“I’m a wonderful person”
“I’m the best professional around”
“I’m a lovable person”
“I’m a confident person”
The above quotes are some examples of positive affirmations. Affirmations, to write a dictionary style definition are simply: Statements which affirm something to be true.
Positive affirmations are so popular that it has been in vogue since the 20th century. From Author Robbins to Napoleon hill to Norman Vincent, these authors preached about bringing about transformation in our lives by using daily positive affirmations.
And this century is no different. In fact, popular affirmations are more popular than ever. On every Ted talk, motivational talks, personal development blogs and self help books, positive affirmations are recommended for a better and successful life.
Positive affirmations are good right? I mean that good feeling you have when you say “I’m an amazing”. You feel like you’re on top of the world. Isn’t that amazing?
But sorry to burst your bubbles! The sad truth is that these positive affirmations most life coaches or motivational speakers recommend; don’t work!! Often, they seem like crap which has little or effect in our lives. Why? Because what most speakers or self help authors don’t tell us is that positive affirmation don’t work except we fulfill some certain conditions!
Just like a plant won’t grow unless it is under perfect conditions, positive affirmation won’t yield any positive results unless you do it right. And when I say “do it right”, I’m not talking about the daily reciting of affirmations most self help blogs or authors suggest like it is some kind of nursery rhyme. That’s crap!!
Now before you remove this blog from your screen thinking:
Isn’t this blog meant to be motivational? Why is it being anti motivational
Yes, this blog is a motivational blog. In fact, motivating our viewers is one of the foremost objectives of this blog. And no!! I ain’t being anti motivational or anything.
The point I’m just trying to make here is that:
Making daily positive affirmations ain’t enough to give you a better life.
Yeah sure, positive affirmations do work. But that’s for only a certain group of people. And this certain group of people are people with high self esteem.
Research has proven time and again that making positive affirmation only yield positive results for only people high self esteem. So if you’re reading this post today and you’re unsure of yourself, anxious, ambivalent or depressed, stop deceiving yourself!! Positive affirmations won’t do much for good for you. In fact, it does more harm than good. But don’t lose hope, with some certain steps, affirmations can work out for you.
Now you might be asking yourself:
Why don’t positive affirmation yield positive results? And can I make positive affirmations yield results?
And you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to tell you why positive affirmations isn’t probably working for you and what you should do to make it work instead.
Below are some reasons why your positive affirmations aren’t working for you and how to solve them:
1. One of the many reasons why positive affirmation isn’t yielding any result in your life is because most times, positive affirmation isn’t based on reality. It is mostly exaggerated lies formed to cheer us up. But that’s not really the problem. The problem is that the human body doesn’t like to accept what isn’t registered in our subconscious. Thus, the persistent screaming of our mind telling us “you’re such a loser!!” Despite telling yourself that “I’m amazing”.
Solution: instead of feeding your mind with some lies it isn’t going to accept, why don’t you try being honest in your positive affirmations. For instance, instead of saying “I’m beautiful” when in the real sense you aren’t really attractive. Say instead: “I know I’m not really attractive as a person, but I accept myself the way I am. And I’m going to ensure I look attractive by living a healthy life.”
2. Negative thinking. One reason why the positive affirmations you take from self help books, the internet or blogs isn’t working is because of your negative thinking. Psychology researches shows that the reason positive affirmations don’t work is that they target the conscious level of your mind, but not the unconscious. If therefore what you are trying to affirm is incongruent with a deeply held negative belief, then all that results is an inner struggle. So, if positive affirmations don’t work for you, why don’t you change your mindset?
Solution: instead of trying to get rid of negative thinking by painting black; forcing positivity on your negative mindset, why not go neutral?
In her Huffington Post Carmen Isais talks about a concept called “neutral affirmation”
Carmen recommends that if you’re a super negative person and positive affirmations are just too much for you to tell yourself, start with neutral affirmations. She says:
Instead of: “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
Try: “I have had better days, but I have also had worse. Today I am OK.”
Instead of: “I am beautiful, happy and love myself.”
Try: “I am working on accepting me as I am.”
By introducing neutral statements, and making certain these statements are reality-based, your brain will not have to deal with the confrontation and the triggering of bad feelings in order to maintain the status quo. Instead, the well-worn neural pathways that make up your pattern of negative thinking can take a rest, as a new path of neutrality develops. This neutral path provides sturdier footing for positive thinking to begin to tread lightly upon.
So the next time you wanna make affirmation, why don’t you try neutral affirmation? And thank me later.
3. You’re saying it wrong.
Those opening quotes at the beginning of this post. You saw them right? Those are the few examples of the million positive affirmations around.
Now what did you notice about these quotes? You guessed right… They all are in the present tense.
And that there is the problem! Most affirmations like the one above tend to be in present tense. And thus, people often make affirmation in the present. And this makes some people feel like frauds. Like they’re lying to themselves. It makes skeptical and negative people think it feel awkward and weird. And the end result; it doesn’t work for them and they give up.
Solution: In her article,Why Positive Affirmations Don’t Work , psychologist Dr. Sophie Henshaw references a study by Drs. Senay, Albarracín, and Noguchi, published in the journal Psychological Science,
Four groups of participants were asked to solve anagrams. Before completing the task, the researchers told them that they were interested in handwriting practices and asked them to write 20 times on a sheet of paper either: “I will,” “Will I,” “I” or “Will.” The group that wrote “Will I” solved nearly twice as many anagrams as any of the other groups.
From this and similar studies the researchers conducted, they found that asking ourselves is far more powerful than telling ourselves something when we wish to create successful end results.
Sophie goes on to say that that questions can lead to action in ways statements may not. So, if you’re finding that making statements isn’t working because you don’t believe them, or they’re too easy to ignore? Why don’t you try turning your statements into questions and see if that does a better job for you? Ask questions instead of making statements.
4. You’re going through routines
When you were young, I’m sure you were often mandated to recite the national pledge of alliance in class everyday. Yeah, you had to do it. But I don’t know about you, but when I recited the words, it meant nothing to me – nothing.
The same goes for positive affirmations. When you start using positive affirmations at first, your life might change. But as time goes, you get tired and the words in your affirmations lose its meaning. The words come out of your mouth but it isn’t truly from your heart.
Solution: Set a reminder in your calendar, no more than monthly and no less than annually, to review your affirmations and for each one ask the question “How has this affirmation changed my behavior in a tangible way since the review?” If you can’t think of a real result you’ve achieved from the affirmation, make a goal related to it along with action steps to achieve that goal. This will give your affirmation the weight of action and you’ll find it more meaningful when you repeat it.
5. You aren’t taking actions
One of the reasons why positive affirmations isn’t probably working for you is because you aren’t taking action!!
Let’s face it, the reason most of us use positive affirmation is because we’ve been led to believe using positive affirmation means – taking no action. So we sleep, not caring about our goals thinking:
My positive affirmations will work the magic for me.
And the end result? The affirmations we make brings no changes in our life.
Solution: “failing to plan, is planning to fail”. So, when next you choose an affirmation to declare. Why not set clear goals, plan and actions.
Boy, you’re not going to be “confident” if you don’t take actions. Instead of saying “I’m a confident person” everyday like some controlled puppet. Set goals such as ‘speaking more in front of people ‘for being confident. The point of affirmation isn’t to make you lazy or do the work for you. It is actually meant to give you emotional boost while trying to achieve your goals.
Don’t get frustrated if making affirmation don’t work for you. Share your experiences about making positive affirmations in the comment box.