May 152012
 

I’ve heard some people assert that affirmations don’t work for them, or that they don’t believe in them. Unfortunately, this attitude comes from a misunderstanding about what affirmations are, what they do and how to use them.

Affirmations aren’t a magic wand that will make things change in the blink of an eye. They’re simply a deliberate, constructive use of a process that you’re already using. You talk to yourself all the time, either giving yourself positive feedback or putting yourself down. It’s called self-talk. Affirmations are a way of reprogramming your self-talk.

These statements to yourself are also considered to be autosuggestions. You’re giving yourself hypnotic directives all the time by your self-talk. Napoleon Hill wrote about this concept in his book, “Think And Grow Rich.”

No matter what you call your inner statements, you’re instructing your subconscious mind on what you want. You either do it consciously or unconsciously, deliberately or habitually. The only way to change those directives, and their results, is to change what you say to yourself.

That’s why using affirmations in a specific and regular way makes changes in your life. But you have to use them consistently because that’s the only way to change the way you’ve been thinking.

If you were on a freeway, you wouldn’t expect to go in the opposite direction without braking, stopping, crossing to the opposite lanes, and then accelerating to merge with traffic. Any other action could be disastrous.

You’ve built up momentum going in one direction. And you have to slow down before you can change course. Committing to your decision is vital. If you make a sharp turn on the freeway, while driving at 75 mph, you’re inviting an accident.

It’s the same with autosuggestion. You have to work to slow your old thinking down (braking), and then turn it around to believe something different. As with driving, you move in the direction of your attention.

No matter whether you call it affirmation, positive self-talk, or autosuggestion, the process of changing the quality of your attention is the same. Consistently focus your mind on what you want. That will change your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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