Why your affirmations aren't working
Why your affirmations aren’t working?
I love affirmations. I think they can be powerful catalysts to fostering confidence, clarity, and focus. They can propel us closer to our goals while helping us remain peaceful on the journey. They can initiate positive self-talk and can change our beliefs about ourselves, others, and the future.
We can create what we think are amazing affirmations, positive affirmations for success at work or even positive affirmations for well being. We might even adopt some supercharged affirmations that we’ve read in a book or on a website. But, if the affirmation has either of these two characteristics listed below, then it just won’t work for us.
1. It doesn’t resonate with us at the moment.
We have a tendency for writing affirmations or choosing personal affirmations that we THINK we want or that we think we SHOULD want. We may also choose or create an affirmation that we’re not quite ready to bring into our lives, but maybe we choose it because it feels CLOSE ENOUGH. It’s really important the affirmation you create or choose is aligned with what you REALLY want and how you want to feel. If it isn’t, it won’t resonate with you and you’ll wonder why it didn’t “work” or never felt right.
Does the affirmation feel right to you? Is it aligned with what you what? Is it realistic for you (you can still think big!)? If you’re not sure what you want, this is the time to talk with someone or journal about what you really, really want -- and why you want it. One of the important reasons why an affirmation needs to resonate with us, is the emotional salience, enthusiasm, and feeling associated with the affirmation. Does it get you excited? Does it awaken some type of emotional response? Or do you just mindlessly repeat it or read it with zero emotional charge? The emotional charge is absolutely necessary. It has to be there to create the energetic shift that is needed. We need passion and a vision associated with the affirmation. Without it, you’re just saying words.
In the book, "The Healing Power of EFT & Energy Psychology, " Feinstein, Eden, & Craig state, “Once an affirmation is deeply believable and emotionally compatible, changes to your self-image and core beliefs will, according to many case reports, be rapid, deep, and lasting.”
2. We have “tail-enders”
What is a “tail-ender?” Great question. It’s a phrase that you have unconsciously added to the “tail end” of an affirmation that will discount the entire affirmation. They might involve core beliefs about yourself, fears about the goal, and/or worries about negative consequences of achieving the goal. They often involve a limiting belief or image about ourselves that what we want is not attainable for us.
To illustrate what this might look like, take the following affirmation as an example -- "I love my body and I am losing weight safely and easily." Okay, what your subconscious might be finishing that sentence with is, “Ya right. I can’t lose weight. It doesn’t matter what I do. I’m doomed to fail. Other people can, but I can’t.” Or we may add statements such as, “If I lost weight, there will be pressure to keep it off and I don’t want to diet forever” or “I’ll have to give up all the foods I love.” The extra part that the subconscious added - that was the tail-ender. It's how we complete the affirmation in our hear. This is not conscious, so we may not be aware that we're doing it until we really explore how the affirmation interacts with our core beliefs about ourselves.
It’s really important to unravel the fears and core beliefs that may be impacting the success of your affirmation. It’s really important to explore the part of you that DOESN’T want the change. It’s okay. We often have mixed feelings about making changes in our lives. But, we need to address the part of us that don’t want to change – and why? Then, we can neutralize these tail-enders and create a successful affirmation. It can be helpful to "talk with" any part of you that doesn't want your goal -- journal about it and see what comes up.
In the case of a "tail-ender," what we may be actually “affirming” is the statement we’ve created PLUS the unconscious “tail-ender.” This creates a scenario where you continue to stay in a place where your core (negative) beliefs about yourself remain true. This is not helpful for progress or achieving goals. It's important to get in touch with this part of you and to work through what is driving the "tail-ender," so it can dissipate, and you can create a successful and charged affirmation.
"Belief becomes biology." -- Norman Cousins