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Do Affirmations Work?

by Dr. Vesna Grubacevic

For how long have you been saying affirmations with little success?  Are your self doubts and negative self talk sabotaging your positive affirmations?  Would you like to know how to truly believe in yourself and follow through on your decisions, dreams and goals?

Affirmations versus beliefs

Affirmations are positive statements that people write out or say to themselves.  Often they reflect what that person aspires to be, do and/or have.  For example, “I can do anything”, “I allow an abundance of money to flow to me”, “I am fit and healthy”, “I live each day with joy and happiness”, etc.  Beliefs are convictions we have (what we truly believe with all our heart) about ourselves, other people and the world around us.  For example. “I believe I can do anything I set my mind to”, “I am worthy of success”.  When we truly believe those beliefs, we have no need to keep saying them because our beliefs are a part of our makeup, they are who we are as a person – our identity.

To affirm or to believe?

Our beliefs are reflected in our behaviour.  It is more powerful to be congruent with what we believe because then our beliefs will automatically and unconsciously be reflected in our actions; they will drive our behaviour.  If our beliefs are empowering, they will affect our behaviour positively.  If our beliefs are disempowering, they will affect our behaviour negatively, will limit us and hold us back from doing what we want in life.

Often people with limiting beliefs (eg. I am not good enough, fear of failure/success, I can’t make enough money, etc) may feel the need to use affirmations to compensate for those limiting beliefs.  People who have solid and congruent empowering beliefs, usually feel no need for affirmations because their beliefs are so strong they unconsciously act upon them.  When we truly believe, affirmations become obsolete.

Our unconscious beliefs prevail

Our beliefs are stored unconsciously and affirmations are statements that people say on a conscious level.  Any time we do not fully believe what we affirm, our unconscious beliefs will always win.  Some people think that if they say affirmations long enough, they will start to believe what they are affirming.  This is only true if they totally believe what they are affirming.

Any time our affirmations are in conflict with what we believe, our unconscious beliefs prevail.  For example, if a person says “I live each day with joy and happiness” and if they have unconscious beliefs such as “I am not good enough”, “I don’t deserve to be happy”, etc, and if they have out of proportion emotions of sadness, etc, these past emotions and limiting beliefs will prevent them from being happy.

Transforming Affirmations into Beliefs

Only once any limiting beliefs and past emotions are addressed, will affirmations work because then the person affirming will be congruent, will believe and will truly feel what they are affirming.  It is only then that positive affirmations can reinforce our empowering beliefs.

Some people unconsciously use negative affirmations. Every time they beat up on themselves, put themselves down or use negative self talk, they are actually reinforcing the limiting decisions that are driving the negative self talk.  The best way to stop those negative affirmations is to identify and address the specific limiting beliefs that are driving the negative self talk.

If you find yourself using affirmations and they are not helping you to create the relationship, career/business, health and life you desire, it is time to identify and address your unconscious beliefs and past emotions, so that you can develop total belief in yourself and create the life you desire.

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