Many people think that the practice of saying affirmations is kind of a new agey, hokey thing. (Maybe they saw that affirmation guy on Saturday night live …) However, I think they can be very powerful as a technique for programming your mind for achievement of your goals.
I’m no biblical scholar or even an avid reader of the bible, but there are two passages that I think speak to the power of affirmations.
First, in the Old Testament, Moses wants to know God’s name. God says his name is “I AM”.
Second, the Gospel of John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
A definition of God could be “the Creator.” To me, the message is clear: Word is the creator. And the creator’s name is “I am.”
Even if you don’t believe anything in the Bible, I think we can agree that words, or language, are powerfully creative. We create with our language, not only by what we say, but by what we think, and we think mostly in language.
Both philosophers and shamans agree that our world is created through language. The Buddha said, 2500 years ago:
” We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.”
I use this idea of creative language to help my clients achieve their goals through the use of affirmations. I listen carefully to the language they use to describe their challenges. This gives me a clue as to their belief systems. As a hypnotherapist, my job is to help them create beliefs that help them get what they want. I do this by using the power of suggestion (language) while they are in hypnosis.
But, I also teach them how to use the power of suggestion on themselves.
Remember that language is creative. Well, it’s also hypnotizing. To put a person into hypnosis, all I need to do is talk to them.
And that’s how beliefs are created. Someone tells you something over and over again when you are highly suggestible (such as when you are a child) and you believe.
This is how television advertising works. While you are in a highly suggestible state (watching television) you receive repetition and reinforcement of the belief that you need a particular product.
You can also talk yourself into a belief. People do it all the time. The only question is: Are those beliefs working for you? If not, you can talk yourself into a new belief.
I think one of the most powerful tools to do this is through the use of affirmations.
Affirmations are declarations that something is true. But how does something become true? We affirm over and over again until we believe it. Whether it’s true or not doesn’t really matter except for how that belief affects us.
I help my clients develop new and empowering beliefs outside of our sessions by having them affirm the new belief over and over again. The key to learning anything is repetition and reinforcement.
What words will they use to affirm their new beliefs? Well, it’ll start with, you guessed it, “I am…” For example, “I am confident and trust in my ability to achieve my goals.”
They might say “But that’s not true!” But it doesn’t matter, because an affirmation is not meant to be true. It’s a tool to get the subconscious mind familiar with new ways of thinking that’s empowering. If they say it enough times and with a high degree of emotion while in a suggestible state, it will become their new belief, and this will shape their actions.
Why? Because the subconscious mind (88% percent of your mind by some estimates) will always move you towards what is known and familiar. So I use affirmations to help my clients’ subconscious minds get more comfortable with what they want and less comfortable with what they don’t want.
The technique I give my client is very simple. Come up with three affirmations, say them out loud every morning and night, (times when you are very suggestible) and hand-write them once each.
Have you ever heard someone say “Talk is cheap”? That’s simply not true. The truth is that people cheapen talk by using language that is dis-empowering.
Consider that every day you speak your world into existence and that talk is not cheap but quite valuable. So why not use this simple little technique to begin to speak into existence the world that you want to experience?