Have you used affirmations? Did they work? Or were they a total waste of time? Did you find yourself affirming one thing and then doing exactly the opposite?
You’re not alone.
Affirmations do work – except when they don’t.
Do you want to learn how to use affirmations like a lion-hearted woman? There is one simple key that opens the door to making affirmations work. Without it, the door to success with them will stay forever closed.
There is one caveat: it’s a simple key, but it takes devoted practice.
Once you understand the key, the lioness might be sleeping but not you. You’ll know exactly what tweaks to make to increase the results from your practice.
The Key to Making Affirmations Work
The affirmation has to move beyond your mind and be totally embodied as the truth.
If you follow that principle, you can make remarkable shifts with affirmations.
Suppose you have a pattern in your life you’re trying to shift. It could be smoking or drinking or consuming too much sugar. Some other unwanted behaviours are more subtle; like staying silent instead of speaking up or letting anxiety or self doubt keep you from pursuing what you want in life.
No matter what your long term pattern is, that’s what you’ve been affirming.
You’ve been practising an affirmation for what you don’t want. And it worked! You kept doing what you didn’t want to do. When your attention is completely on the pattern, and sometimes for a very long time, it exists as a well traveled track in your mind.
Ever asked yourself this question: WHY DID I DO THAT WHEN I PROMISED MYSELF I WOULDN’T?
Or: Why can’t I just DO IT? Grrrrrr!
It’s hard to understand and you’ve probably been hard on yourself about it.
Again, not alone!
So the first thing to do is take a long hard look at what you’re already affirming.
Creating the Right Affirmations Is Essential
Here’s an illustration.
If you say to yourself, I’m going to quit smoking, or I’ve had my last drink ever, you’ve focused on stopping smoking or drinking. Your attention is still on what you’re doing now and you’ll continue with the same behaviour, affirming what you don’t want.
If you create an affirmation that says, All my actions create vibrant health and well being, then you’re affirming what you want, not what you don’t want.
In the second affirmation, you’re affirming your true self, your fierce lion heart, who you are at your core. It’s a positive message reminding you that you’re a spiritual being in a physical body.
Note: it says nothing about smoking.
Now you’ve got the most important piece. You understand how to write your affirmations to reinforce what you want. You’re on your way.
Then this happens.
When you first begin to affirm what you want, your mind is likely to call you a liar.
That’s when you have to remember the key.
Your mind is not where the shift is going to happen. It’s a pattern maker, it repeats what’s familiar. It wants you to put your feet up and be comfy cozy. It doesn’t want you venturing out into the wild untamed jungle.
To move past the part of you that will limit you, your affirmation has to be completely embodied and practised.
That’s where the tweaks come into the picture.
Tips for Tweaking Affirmations
When I lived in Ontario, I used to visit friends who lived in the country near Peterborough. Every evening we’d take their dogs for a walk. It was a beautiful walk along an old railway line where trains no longer traveled. In fact, there was no track anymore. It had been transformed into a fabulous walking path.
We’re similar. When an old pattern is no longer causing your brain to fire, the old track is no longer used and a new track is created.
However the old track is likely to go down fighting because you’re moving into unknown territory.
To tweak your affirmations so you can embody them, use the following ideas. And always remember the key as you tweak your affirmations.
Deal With the Reason for the Pattern
Whatever the pattern is, chances are good you created it for the purposes of safety or dealing with unwanted emotions. You may need some help to gain insight into why the pattern exists with all of its layers and complexity.
Only you can decide how you’ll approach it.
Approach the process of using affirmations with a lack of judgment about how what you want manifests and how fast.
I know. We want what we want when we want it.
If you’re receptive, you might get something better.
Notice when your mind argues with you or gets into HOW and WHEN mode. Befriend your inner critic. Thank it for deepening your understanding of the belief you want to change. Use the information to help you gain insight into the reason for the pattern.
Then continue with the affirmations.
Say Your Affirmations Consistently
One day of saying an affirmation won’t cut it. Working with an affirmation consistently over time says yes, I really mean it, this new track is what I want. Without the repetition, you’ll give up because they don’t work.
Make it a daily practice and say them out loud. Try 7 days, 21 days, 40 days, whatever you think you can keep doing. Notice when things do start to change.
Express your appreciation to yourself for your good work!
Write Your Affirmations in the Present Tense
When you write your affirmations, use present tense. You’re not in the past or the future. You’re present in the moment. My first example, I’m going to quit smoking, is in the future.
The second one is both positive and in the present tense.
Note that when writing your affirmations, sometimes the most powerful are those with one word after the words, “I am ____.” (Beautiful, strong, healthy, abundant, successful, etc.)
Relate Your Affirmations to a Song, a Feeling Tone, or a Movement
To be in a state where it can receive the new thought, find a feeling state of availability and willingness.
A song, a movement, an image, or feeling tone will help you get into a state where your mind can receive the new idea. Or use the idea of a spirit animal such as a lion or eagle. Making it the same each time, your mind will recognize it as a signal.
Never Miss the Weekly Post
After all, your brain is a pattern maker, remember?
By making an addition, you turn words alone into a felt experience and make the ground fertile to plant the new thought.
Make Your Practice Playful and Pleasurable
When you speak your affirmation, what state of mind are you in? Frustrated? Anxious? Tired?
If you make saying your daily affirmations one more job on an already too long to do list, you’ll find reasons not to do them.
Allowing a sense of play, making sure they don’t happen when you’re tired, and even making some of them a little unconventional (I am a lion-hearted woman!) will make sure your daily affirmations aren’t the first thing to be scrubbed on a busy day.
Done for the Day? Let Them Go
I’m going to finish with a story.
During the earlier years of my life, I used to see homes on the side of a hill overlooking the water and say to myself, “Wouldn’t it be lovely to live in a home like that?”
“What a wonderful view they have. If I lived there, I’d never get tired of it.”
I’d see the homes, I’d have the thought, I’d have the feeling, and then I’d forget about it.
For the last 12 years I’ve lived in such a home. The view out my window is the ocean and the mountains. It is lovely, and I don’t ever get tired of it.
My point is, I didn’t stress over how it would happen.
That was not by design. I didn’t even know at the time I was creating an affirmation. When it did happen, it was a lovely surprise. Now that I know how they work, that’s the last important piece for you.
Say them, and go on with your day and your life.
And enjoy your surprise.