Affirmations were created by the French physician, Emile Coue. He noticed when he gave medicine to a patient while praising it as very effective, the results were significantly better. Coue is credited with creating the popular saying, “Everyday, in every way, I’m getting better and better.”
What’s generally unknown is he also noted that, if a patient made their own judgment, the medicine frequently didn’t work.
There are many articles and stories on the power of affirmations and how to use them. Most of them tell you to pick something that’s not working for you and make an affirmation on how you wish things to be.
1. You can’t pay your rent, so you make an affirmation, “Money loves me and comes to me in abundance! “ But as you’re repeating your affirmation, you’re silently asking yourself “How am I going to pay rent before they evict me and my kids?”
2. You hate being lonely, so you begin affirming, “I have an active social life, people love being with me!” while night after night, you’re alone.
These types of situations create a feeling of disconnect, disengagement and confusion; you’re kidding yourself. Using affirmations in this manner seldom work out well for 2 reasons:
1. It is focused on the outcome, not the process. We can’t control the outcome and therefore as things unfold as we feared, not as we affirmed, we feel rejected and think they don’t work.
2. It is coming from a feeling of neediness. Generally, affirmations coming from a place of need actually make things worse. How? Our focused energy increases what we’re directing it on. Thus denying, doubting, worrying, etc. is giving energy thus increasing that which is being denied. In the example, both the desired result and the undesired result are in a tug of war, both feeding on the energy during the affirmation. We can imagine how this may delay results. Further, delaying results generally works against us.
In short, affirmations can be effective. Their effectiveness increases and is in fact expedited when coming from position of (1) focused on the process, (2) unattachment to results and (3) an overall feeling of abundant gratitude, peace and love.
I focus on the process and incorporate My Ask Process. I imagine my goal, then visualize something that fills me with gratitude, peace and love, then after I feel like I’m just radiating love and gratitude and a smile has come to my face, only then I ask “How’s it get better than this?” Think about it. Where moments earlier I had felt fear and empty, now I’m smiling, feeling like I’m radiating abundance as the sun radiates light! That’s when I ask, “How does it get better than this because I’m feeling there is no better than this. I consequently leave that question to God. Then I ask, “What’s the best thing for me to do now?” and that’s what I do. I’m invested in the process, focused on Step 2.
To summarize: Pick something that’s not working in your life. Don’t affirm an outcome; affirm an action. Affirm what you’re going to do. When you’re about to do it, think of something in that area that you can feel grateful for. Focus on it, feel the warmth in your heart, the smile it brings you and ask: “How does it get better than this?”
Follow through with your actions. Then, write down events supporting your new mental model. Practice again and again.