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Affirmations: Write them and recite them!

Affirmations are positive messages that we express either out loud or silently that are meant to reinforce a growth area in our lives, or to open up new avenues of growth where we might be stuck. Affirmations spoken with emotion communicate to our subconscious mind, and in time lead to changes in our mind and body that synchronize with the spirit of the affirmation message.


Affirmations give us a steady nudge toward the best version of ourselves. For best results, it helps to know a bit about what sort of message is likely to have the best affect on us.

How do affirmations work?

Affirmations work because the subconscious mind is wired to accept messages it hears repeatedly. They are absorbed better when we put a joyful emotion behind them.

Happy emotions are high energy emotions. Because we're reprogramming our brains to accept a new, affirmative message, we need that added energy to loosen the mind's hold on the old, undesired state. Always speak your affirmations with strong, uplifting emotion!

Reciting affirmations feeds the positive, life-giving things we wish to attract into our lives. It's also a way to empower those aspects of ourselves that need support as we build confidence. In time, our mind begins to accept the affirmation as fact. 

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Writing affirmations

The most effective affirmations are the ones you write yourself. It's a fun exercise once you know the basics and get the hang of inventing them.

Your self-written affirmations should:

  • Express a desired future state ("My work is fun and rewarding"), or
  • Reinforce a current state that we may be struggling with ("My family loves me"), and
  • Always be written in the present tense.

Why is that? Affirmations express a future state because that's where we want to go. And they're written in the present tense because your subconscious mind concerns itself only with the present. Expressing a future goal or desired state in the present tense, in time, directs our mind toward the future outcome.

No weak sauce!

To be effective, affirmations must use bold, direct language.

Bold: "I am financially independent"
Not bold: "I will try to be more responsible with money"

In the bold affirmation, the desire is expressed as happening NOW, even though my present reality might be otherwise. I may not be financially independent today, but I expect I will be in time. The "not bold" one expresses a desire to try, which is the equivalent of a weak handshake.

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"I" statements in affirmations

Using "I", or "my" in affirmations directs the message to the one person whom you are empowered to change, and that's yourself!

Let's never forget that affirmations can only be used to affect change in ourselves, not in other people!

"Wants" vs. "don't wants"

It's important to omit language of things that we don't want, lest the subconscious seize on that thing.

For example, "I am free of debt" is less effective than "I am financially independent" because the latter addresses the desired outcome, whereas the former reminds the mind of the thing we don't want, which is debt.

This fits with the five-steps of creation I've talked about:  1. know what you don't want, 2. know what you do want, 3. starve what we don't want, and 4. feed what we do want in our lives. The final step is to let go and allow the process to work.

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Using affirmations

Our subconscious mind can't tell the difference between fact or fiction.  It also has no sense of time, existing only in the present. In time, it will reprogram itself according to the messages it receives. Understanding this, here's how to make affirmations work for you:

  • Write them down on paper or in a spreadsheet. Place them so that you will see them often.
  • Speak your affirmations out loud, with confidence and excitement, at least once per day, more often if you're able.
  • If possible, speak them when your mind is in the alpha state (experienced shortly before falling asleep, immediately after waking, or when meditating), when your subconscious mind is most open to receiving messages.

You could also record the affirmations in your own voice and play them back at low volume as you are falling asleep.

  • We add emotion when speaking (or thinking) our affirmations because strong emotions get the brain's attention, and catalyze the rewiring process that is, quite literally, taking place in our brains.

Examples of effective affirmations

Note that all of these express either a desired future state or affirm a present reality that needs support. They are direct and unambiguous. They use "I" or "My" to focus the spotlight on ourselves.

  • I release all thoughts that do not serve my highest good
  • I completely love and accept myself
  • I am a gift to all within my circle of influence
  • I make my dreams and goals a priority in my life
  • My potential is limitless. I can learn anything.
  • I focus on the good of this moment.
  • I change the world by following inspiration.
  • My work is meaningful and significant.
  • I choose friends who love me just the way I am.
  • My family is a gift.
  • I let go of all emotions that do not feel loving.
  • I trust my inner wisdom and intuition.
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