Affirmations don’t work (unless you do this)

Have you ever used affirmations–to lose weight or increase your income or improve a condition of some kind?

Many people have tried affirmations and nearly everyone has given up when they didn’t work.

Including me.

Years ago, when I first started walking and wanted to lose weight, I used to affirm that I was “thin”. I told myself that, over and over again, because that’s what I wanted.

But, despite all that walking and affirming I didn’t get thin.

Years later, I found out why.

I found out that by affirming something I didn’t believe (that I was thin), all I was doing was perpetuating what I did believe–that I needed to lose weight.

I was telling my subconscious mind, over and over again and with feeling, that I needed to lose weight so it obediently made sure I continued to be overweight.

Because that’s how our minds work.

So now, when I choose an affirmation or a goal, I make sure to choose something I believe.

Things like, “I enjoy walking,” “I like knowing I can take small steps toward improving my health,” “It feels good to know I’m on my way towards being lean and strong and healthy”.

And, this time around, walking has served me well. I’ve lost weight and feel stronger and healthier.

Yeah, this is a bit airy-fairy, but why not give it a try? What have you got to lose (besides some unweighted weight)?

Choose something you want and believe and affirm it or journal about it or meditate on it, and let your subconscious mind do what it does best.

I just got back from my walk and thought I’d tell you.

Why you didn’t win $1.6 billion in the lottery

You have a goal. You want to earn $100,000 per month. You phrase the goal in the present tense, as though it has already occurred. “I’m earning a net income of $100,000 per month from my law practice.”

You state your goal as an affirmation. You repeat it often, with feeling, and imagine yourself earning that income.

Since “your subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined,” it will help you achieve your goal, right?

Not so fast.

It’s true that the subconscious mind can’t tell the difference between real and imagined thoughts. It is like a child; it accepts whatever it is told and acts on it, without question.

Many experiments have proven this.

In one experiment, a high school basketball team was asked to shoot free throws and their results were recorded. The team was then divided into two groups. One group practiced shooting free throws; the other group didn’t practice but spent the time imagining themselves shooting (and making) free throws.

After a few weeks, the two groups were tested again. The group that practiced improved their free throw percentages by 28%. The second group, the one that didn’t actually practice, improved their free throw percentage by 25%.

So, why can’t you achieve your earning goal by imagining it?

Because you know it’s not true.

And every time you imagine it or state it as an affirmation, you’re affirming that it isn’t true. You keep reminding your inner child that you’re not earning $100,000 per month, ensuring that you continue to not earn $100,000 per month.

When you focus on what you don’t have, you get more of “not having” it.

The answer is to imagine and affirm something that is either true or believable and consistent with achieving the goal.

Instead of affirming that you’re earning $100k per month, for example, affirm that you are “investing 15 minutes a day to learn how to get better at marketing”.

If that’s true, your subconscious mind will help you get better at marketing. Later, you can choose another affirmation that will help you take things to the next level.

On the other hand, someone just won $1.6 billion and probably didn’t believe it was possible. So what the hell do I know?