Monday, August 29, 2011

Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired situation, and which are repeated many times, in order to impress the subconscious mind and trigger it into positive action. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the affirmations, they have to be repeated with attention, conviction, interest and desire.

Often, people repeat negative statements in their minds, without even being aware of what they are doing. Do you keep thinking and telling yourself that you cannot do something, you are too lazy, lack inner strength, or that you are going to fail? Your subconscious mind accepts as true what you keep saying, and eventually attracts corresponding events and situations into your life, irrespective whether they are good or bad for you, so why not choose only positive statements?

How affirmations work :

We go through our life according to our beliefs. For example, we know it and hence it is our belief that if we touch anything hot, it will cause burns. Hence we don't touch hot things with our bare hands. However, the belief system of small children is not yet formed. Hence, they do not know the difference between hot and cold and are likely to touch hot things with their bare hands. (hence we have to take greater care of small children than grown up children).

If they get burns on their hand, or, alternately if they are told repeatedly that touching hot things is bad, then their belief system forms and they will avoid touching hot things. This is an example of affirmations at work.

All our beliefs are stored in the subconscious mind. So, if you find that you are unable to make lots of money, or, you make money but are unable to hold on to it, it may be due to such beliefs held in the subconscious mind as "I do not deserve to be prosperous" or "Money is bad", etc. In order to change our beliefs, we have to operate at the level of the subconscious mind.

The subconscious mind is like your computer. It takes an input, processes it and gives an output. It does not think by itself. It does not distinguish between good and bad. If we put garbage in a computer we get garbage as output. (Hence the phrase GIGO which means Garbage In, Garbage Out). That is why your mother told you to keep good company and avoid bad company. In good company you hear good and positive thoughts, see good actions being performed, good deeds being done. By constantly being in good company these good things get impressed on your subconscious mind and, in turn, your thoughts and actions also turn out to be good. That is why Napoleon Hill says, "If you want to be rich, be in the company of rich men". Also, it is a known fact that your income tends to be the average of the incomes of the ten people with whom you associate yourself the most.

So, in order to change your beliefs and create a new reality, you have to bombard your subconscious mind with thoughts of your desire. While doing so, there are certain dos and don'ts to be followed for optimum use of affirmations. These are listed below :

•Use the present tense. Do not use the future tense. If you say, "I will be rich", your being rich will forever be in the future! The subconscious mind tries to literally bring about what it is asked to do. Hence say "I am rich" or "I choose to be rich". According to some psychologists, the term "choose" is better as then, being rich becomes your choice. And anyway, isn't it true that your present life is the result of the choices you have made in the past?

•Be POSITIVE. Only positive statements work. It seems the subconscious mind is incapable of dealing in negatives. So, if you say "I am not fat", then when the statement reaches the subconscious mind, the term "not" is ignored and it becomes "I am fat"!

•Affirmations can either be spoken or be written down. When speaking, repeat them emphatically, preferably throughout the day. The least you can do is repeat them at least twenty times in the morning just when you get up and twenty times in the evening just before you go to sleep. Another great way is to write them down at least fifteen times daily. Writing is a faster way of impressing your subconscious mind. Napoleon Hill, in his legendary book "Think and Grow Rich" suggests the card method which is highly effective. Write down your affirmation or a picture of your desire (car, house, etc.) on a 3" x 5" card and keep it in your pocket. Throughout the day, whenever you get the chance, remove the card, look at it or read it and keep it back. Do this several times a day. Then there is also the famous "mirror technique" given below.

•Repetition. In order to bring about significant changes in your life, affirmations have to be done several times a day till such time that they become a reality. If you do them for a few days only, the expected results may not come. Be bull doggish about them, i.e. continue doing them till your goals are accomplished. The story is told of two neighboring villages A and B which always faced water shortage. Village A then learnt of a rain dance which they performed and duly received rains. Seeing this, village B also performed the rain dance but did not get any rains. They did this several times but still no rains. Ultimately, the chief of village B approached the chief of village A and asked for help. The chief of village A replied, "We do the rain dance till we get the rains." Ditto for affirmations. Do them till you get your desired results.

Mirror Technique : I first learned about the mirror technique in the self help classic "The Magic Of Believing" by Claude Bristol. It has been referred to by other great authors too, one of my favorites being Louise L. Hay in her best selling book "You Can Heal Your Life". The technique is as follows:

Stand in front of a mirror, look into your eyes and repeat the affirmations with gusto. Put energy into them. Looking into your own eyes deeply helps connect with your subconscious mind. However, you have to do this on a very regular basis. In fact, Louise L. Hay says in her above mentioned book that when you are in your house and whenever you pass in front of your mirror, stop and repeat the statements a few times. This is a very powerful technique. I can personally vouch for the efficacy of this technique. Here is a list of affirimations which have been going around for decades and have produced wonderful results for many people.

I have prepared some sample affirimations on a variety of topics. Please remember that you may also prepare your own on similar lines. Also, it is a good idea to combine one or more of them. Whenever possible, say them in front of a mirror. Also remember that you are trying to reprogram a lifetime of thinking habits. This takes time. If you are repeating the affirmations about a hundred times a day in front of a mirror, allow a period of at least six months to elapse before expecting results.

Combining creative visualization and affermations can lead to speedy results.

Prasanna Vishwasrao

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