It’s the repetition of affirmations that lead to belief. And once that belief becomes a strong conviction, things begin to happen.
-Claude M. Bristol
Do self-affirmations really work? Does saying something over and over again make it true? Was the book The Secret accurate?
Scientifically, no. If you repeatedly tell yourself you have a million dollars, the money won’t magically appear under your pillow.
What affirmations can do, however, is plant a seed of optimism in your head which will compel you to work harder towards your goals. And by doing so, you may see more fruition. I compare to it the old cliché “Fake it till you make it.”
However, anyone with mental health issues will agree that keeping a positive attitude is a lot easier said than done. Even “faking it” is not easy when you’re feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.
To me, that’s where recordings come in.
One of the things I tend do is make subliminal recordings for myself. While that doesn’t always change the outcome, my attitude does become a lot more positive. When my thoughts are positive, I think much more clearly.
I make these recordings when I’m experiencing genuine moments of joy. If I just received an acceptance letter from a publication, I immediately grab my phone (before the era of smartphones, it used to be a digital recorder) and record something positive. I follow the same procedure if someone pays me a compliment or some dilemma or the other goes away.
The benefit of doing that at that precise moment is that my feelings and emotions are genuinely happy. I can record an affirmation with utmost sincerity and not have to pretend to be upbeat. Later, when I’m feeling down, I listen to the recording on a loop. At that moment, I may be feeling depressed but that person talking to me is happy.
An alternative to recordings is writing down whatever good news comes your way. If you just had a favorite meal, you could write “I just savored my favorite dish.”
I’ll be the first to admit that in the past two or three weeks, I had kind of lost touch with these exercises due to a myriad of issues. Even small moments of joy had hardly made a difference till a couple of days ago. I’ve been frustrated, depressed and crying a lot.
I reveal this not to gain pity or even sympathy but to put much of what I’m saying in context. A few weeks ago, I lost a loved one to COVID. As I write this, another loved one, my uncle, has been lying in the hospital with a ventilator for quite a few days now, also due to COVID.
I would imagine that such a situation would bring out the worst in anyone and I was no different. For a short time, my confidence in anything optimistic, including affirmations, wavered.
It was only when I saw a few illustrations made by a friend of mine that a light bulb went off. All of these illustrations had such alluring graphics and such motivating affirmations that it was impossible to dismiss them as merely good art. The energy in them went far deeper than what the eyes were seeing ostensibly.
To me, they became more like callings. The way I like to put it is in the past, I was seeking out strategies to help me, including affirmations. Now, I genuinely felt that the affirmations were seeking me out via my friend’s visuals. It was almost as if they were telling me, “Hey why’d you forget about us? We were trying to help you!”
And with that, slowly but surely, I started changing my outlook yet again. I thought that if seeing the words had that much of an impact on me, perhaps recording them would help even more just like in the past. And just like that, I started the old exercises again and have started feeling much better.
Again, affirmations may not be the miracle solutions to dilemmas as they’re often made out to be. Saying or writing something repeatedly will not magically make it happen without any effort. But that doesn’t make their contributions nil. It’s all about finding out what makes you tick and using it to your advantage. In the case of self-affirmations, it’s about channeling a positive attitude and applying that attitude to your endeavors.
Do you believe in self-affirmations or subliminal messages? Have you ever tried self-affirmation exercises before? Why or why not? How important is having a positive attitude to you? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.
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