Affirmations…why they DON’T work

positive-changeThe essence behind what I do for a living is to help individuals synchronize their thought process with their truth – many call that the practice of positive thinking. I call it the process of natural thinking. We were born naturally positive thinkers; we’ve just been tainted by societal conditioning.

As a matter of fact, I’m seeing us as a society buy into another lie: the self-help craze. We’re buying books and reading articles and attending seminars related to growth like never before. It’s a great thing to see people waking up, developing, growing and wanting to be their best. What I’m narrowing in on is the quality of all of this information that we’re being fed. There are many times I notice the incongruence in what people are saying, believing and doing and the nature of their discussion often sounds rhymed off by the latest top selling book. I feel like we’re being brain washed again on some level. The information that’s out there is all well intentioned, I just question how effective it all really is.

As an investigator and calibrator of effective tools, I have always been attracted to what works and what doesn’t. I resonate with tools that point to the truth and that’s why I’m not a huge fan of affirmations. I like what they’re trying to create I’m just not convinced of their effectiveness.

Affirmations are statements of things that you want to be true in your life. It’s a practice rooted in conscious thinking (which builds mindfulness). So, if I’m a person who’s having financial troubles, the general rule is to create an affirmation to tell myself that “I am rich” and hope that my life will magically change as a result of concentrating and repeating that statement (the Law of Attraction and such). Well, my mind goes haywire with that statement.

If however I were to ask myself, why am I so rich? Well that would elicit a completely different dialogue altogether. I would immediately try to find ways to answer that question and that would help me to create a perspective that would resonate with me because it’s nurturing the belief that on some level, I am already rich and part of me knows that I’ve created richness in my life. That’s when belief becomes strengthened and from belief comes change – real tangible change. This is called an AFFORMATION – a tool that encourages you to focus on what you HAVE and not what you DON’T HAVE.

Afformations, invented by Noah St. John (whose work I’ve come to really respect because it’s grounded in truth) is based on the realization that the human brain has a truth/lie detector built right into it. Any statement we make has to face the jury of our mind to decide its validity. Here’s where we access the war in our brains and where we squash the truth we know in our hearts.

On the other hand, when we come from a place of curiosity and ask our brain questions, our brain goes into search mode to find the answer. Why is this important? Because if the human mind automatically starts to search for the answer to questions, then we’ve got some authentic activity going on. So why are we throwing statements around when our brain doesn’t naturally embrace them? Let’s work with what nature graciously gave to us shall we?

So, afformations are based on questions not statements. And the quality of the question we ask our brain, matters a great deal. Mr. St. John asserts that when we ask our brain lousy questions we get lousy answers. “Why can’t I do anything right? Because I’m a loser. Why am I such a loser? Because I suck at following through. Why am I always falling behind? Because I’m not disciplined enough.” In Noah St. John’s words: when you ask lousy questions you get lousy answers and you get a lousy life!

Let’s put this into practice and use money as the subject to create an afformation. Ask yourself what is the limiting belief that’s at work for you around money. Then figure out the opposite belief that you have about the subject and then form that into a question. So if the fear is that no one will ever pay you more than they do now, then the afformation could sound something like: Why do I attract jobs that pay me so extremely well? Or why do employers/clients love to pay me such a high wage? Keep repeating these afformations and watch what happens!

What I like about afformations is that they directly invite you to focus on what you already have in your life. And what you have is a product of who you are. And who you are is your truth and when you focus on that, it builds and you see its benefits in your life. Isn’t this a cool little tool to help you get to your core?!

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3 Responses to Affirmations…why they DON’T work

  1. Wendy SilvaNo Gravatar says:

    Joanne! Loved this entry. Makes complete logical sense. Keep em coming!

  2. GlennNo Gravatar says:

    I was getting started with affirmations! Now I see their fundamental shortcomings. Thanks Jo :)

  3. tax attorneyNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.

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