What are affirmations and how do they help us achieve our goals?

We all use affirmations in our lives everyday, but probably don't realise it. We may say things to ourselves (within our silent internal dialogue) regularly that reinforce positive and negative messages about ourselves. The kinds of statements we make about ourselves are very important, and to a much greater extent than we perhaps realise, create our reality. These statements are our affirmations.

We are all, in essence, what we believe we are. I am sure that everyone can remember certain things our parents said to us. One that immediately springs to mind for me is:

"If you don't work for it you can't have it."

This instilled a strong work ethic into me. This is not, of itself, a bad thing. But, it did for me instil a belief that if you haven't worked for it its not worth having, or even, to go a step further, you don't deserve it if you haven't worked for it.

This led to a lot of issues for me that I had to work through about deserving some things in life that I had not had to "slog my guts out" for!!!

So "if you don't work for it you can't have it" became an affirmation for me with a positive and a negative side that I have had to dissect and understand at a deeper level over the years.

What happens when something is continually repeated to us, or we repeat it to ourselves, is the subconscious brain 'records it' and 'stores it' and then 'plays it back' to us in relevant situations. This can be really useful to us in certain situations -

"Don't stick you finger in an electric socket!"

but really unhelpful in others -

"You can't do that."

because it can stop us experimenting and being creative and coming closer to reaching our fullest potential.

So, the idea behind using positive affirmations is to keep repeating a positive message to ourselves. Eventually, the subconscious brain will acknowledge this message, 'wipe clean' the 'tape' of the old, negative message (if there is one) and 'record' the new positive message.

The subconscious brain needs very simple, very clear messages for this process to be effective. So, for instance -

"I don't smoke."

would not work, because the subconscious brain does not understand the negative tense and would interpret this message as "I do smoke." Not the desired effect at all!! It would be much more effective to say -

"I am a non-smoker."

Even if this was not the case and you do not, at the moment, believe that you can stop smoking, if you keep repeating this message to yourself often enough and with enough conviction, in the end, it will help you to stop smoking.

I repeated this message to myself for a year before actually giving up smoking and I continued to use it once I had stopped. That was 6 years ago and I have not smoked since. I was also receiving healing during this time to support me, but feel strongly that using positive affirmation in this way got my brain into the right frame of mind to give up. In effect it paved the way for me to be a non-smoker, and that, together with the healing support, enabled me to remain strong enough to give up permanently.

It is easy to write affirmations for yourself. Just centre on what you need to do, or change in your life, and make up a relevant affirmation. But, remember, it must be written using only positive statements, and try to keep it short -

"I am good enough."
"I am slim and healthy."


"I will be good enough."

That's in the unknown future somewhere and you may never get there. You need the affirmation to be written as though it is true now even if it is not, or you do not really believe it.

Say it as though you believe it and you can change your future!! In fact -

"I now change my future for the better."

Is an excellent affirmation!!

About the author:

Article written by Linda Bishopp
The Healing Space
Healing School and Complimentary Therapies Centre

Author: Linda Bishopp
Copyright © 2023 Linda Bishopp. All rights reserved

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