Have you ever wondered if repeating positive affirmations can really work?
Many of the world’s most successful people will tell you that they’ve used affirmations as a part of their spiritual journey to success. But getting results with affirmations requires more than just saying the words!
Will Smith has been quoted saying, “In my mind, I’ve always been an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.”
This quote paints a beautiful picture of how and why affirmations work. It isn’t just about the words you say – it’s about choosing to believe and feel something before the external evidence of that thing shows up in our world.
Visualizing and believing in a reality you want before it shows up in your physical world is a magical process. Affirmations have the potential to help us shift our reality and create a prosperous and happy life, we just have to learn to use them correctly.
When I was in the process of getting clean and sober 35 years ago, I discovered affirmations through attending Unity Church with some of my recovery friends. At first, I didn’t feel much of a connection with the phrases I said, and I honestly doubted if they were doing anything for me!
Despite my skepticism, I stuck with it.
Over time, I noticed that repeating the same positive phrases every day made me feel really good and reduced my stress regardless of what was actually going on outside of me. I realized that even though I didn’t totally believe what I was saying yet, the repetition of those positive phrases and starting to feel the emotions behind them was helping to keep me in alignment. Of course, simply saying positive phrases alone didn’t heal me – I couldn’t by-pass anything. I still had to do my work. But I started to see how saying the things I intended to be true helped me embody them before they were present in my outer reality.
Affirmations have helped me countless times throughout my journey. From the very early days of my recovery to times when I was already well into my spiritual development but felt stuck around a specific topic.
One of these times was not too long after my mother passed away and I was going through a very difficult time. The stress and emotions of losing my mom led to me putting on 85 pounds and finding myself in a challenging and disordered relationship with food.
At this point, I was well into my spiritual journey and I had grown and changed my life in countless ways. I had successfully healed from drug and alcohol addiction, I had built a career giving professional readings and had a steady stream of clients from around the world, and I had an apartment, a little dog and a roommate I loved.
It felt like so many parts of my life were working, but when it came to food and my weight, I felt stuck. I had tried everything and nothing seemed to work. This had been a challenge for me for a long time, but my mother’s passing exacerbated this issue for me and brought it to light.
In every other part of my life, I felt good. But I couldn’t seem to overcome this eating disorder no matter what I did. I was constantly trying to control myself around food. I was even afraid to go into grocery stores because I simply didn’t trust myself!
No matter how hard I tried to accept it, I hated my body. I was stuck in a cycle of dieting, writing down weight loss goals on my calendar and never achieving them, and then feeling terrible when I failed. I truly thought I would only be happy if I was slim, and I made myself miserable trying and failing to achieve it.
My negative thoughts and self-talk ran rampant. Without consciously realizing it, I was affirming so many negative things!
One day, I decided I’d had enough. This pattern had to end.
Really out of lack of anything else left to try, I decided to turn to positive affirmations. I’d seen how they had supported me in my recovery and I thought they might help me with this challenge as well. The one thing I knew for sure was that if I wanted something to change, I would have to release my tight grip of control and let Spirit take the lead.
So I promised myself to stop dieting and I started saying my daily affirmations, “I am beautiful and perfect as I am. Thank you God for this healthy body.” or, “I’m worthy of love and good, healthy food.”
Slowly, by being consistent with my affirmations, I started to feel a shift in the way I was perceiving my body and the way I felt. It’s not as though I lost all of the weight right away, it actually took a couple of years since I had stopped dieting, but I did stop binging and I started to feel at home in my skin.
Day after day, I kept affirming that I was beautiful and I was attracted to healthy food. And by starting to rehearse this truth with my words before it was true in my physical reality, things started shifting.
The funny thing was, I was the heaviest I had ever been, and yet I started meeting lots of men who paid attention to me and wanted to date me as I started to love myself more each day
The changes that happened for me after affirming my healthy body didn’t just come because of the words themselves. Our negative thoughts that cycle on repeat are powerful because they are what we believe about our reality, and thereby what we notice, move towards and attract more of.
Getting results from affirmations requires us to actually start believing and embodying the thing we are affirming and finding evidence that they are true – even if our outer reality doesn’t totally reflect it yet.
An affirmation is more than just positive thinking. If you try to use positive thoughts to bypass something you’re hurt, angry, or upset about, you aren’t really affirming the thing you desire. If there’s negative emotion around the thing you want to change, you still have to do the work. Affirmations will only help you when you can begin to feel the thing you are saying as true before you see evidence of it. And when you work to remove and make peace with your conditioning and internal obstacles through personal transformation work
If you’re wondering how to do daily affirmations, start by identifying the thing you’re struggling with and ask yourself, what would be the opposite of that? The opposite of your current struggle is the thing you want to affirm.
The way you word your affirmations matters! If you’re using phrases daily to help attract and create the reality you want, the way you say them is important because you want to be clear in your intentions and desires.
When it comes to writing positive affirmations, I like to use Jack Canfield’s guide from his book, Success Principles. This is a simple 8-step process to help you write affirmations that are clear, concise, and effective.
Here’s how it works:
Your written affirmation might sound something like, “I am enjoying my relationship and my connection with my partner.” or, “I am loving my work and money is flowing to me.”
Remember, the affirmation you create can be simple, it just needs to be the positive version of the thing you are feeling challenged by right now.
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