may not have the same wish as you, even if you are a couple.
I do ascribe to the idea, though, that if partners do agree on something then there’s no reason why each of them can’t write their own affirmation, leading to the same goal. Warning – be specific. One of you might be thinking of drinks at the bar whilst the other is thinking of days in the spa.
Affirmations can also be extremely specific and related to a trait you want. “I am Patient”, “I am Abundant”, “I am Prosperous”.
I ascribe to writing them and writing them in CAPITALS. When you write them you are carrying out an act that your mind recognises and it also recognises what you are writing – we have already programmed our brains to do that. In capitals because it’s out of the norm, for most people, which means it needs more effort, slightly physically and more mentally. Because it’s different it has more of an impact.
If you write an affirmation and it feels uncomfortable or too unreal, for now, take a step back, but still ahead of your current conditions, to a place that you feel comfortable with.
If you have heard of SMART goals, then you are aiming for something similar with your affirmations.
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
- Specific as above;
- Measurable in that you can measure the difference;
- Attainable in that you feel you can do it;
- Relevant to you and what you want to achieve; and
- Timely for your current situation or in the time you have set yourself.
Your affirmations can also be time limited. If you want to attain something by a given period you can set a time and date:
It is the 1st of July 2019 and I am enthralled that I am at my ideal weight of 70kgs.
What if that’s not achieved? Assess what you did do and didn’t do and reset the clock. The reason we mostly fail to reach a goal in the time we set ourselves is due to a lack of action. There are the few times when it is out of our hands, but this is not to be used as an excuse.
Write them down where you will see them. I use cue cards. On them I have my affirmations and they are displayed on my desk.
Your goal card, on the other hand, should be with you all the time. Your goal card is also an affirmation, but, it is the single most important goal you have.
You can also use your screensaver on your pc, mac or laptop as a place for your affirmations.
How often you should use them… whenever you can. The more you read them and visualise, the more they will become a part of you. You are aiming to make them feel as natural as breathing, so that when it does happen your reaction will be one of, “So what”. It’s not just something that you expected to happen, but a natural outcome.
Sometimes, they happen before you reach that point – it’s the way things are.
Affirmations are not a replacement to goals or actions. You should have goals and you must act towards them to reach them. Affirmations are there to raise us spiritually to the level we want to be at.
The other part of affirmations is that it puts us in the same energy and vibration as the outcome we want. Consequently, the Law knows what we are asking for and begins to draw to us the equivalent external circumstances, people and events to help us realise our want. If we act on it.
Lets recap what’s needed in an affirmation:
- It must be Positive,
- It must be Specific,
- In the Present,
- Contains Emotional content – action and emotion,
- It’s Personal – “I am”.
Remember to write it, to write it in CAPITALS and put it somewhere where you can read it as much as you can. Get a journal or cards and begin to write your affirmations. Take action.
Embody the idea that you have set before you. Because the minute you have thought it, you have already started drawing it towards you.
There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.
Philip K. Dick
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.