On Wednesday, March 16 Categories:

Affirmation as a powerful self-help tool have become widely used in our culture. As with anything that grows quickly in social awareness, there is an accompanying potential misunderstanding that can end up with disappointing results. Here are some guides for what to do and what not to do to create super powerful affirmations.

Don't treat yourself like an idiot

If you're feeling sick and you repeat to yourself "I am well," it could be that you're wasting your time or at least hanging on to a hope that the words you're saying will make you feel better. Maybe they can. But consider this for an even more powerful result.

Take a few steps back from the statement "I am well" (if you're not feeling well,) and ask yourself what you can say that feels authentic, and is true and upbeat. You might not feel like jumping up and down with a fake smile on your face, but you may be feeling hopeful, or courageous. Maybe you feel grateful that you're willing to say short, affirmative, powerful statements as a way of supporting your state of mind. So say so! You know when you've found a super powerful affirmation when nothing in your mind says "Oh really!" or better still, when you say it, your body feels good, and you don't feel like you're treating yourself as if you were an idiot. So it maybe be better for you to say something like "I am feeling hopeful, courageous and greateful that I'm willing to lift my spirits." And if this statement feels real, and solid and makes you perk up, don't underestimate the powerful effect it will have on your wellbeing.

Don't go on and on and on and on

I think the key to a powerful affirmation is that it is memorable. To be memorable, it should probably not be too long. You can carry it around in your mental pocket. You don't need to whip out a piece of paper or note book to remind yourself of the paragraph you're carrying around. It's alive in you and you know it and you can say it easily, effortlessly and you're not embarrassed to say it. I think a better term for affirmations would be Truth Statements, because that is exactly where the power of affirmations resides, in their truthfulness. I've noticed that when I create very long affirmations, it is sometimes a symptom of trying to convince myself that something is true, when that something isn't true at all. I talked to a man who was practically penniless as a result of an unfortunately addiction which he now had come to turns with. His life was taking a turn for the better and he wanted to create a powerful affirmation to supplement his new found growth. He shared with me the affirmation he was working on. Short, simple and to the point: I am rich. I asked him how it was working for him and he said, "That's just the point, I feel kind of embarrassed saying it." I asked him what was a more reasonable statement he could make, that was still up beat, and still affirmative. He came up with so many super affirmations to replace the original one right away. "I am bursting with new ideas." "I am surrounded by friends and family who love me." "I feel great." By the time we were done with our conversation he had a new approach to add to his already concise, direct language: make it true!

Follow these five basic guides

  1. Make your affirmations present tense.

  2. Make them personal, about you.

  3. Make them meaningful (using words that work for you.)

  4. Make them short and memorable

  5. Make them true.

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Edward Viljoen is co-author (with Chris Michaels) of Spirit is Calling, The Prosperous Life Journal, and Practice the Presence, interactive journals available from Steppings Stones Bookstore, published by Awakening Worlds. He is co-author (with Joyce Duffala) of Seeing Good At Work also available at http://www.steppingstonesbookstore.org.

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