You’ve probably already heard about the importance of affirmations and how they positively influence the subconscious mind. But, do you really know what affirmations are and how they work? If you don’t, you’re in the right place. If you have already used them, but they didn’t work for you, let me explain how to create affirmations that can work extremely effectively for you.
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What Are Affirmations?
Affirmations are positive phrases that you repeat often. They can be:
- Extrinsic – about something you want to achieve, a specific outcome or goal. For example, earning $100,000 a year or losing 20 kg.
- Intrinsic – about who you want to be or who you want to become. For example, being a more confident, sensitive, extravert or outgoing person.
Why Are Affirmations Useful?
1. Positive thoughts replace negative thoughts
Around 60,000 thoughts pass through your mind every day. Many of these are the same thoughts repeated over and over again. Any thought that you consistently repeat is an affirmation!. So you are already repeating affirmations whether you realize it or not.
The problem is that many of the consistent thoughts that you unconsciously repeat to yourself are negative. By beginning to repeat positive affirmations that work, you can make positive changes and feel much better. You can start having optimistic thoughts about the things that you want to achieve.
2. Helps you focus on what you want
Repeating affirmations that work can also help you focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. After a while, it changes the way you think. When you change your thinking, your beliefs change as well. Over time, these beliefs become your reality. So your reality changes as well.
3. Rewire your brain
There is a link between affirmations and neuroplasticity – the idea is that you can rewire your brain to think differently automatically. When you repeat affirmations that work, things change at an unconscious level. You create new neural pathways in your brain, so that over time you unconsciously begin to act differently.
The Main Reason Why Affirmations Don’t Work
The number one reason why affirmations haven’t worked for you until now is cognitive dissonance. This is the conflict between your new affirmation and the thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes that you already have.
How Do You Identify Cognitive Dissonance?
There are several ways to recognize cognitive dissonance. These include:
1. Contradictory self-talk
When you repeat an affirmation, your self-talk contradicts it. It says something like, “no, that’s never going to happen”.
2. Uncomfortable feeling
When you start repeating affirmations, you may get a feeling inside that seems to tell you that what you are saying is not true.
3. Negative imagination
While repeating an affirmation, you start imagining something contrary to what you’re affirming.
Let’s say you are a shy person, and you are repeating the affirmation: “I am very confident when interacting with others”. The contradictory self-talk could be, “no, you’re not. You are shy, and you can’t talk to anyone”. You may also sense an uncomfortable feeling. Or you start imagining yourself being shy in a specific social situation.
Another example could be saying the affirmation “my business is a success” when you know it isn’t. You’re going to get that contradictory self-talk and perhaps an uncomfortable feeling. Or you’ll start imagining and remembering times when it wasn’t successful.
How to Overcome Cognitive Dissonance
You need to make your affirmations believable. To help you do this, I am going to give you 9 phrases that you can use to create more believable affirmations that will work for you.
A good place to start is the “I am” affirmation. Here are some examples
- I am confident.
- I am earning $100,000 per year.
- I am attractive.
- I am in excellent health.
When you repeat these “I am” affirmations, do you hear negative self-talk or an uncomfortable feeling? Or do you imagine something that goes against what you’re affirming? If you notice any internal conflict, then here are some other phrases that you can use instead.
The 9 Phrases to Create Affirmations That Work
1. I want to
The phrase “I want to” is believable. For example, “I want to become confident”. That’s believable because all you’re saying is that you would like to become confident. Your unconscious mind hears the words “become confident,” and it starts to get the feeling of the word “confident.” Here are some other examples:
- I want to earn $100,000 per year.
- I want to be attractive.
- I want to be in great health.
- I want to find my soul mate.
Are you noticing any cognitive dissonance now? If you are, try the next phrase.
2. I can
When you say “I can”, you affirm that it’s possible and that you can do it. And that’s true. It’s harder to question whether you can or can’t do something if you haven’t done it yet.
- I can be confident.
- I can earn $100,000 per year.
- I can become attractive.
- I can be in excellent health.
- I can find my soul mate.
If in the past you couldn’t do certain things, then you might get a bit of cognitive dissonance. If that’s the case, then move on to the next one.
3. I choose to
This one gives an element of choice and intention. This can make the affirmation more believable.
- I choose to be confident.
- I choose to earn $100,000 a year.
- I choose to become attractive.
- I choose to be in great health.
- I choose to find ways to meet my soulmate.
4. I am learning to
This phrase is very believable. As long as you are taking some time to learn, then that critical voice in your mind can’t contradict you. It’s very, very believable. Here are some examples.
- I am learning to become confident.
- I am learning how to become confident.
- I am learning how to earn $100,000 per year.
- I am learning ways to become more attractive.
- I am learning how to be in great health.
- I am learning how to find my soulmate.
With this one, it’s beneficial to use words like “how” or “the best way.” For example, “I am learning the best way to earn $100,000 a year”, or “I am learning multiple ways to be in great health”.
5. I am becoming
This phrase gives you the feeling that your goal is a process or a journey. Each day you’re getting a little bit closer to achieving it. With this affirmation, it can be helpful to add words like “more and more.” Here are some examples:
- I am becoming more and more confident.
- I am becoming more capable of earning $100,000 per year.
- I am becoming more and more attractive.
- I am becoming healthier each day.
- I am becoming more capable of finding my soulmate.
6. I can find a way
This one is great when you are motivated, but you still don’t know the exact solution or method. It can get you out of that feeling of hopelessness or overwhelm. You can say:
- I can find a way to be more confident.
- I can find a way to earn $100,000 a year.
- I can find a way to be more attractive.
- I can find a way to be in great health.
- I can find a way to meet my soulmate.
7. I deserve to
This phrase is useful if cognitive dissonance comes from a lack of self-worth or self-esteem. It’s often the case when you want something, but don’t feel you deserve it.
- I deserve to be more confident.
- I deserve to earn $100,000 a year.
- I deserve to be more attractive.
- I deserve to be in great health.
- I deserve to find my soul mate.
The phrase “I give myself permission” can be an excellent alternative. For example, “I give myself permission to be more confident.”
8. I am open to the possibility
Let me give you an example first: “I am open to the possibility that I could be more confident”. I use this one a lot in my hypnotherapy sessions when people have very deep-rooted beliefs that create cognitive dissonance. When they are not able to use any of the other phrases that I’ve covered earlier, this one is the best. It’s a good idea to add the words “I can” or “I could.” Let me go through the examples:
- I am open to the possibility that I could become more confident.
- I am open to the possibility that I can earn $100,000 per year.
- I am open to the possibility that I could be more attractive.
- I am open to the possibility that I could be in great health.
- I am open to the possibility that I can find my soulmate.
9. I will
I’m personally less keen on this one because the words “I will” could tell your unconscious mind that you are talking about the future. And if it feels that it will happen in the future, not now, then it won’t necessarily take the steps towards making it happen. However, if the “I will” phrase feels right to you, and you don’t feel cognitive dissonance, then give it a go. The most important thing is to make it believable. I would suggest combining it with similar affirmations that use some of the other phrases. So running down our list again:
- I will be more confident.
- I will earn $100,000 a year.
- I will be more attractive.
- I will be in great health.
- I will find my soul mate.
Find Affirmations That Work for You
So I have covered 9 great phrases that will make your affirmations more believable and compelling. Make use of these phrases and find affirmations that work for you. Bear in mind that everyone is different. Experiment! Find those that are the most effective for you!
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