Ep. 2: 3 Reasons Why Affirmations Don’t Work

So perhaps you were a little thrown off by the title. Anyone who appreciates the work of Louise Hay or Dr. Wayne Dyer is going to know there is significant value in affirmations. After all, our thoughts shape our words, our words shape our actions, and our actions shape much of our reality.

Well, the truth is I do think affirmations work but I also believe I have found 3 reasons why they may not be working for you. Let me first mention something though. The reality is, whether you think you’ve been doing affirmations or not is irrelevant. Why would I say this? Because we all affirm ourselves every day.

Thinking to yourself that you’re dumb is an affirmation. Thinking to yourself that you’re an idiot is an affirmation. Thinking to yourself how bad you look is an affirmation. No, these affirmations are not true of course but you are affirming something when you think or say that about yourself.

What we want to do with affirmations is contradict what we’ve been telling ourselves. We want to begin thinking and saying what is true about ourselves. Can you imagine what kind of life you could be living if you truly affirmed how good you were? If you reminded yourself often how smart, creative, and beautiful you were? Just writing this brings me a feeling of confidence that I can go out and do so much more knowing those are my truths!

So if you’ve ever come across someone who thinks that affirmations don’t work you might want to consider the following:

1. It’s likely that you are doing them incorrectly. Sometimes we confuse recognition with appreciation. Appreciation falls in the Affirmation camp. Recognition, while a wonderful thing, is not an affirmation. You see, recognition involves praise for something someone did. You graduated school, you finished writing a book, you landed that great job you’ve always wanted, you finally ran that half-marathon. Those are wonderful achievements and praise/recognition for a job well done goes a long way. However, affirmations are not based on recognition of the accomplishments and achievements you’ve made.

Affirmations are based on appreciations and appreciations are based on your inherent qualities. Those are qualities you were born with and are not dependent on what you do but rather who you are. For example, you are creative, beautiful, thoughtful, intelligent, whole, enough, valuable, etc. So the next time you affirm yourself consider whether it’s a quality or an achievement you are expressing. Achievements come and go but your inherent quality (what you’re made of) stays the same all the time regardless of what you do or don’t do.

2. You are doing them to feel “good”. This is not the point of doing affirmations. We don’t use affirmations to feel certain ways. People say they don’t work because sometimes they don’t “feel better” after saying them. Affirming yourself has nothing to do with how you feel in any given moment. Your thoughts and your feelings are two different things and this is a great time to remind yourself of that.

3. You’re not doing them enough. It’s amazing how often throughout a given day we’re given reminders about what’s “wrong” with us. We need to counter that by doing affirmations daily!

Here’s Your Challenge For The Week:

Step 1: Do it first thing in the morning in front of the mirror or when you go to bed

Step 2: Allow yourself to have whatever thoughts and feelings come up for you. Don’t judge them.

Step 3: This is about changing your starting place so go easy on yourself.

Step 4: When you’re about to give up and stop is right when you’re going to have your breakthrough, so keep going.

For much more, listen to the entire podcast on iTunes and if you feel so compelled I would be forever grateful if you left a written review there as well!