Why Affirmations May Not Work (And What to Do If They Don’t)

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One of the biggest current trends in goal accomplishment is the practice of something called affirmations. A positive affirmation is a word or phrase repeated daily to help train the mind to think positively by directly influencing the sub-conscious part of the brain. This, in turn, is supposed to increase the likeliness of a person succeeding. Why? Because they begin to attract their desires to them without having to struggle as much as they normally would.

For the most part, research has shown that daily affirmations are highly effective when they are used correctly. But, for one reason or another, some people simply can’t get them to work. So it doesn’t take long for them to feel so defeated that they give up on trying to include them as part of their goal-accomplishment process. This only further delays their progress, though. If you have encountered this difficulty, you’ll want to read on.

Here, we share why daily affirmations don’t work for everyone (and what you should be doing instead)

Setting Too Many Goals at Once

Some people, when they begin to use affirmations, make a long list of all the things they want to accomplish. Then, they come up with a word or phrase to match each of them. In the morning, and throughout the day, they try to keep repeating the affirmations for all of these goals. The problem? There are just too many to focus on. They don’t have enough energy left to direct the sub-conscious mind towards accomplishing any of them.

It is recommended to start out with focusing on only a few goals at a time. Once you accomplish those, you can begin to work towards more of the things that you want in life.

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High Expectations of Perfection

No one is perfect. And it is impossible to do everything perfectly all the time. Those who have set incredibly high standards for themselves struggle to see this though. So even though they are making small strides towards their goals, all they can see is what they didn’t manage to accomplish.

To combat this type of negative thinking, start making a list of what steps have already been taken towards each of the goals. Take note of how many goals you have already completed. You may be surprised (and impressed) by the results.

Keeping Dated Goals

It is important that a person’s daily affirmations match their goals. That is why most experts recommend that people go through their personal goal-setting list every few months or so to create a new set of affirmations to match those goals. This will ensure that the sub-conscious mind stays focused on achieving the desired results.

Forgetting to Visualize

A person can’t just repeat affirmations and expect the magic to start happening right away. They have to see themselves already accomplishing it successfully. Connecting the imagination to the words that are being spoken activates more parts of the brain to work together to accomplish the desired results.

If you want to do this, you will find it helps to include pictures to go with each mantra.

affirmations

Not Acting

Some people claim that all a person has to do to accomplish their goals is think about them as if they have already been achieved. But you will never reach a goal or bring success into your life if you aren’t doing anything towards attaining it. For example, a person who wants to have their dream job can’t just think about it day after day. They have to fill out applications and go to job interviews too.

As you can see, to get a positive affirmation to work for you, you have to be willing to narrow down your goal list, not expect perfection, keep your goal list current, and use visualization along with your affirmations. Most importantly though, you have to apply actionable steps towards achieving your goals. It is also important to remember that it takes time to attract all the wonderful things that you want. So don’t get discouraged if a few weeks pass by with no results.

References:
https://www.cmu.edu/homepage/health/2013/summer/benefits-of-self-affirmation.shtml
https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/releases/self-affirmation-enhances-performance-makes-us-receptive-to-our-mistakes.html
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