#222- The Problem with Affirmations

#222- The Problem with Affirmations

#222- The Problem with Affirmations

An affirmation is defined as a positive assertion. They are statements you want to be true (which currently aren’t), stated in the present tense AS IF they are true. Like, “I’m in a healthy, loving relationship.” There are different schools of thought around how to use affirmations, and I had a love-hate relationship with them for a long time. The problem was, I didn’t feel an emotional connection to them. The intention was missing. So I came to realize it’s not about the words, it’s what’s BEHIND the words.

Positive statements about yourself aren’t a bad thing—don’t get me wrong. Reminding yourself of your good qualities is always cool, but you have to believe them. Saying you’re rich or beautiful or happy doesn’t make it true if you don’t believe it’s true. On top of that, looking for something externally to change how you feel internally won’t work in the long term. A lot of what we wish for in affirmations may be limited in scope because the way we draw things to us is through the heart not the head. The heart must be open in order to draw what matches it. So the fundamental problem with affirmations is they don’t work if you don’t believe them. And when you say something you don’t believe, it feels awkward. Affirmations are also a great way to stay in your head, which isn’t where change happens.

So what can you use instead of affirmations? Say what’s true, not what’s aspirational. Rather than stating, “I’m in a healthy, loving relationship,” say something like, “I’m not currently where I want to be, but I’m committed to having a healthy relationship and every day I’m doing something to get there.” Doesn’t that sound more authentic? Positive statements without feelings attached are false, and no matter how many times you say them, they won’t work. If a state of well-being is what you’re after, practice gratitude. Being grateful for what you already have is much more powerful than focusing on what you don’t have.


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