A reader writes, "I began using affirmations in my professional life about a year ago and have found them to be extremely effective. I am having a problem, though, writing more personal affirmations. I think that I tend to be more objective when thinking about career goals, but when it comes to my personal life, I struggle.
"Outwardly, I feel that I do have a great deal of self esteem and confidence that I am a good and worthy person, however, since my
23 year marriage ended 3 years ago (by my husband's decision to seek companionship and co-habitation with a woman 10 years my junior), I have had difficulty with relationships. I've been through counseling and have, I believe, come to terms with what happened. But I can't help but wonder if I continue with self talk and subconscious ideations that I am not entitled to a loving, committed relationship and therefore it doesn't happen for me. That I'm not good enough.
"I am, by most standards, an attractive, fit, professionally successful woman of faith. When the few relationships I've had since my divorce ended, I'm left with no real explanation as to why. In most cases, the men have remained very good friends with me. I've tried on several occasions to write a beginning affirmation that will help me perhaps get past what may be holding me back.... maybe myself!
"So in a nutshell, do you have any suggestions or advice for writing an affirmation in this instance? Any directions would be helpful and appreciated."
For the benefit of our readers, I will start with an introduction to "affirmations." We engage in self-talk. We talk to ourselves in our minds. We tell ourselves how lucky or unfortunate we are, how happy or miserable we are, how beautiful or ugly we are, how brave or scared we are, how thankful or resentful we are.
Whether negative or positive, the statements we make to ourselves are called "affirmations" because they affirm our beliefs. We can engage in self-talk, or make affirmations, consciously or subconsciously. Most people do not think about what they think about. They just allow thoughts to pop up in their minds, react to them, and then wonder why life isn't as they would like it to be.
The negative beliefs we have exist not because they are true, but because they were implanted in our minds when we were children.
If we do not intervene in our negative thoughts, they will lead to negative feelings, behaviour, and consequences.
So, it is important to take charge of our lives by uprooting negative beliefs. We do this by consciously replacing our negative self-talk with positive affirmations. For instance, if we catch ourselves thinking that we are weak, we immediately replace that thought with an affirmation such as "I am powerful."
Once the number of times we tell ourselves we are powerful exceeds the number of times we tell ourselves we are weak, a new belief is established. For we become what we think about most of the time.
Although our reader asked for help in writing a (one) affirmation, I recommend working with a series of them. The reason for this is rather than focusing on one good idea, I suggest we work on building an entire mindset. That is, when our frame of mind, perspective, or attitude is positive and empowering, we are much more likely to reach our goals. The following affirmations are designed to create a mindset that will attract her dreams. Don't be surprised if some of the affirmations are not written in the first person. Remember, they merely represent our beliefs or the beliefs we wish to have. Here they are:
And now a word to our reader who wrote. The above affirmations are just examples. Change them in any way you see fit. Personalize them to match your personality and the way you speak.
They are more powerful when they are aligned with the way you think and talk. They also grow more effective when they are spoken out loud or written down.
To energize your affirmations, change the words to pictures and see them in your mind as you say the affirmation. For example, if you were saying the affirmation, "I am enthusiastic about the treasure I will discover," in your imagination, see a picture of you, beaming with enthusiasm as you open a treasure chest. Feel the enthusiasm as well. Words are the language of the conscious mind, but images and feelings are the language of the subconscious. So, when you use your imagination to conjure up pictures and feelings, you make it far easier for the subconscious to accept.
To make your affirmations as powerful as possible, follow them with action. For as Epictetus ( about 55 ~ 135 CE) taught, "First say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do."
Obviously, our reader cannot just sit around, waiting for the love of her life to appear. Rather, she needs to actively engage with life, placing herself where there are opportunities to meet new people. A good way to begin is with a brainstorming session.
On a sheet of paper write "How and where I can meet new people."
Under that title, vertically write the numbers 1 ~ 25. Then fill in each line with a different way or place to meet people. Once you've tried everything on your list, make a new list and repeat as long as necessary.
Once your list of affirmations are ready, here's an example of how they can be used. Read them out loud in the morning before leaving for work. On the way to work listen to them on an iPod, tape, or CD. Read them silently or out loud again sometime during your lunch break. Write them out and read them out loud before going to bed. Also, write down on an index card or memorize six of your favorite affirmations and say them in your mind as many times as you can each day. Since we have 12,000 ~ 60,000 thoughts daily, you can see it will take many repetitions to overwrite or replace our negative programming.
Yes, there is some work involved, but anything worthwhile needs some effort to achieve. Isn't it worth the sweat to reach our dreams? A good way to make sure you don't forget to frequently repeat your six favorite affirmations is to link them to activities you often do during the day. For example, if you walk from your desk to another part of the office several times a day, you can link your affirmations to walking. Here's what I mean. As you leave your desk to walk somewhere else, you mentally say, "Each step I take brings me closer to my dreams." Then follow this thought by mentally saying your six favorite affirmations.
So, every time you walk, it reminds you to say your affirmations.
Notice, also, it doesn't take any extra time to say your affirmations. Ordinarily your mind would just indulge in idle chatter as you walked. All you are doing is replacing useless babble with belief-transforming affirmations.
To learn more about the powerful technique of linking your affirmations to your actions and to see hundreds of examples, pick up a copy of Forbes Robbins Blair's book, "Self-Hypnosis Revolution" (Sourcebooks, Inc., 2007). Don't be misled by the use of "hypnosis" in the title of the book. Just think of affirmations as (hypnotic) suggestions.
If you have or can get someone to help you with the necessary technical skills, you can start experiencing change in just a few days. The trick is to get your affirmations to your subconscious as quickly as possible. Here's how to do it:
1. Read your affirmations slowly and clearly, recording them on your computer. (If you need some software to help you do that, you may be interested in Audio Record Wizard.
I find it both easy to use and effective.
2. When recording, I recommend reading your affirmation list two or three times. This will introduce some variety and give you the opportunity of recording each affirmation perfectly at least once out of the three times.
3. Burn an audio CD of your affirmations.
4. Visit The Source (formerly Radio Shack) and pick up a PILLOW SPEAKER. It should cost less than $10.
5. Before going to sleep, put your affirmation CD into your CD player and set it to REPEAT the recording over and over again (it will keep repeating the recording until you turn off the CD player). Next, instead of head phones, plug in the pillow speaker, and place it under your pillow.
6. Now you are ready to sleep. Adjust the volume so that it is audible, yet comfortable. Let the CD player play all night.
Forget about the recording and go to sleep. Once asleep, your affirmations (suggestions) will gain direct access to your subconscious.
7. Repeat this daily. It should take 2 ~ 5 days to get the results you want. How will you know when your affirmations / suggestions have taken root in your subconscious? You will know!
You will feel completely different. You will feel empowered and change your behavior. You will be transformed, a new person.
This is one of the best methods I know of for eliciting change quickly. It is very powerful. I used this method 40 years ago to quit smoking (we didn't have CD's back then; I used a clumsy tape recorder). I went from someone who could not survive one waking hour without a cigarette to a nonsmoker in three days (with no withdrawal symptoms). I still use this technique today.
However, if the above method is too troublesome, there is another method just as effective, but it does cost about $100. It consists of a CD and manual. Here's how it works. Rather than working on a series of affirmations, you just pick one problem you wish to work on. After identifying the problem and recalling the last time it occurred, you listen to a 55-minute CD. That's it! You should experience change from the very first day. You can continue playing it daily, until you are completely satisfied.
You will probably play it 1 ~ 5 days to get the results you want.
Being divorced by one's husband for a younger woman is traumatizing. The ex-wife may experience a loss of confidence and doubt she can attract men. If this were the case for our reader and she were to use the CD I just mentioned, she may want to start out on working on her self-doubt or lack of confidence.
After a few days, she would be ready to move on to the next problem. Within weeks, or earlier, she should be ready to set out and reach her dreams.
The CD is created by the new king of self-help gurus, Michael Norman, an Australian master of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian Hypnosis. You can learn a little about NLP here: http://www.nlp-now.co.uk/nlp-what.htm and about Ericksonian Hypnosis here: http://www.ericksonian.com/milton-erickson.html.
However, you needn't know anything about either subject, all you need to know is that Michael Norman's CD works. He calls his program, "Your Instant Life Revolution." The CD will transport you to a magical world where you will discover the power of instantaneous, or near-instantaneous, transformation. You can learn more about his program here: http://www.yourinstantliferevolution.com/special/. And you can learn more about Michael by downloading both parts of a magazine interview with him here: http://www.normansupport.com/index.php?_m=downloads&_a=view.
For more information on affirmations, see http://www.personal-development.com/chuck/affirmations.htm
For help for women getting over divorce, read THE EX-WIFE SYNDROME: Cutting the Cord and Breaking Free After the Marriage Ends by Sandra S. Kahn, Random House Inc, 1990.
To help our reader nurture her next relationship, she can read GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT: A Guide for Couples by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., HarperPerennial, 1990.