Have you ever asked yourself, “What is an affirmation, or what are affirmations?” Or, have you ever wondered why you should use them, and how? If so, then this article is for you, as it will thoroughly cover what is an affirmation, why you should use them, and how you can use affirmations to actually improve your life.
What is an Affirmation?
So, if you are new to affirmations, here is the first thing you need to know about them — daily affirmations are to the mind what body-building is to the body. In short, affirmations are simply a method to sculpt your mind to your liking.
Affirmations are self-suggestions, self-suggestions that help your subconscious mind believe a certain thing about yourself and your world.
The origination of the word affirmation tells you most of what you need to know about them. The word affirmation stems from the Latin word affirmare, which simply means “to make steady, strengthen.”
As such, when you practice an affirmation — which typically involves reciting a phrase to yourself repeatedly — you are in essence fortifying and strengthening the thoughts and beliefs that you want your mind to have. That said, let’s dig in a little bit deeper with this guide to affirmations:
A HELFPUL GUIDE TO AFFIRMATIONS
So, who should use affirmations and why? Well, anyone who is seeking to positively improve a specific aspect of their lives should use affirmations.
Affirmations are magnificent tools to help you affect change quickly. In a sense, when you use them, it is much like changing the software in a computer. A computer’s capabilities are limited by its software, but if you change or upgrade the software, it can do more than it could before.
This same concept applies to people as well, except we change our software by choosing to change what information we put in our brains. And affirmations is a form of data upload that rewrites old thought patterns that no longer server your best interests.
So, what are affirmations? They are programming, personal programming. And you get to choose the program.
Ground Rules on How to Use Affirmations
Now, affirmations may be simple, but there are also a few ground rules you should follow if you want to get the most out of the affirmations you use.
The first thing you’ll want to ensure, is that you believe in the affirmation you are reciting. In short, you have to have a certain amount of faith that what you are saying is true, and/or that it will become true.
It is critical that you believe what you affirm is possible, because once you do, it becomes plausible. However, if you don’t believe in the possibility of your affirmation, you cement in that negative thought, which will guarantee an ineffective affirmation.
The good news is, if you faith is weak, you can use an affirmation to strengthen your faith in affirmations. And once you do that, well, then you world affirmations is your oyster.
That said, if you’re still on the fence about affirmations and if you’re wondering if they even work, then you may want to first brush up on this very informative resource: “Do Affirmations Work?“
The next ground rule you want to ensure you implement with your affirmations is that they are in the present tense. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of the words “I am” before each affirmation.
Here are a few examples of present tense affirmations:
- I am persistent and consistent.
- I am smart with my money.
- I am disciplined.
- I focus my thoughts and energy on being positive.
By using the present tense with your affirmations, you’ll have an easier time convincing your subconscious mind that what you are saying is true. In other words, it will minimize cognitive dissonance.
Using positive affirmations is the best way to get the most out of your affirmations. When you affirm the positive, i.e. that you are something vs. not something, it is easier for your mind to accept. However, if you use affirmations in a negative tense, they will shift your mindset towards negativity and become less effective.
Now, if your affirmations look like the sample below, they are in a negative tense:
- I will stop worrying so much.
- I will not over eat anymore.
- I will no longer accept less than the best for my life.
- I am not an insecure person.
Thus, if you want to guarantee the most effective use of your affirmations, ensure you recite ones in the positive tense.
Last but not least, affirmations require consistent use. No, you don’t have to apply them forever, but they do require consistency in the beginning to help your mind change it’s thought patterns.
So, how often should you use affirmations? Well, as a best practice, you should recite affirmations at least a few times a day. In the morning when you wake up is ideal, just before or after lunch time is a good practice as well, and just before you head off to bed.
Here’s a bonus tip on the best time to use an affirmation: You ready for it? You can and should use an affirmation any time you notice your thoughts drifting towards something negative. For example:
- Feeling a sinking feeling in your gut due to doubt? Recite an affirmation.
- Feeling nervous about something at work or in your personal life? Recite an affirmation.
- Feeling worried about a loved one? Recite an affirmation.
- Feeling depressed due to a particular circumstance in your life? Recite an affirmation.
One final thing to keep in mind about affirmations, is that you should notice them working to a certain degree after applying them for at least a week consistently. However, you’ll find them to be most effective after consistently and diligently affirming them for at least a month.
Quick Summary of The Ground Rules
Alright, we’ve covered a lot about how you should go about using affirmations. To help it stick, here’s a quick summary of the ground rules to ensure you get the best results from your affirmations:
- Suspend Disbelief and Believe
- Ensure Affirmation is in a Present Tense
- Ensure Affirmation is in a Positive Tense
- Be Consistent With Your Use (3 Times a Day, One Week to a Month)
- Bonus Tip: Use Affirmation to Crowd Out Any Negative Thoughts
Affirmations can truly help just about anyone change their life. They have been used by Olympic champions, professional athletes, high performance coaches, and some of the most successful people the world over. Don’t believe us? Here a handful of notable people who swear by them:
- Tony Robbins (High Performance Coach)
- Denzel Washington (Award-Winning Actor)
- Napoleon Hill (Best-Selling Author of Think and Grow Rich)
- Conor McGregor (UFC Fighter)
- Will Smith (Award-Winning Actor)
- Kanye West (Award-Winning Rapper, Producer, Designer, Etc..)
- Bob Proctor (Best-Selling Author & Motivational Speaker)
- Jack Canfield (Best-Selling Author & Motivational Speaker)
- Muhammad Ali (Greatest Boxer of All-Time)
With that being said, we hope we’ve convinced you on the merits of affirmations. But most importantly, we hope we successfully answered your questions as to what affirmations are, and why you should use them.
If you’re looking for a few solid affirmations to get you started on using them, be sure to check one of these out:
- Affirmations for Success
- Affirmations for Discipline
- Affirmations for Confidence
- Affirmations for Entrepreneurs
- Affirmations for Money
Lastly, if you found this resource valuable, please consider sharing it with someone who could benefit from the knowledge. The more people who know about the power of affirmations and use them the better. Because better minds creates better people, and better people create a better world.
Till you reach your aims,
PS – If you enjoyed our answer to the question about what are affirmations, then you’ll likely enjoy this post on the very similar and powerful practice of mantras.