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Affirmations: An Introduction

Affirm what you want

Affirm what you want


An affirmation is a statement that you repeat to yourself to change your thinking about a particular issue. According to Dictionary.com it is “a statement that is declared to be true”.

As we are using it here, an affirmation is not actually a true statement at the present moment. It is a statement of intention, a statement of what you intend to be true for you. Remember the basketball players who improved their foul shooting percentage by visualizing themselves being successful? [Basketball] They imagined themselves being 100% successful at making foul shots. And even though they knew this was not the case, the visualization practice improved their performance as much as players who spent the same amount of time physically practicing making foul shots.

A good affirmation is like the basketball visualization. It is a mental practice that will improve some aspect of your life. Affirmations can help you to achieve whatever you desire for yourself.

Characteristics of a good affirmation

While writing my book, Affirmative Prayer: Activating Your Divine Creative Power, I realized that an Affirmative Prayer is a series of affirmations assembled in a particular format. So I included a chapter on affirmations. I would like to share some of that information with you here.

When I first learned about affirmations, I was told they are constructed using three P’s: Personal, Positive, and Present tense. While writing my chapter on affirmations, I realized that there are actually 12 P’s which characterize a good affirmation.

How they work

When written and used properly (more on that in future posts), an affirmation directs your mind to:

  • find supporting evidence in your memories or in your daily life experience
  • find things that you need to do to make it so in physical reality
  • encourages you to take action
  • replaces the negative self-talk about this issue
  • builds your self-confidence in general and specifically regarding this issue.

When properly written and repeated several times a day with strong positive feelings, a good affirmation will take hold in your subconscious mind and open your eyes to the present possibilities, encourage you to do whatever you can to create more and more mini-successes every day until the affirmation is true. With impassioned repetition, the affirmation becomes a subconscious belief which then serves as one of the mental operating principles in your life.

One reason that you are dissatisfied with certain aspects of your life now is that you have been unconsciously using the principles of affirmations in a negative way to create situations that you don’t like.

Examples of affirmations

The classic example of an affirmation was developed by Émile Coué  (1857 – 1926) a French psychologist and pharmacist who called the method optimistic autosuggestion. His standard affirmation was: “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better”. He claimed that with the proper use of this affirmation he was able to heal most of his patients of all sorts of maladies including: kidney problems, diabetes, memory loss, stammering, weakness, atrophy and all sorts of physical and mental illnesses.

DO NOT read this as a suggestion to substitute affirmations for your physician’s medical advice. Working together the two are much more powerful.

Coming up

In the coming posts, I will introduce you to the 12 P’s of writing a good affirmation and give you some guidelines for how to use them.

In a previous post [An Ernest Quote] I invited you to identify an area of your life that you would like to improve. We will use these principles and guidelines for affirmations to help you achieve what you desire for this issue.

Learning to use this tool properly will take some time. Be patient. It took years of improper use of these tools to get to the point where you are now. If you stick with this, I promise you will begin to see results for yourself soon.

Photo Credit Statement: [magiceyes] © 123RF.com
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