When I first learned this list of qualities of affirmations, there were three P’s. As I started writing about affirmations in my book, Affirmative Prayer, the list grew to 10 P’s. As I have begun writing these blogs, the list has now grown to 15. Are they all necessary? Well, you can write good affirmations with just the first three. But if you want to access all the power available, you have to consider all 15 P’s when you write your affirmations.
Let’s consider three more of them now.
Most affirmations focus on the ‘product’, what you want to be, do, or have in your life. I know that if there is something I have wanted to have in my life for a while, then there is something I need to do that I have not been doing. When I start doing this ‘something’, what I want will begin to show up. This is the ‘process’ I am referring to here. How do you become great at anything? Practice, practice, practice.
Where you are now is point A. Where you want to ‘be’ is point B. The process is what you have to do to get from A to B. I recommend that you write an affirmation about the product, your final goal, and the process you will use to get there. You may want to change the process affirmation as you get closer and closer to the final goal.
If I want the ‘product’, I have to do the ‘process’. It’s that simple. For the most part, I know what that process is. If not, then I can use an affirmation like:
I feel great now that I am clear about what I need to do to (fill in your ‘product’).
If I do know what it is that I have to do, then I use an affirmation for doing this enthusiastically, skillfully and joyfully on a daily/regular basis like:
I love doing my creative writing for at least an hour every day.
There is an old truism: “If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” If you want something different, you have to do something different.
I know. This one sounds counter-intuitive. You are working on something that is important to you. It is almost certainly a BIG goal, something you REALLY want. So why am I telling you to write something ‘petite’?
Well, it turns out that the best way to achieve a BIG goal is in small steps. One of the reasons that you haven’t achieved this goal yet may be that it feels s-o-o-o-o BIG to you. It may be that every time you think about it, the voice in your head says: “I can’t do THAT!” It just feels so BIG!
By breaking the goal down into small bite size pieces, or smaller, to nibble size. It becomes something you can’t not do. For example, if you want to run a marathon but you don’t even walk regularly now, in addition to having an affirmation about running a marathon (product), and one about loving to run (process), it may be useful to have one about walking around the block three times a week. After the first successful week, you can uPdate (see below) it to walking around two blocks if that feels appropriate. Then week-by-week you increase it till you are running a mile. Then before too long you are signing up for a marathon.
This affirmation should be for one that you are not doing now but is so do-able that you can’t imagine not doing it. This way you build up a habit of success.
Once again, I am using poetic license to include uPdated as one of my ‘P’rincples for constructing great affirmations. Now if I can just convince my spell checker that it’s OK. This ‘P’rinciple indicates that it is not only OK to modify your affirmation as you continue to use it, you should actually expect to do so from time to time. In other words, you should never write your affirmations in pen, much less in stone. They are meant to be changed as you evolve.
This is an important rule for two reasons. First, your understanding of the proper application of all these ‘P’rincples will evolve with time. That’s fine. That is part of the learning. As your understanding evolves, and as your appreciation for what sounds and feels right to you deepens, you will learn to write affirmations that serve you better.
In addition, as your affirmation begins to work, you will find yourself moving towards your ultimate goal, so you will want to change the affirmation as you change.
Finally, you should not allow a fear that you can’t write the perfect affirmation keep you from using affirmations now. Because any imperfect, consciously written affirmation will be infinitely better than what you are unconsciously telling yourself now. As you practice you will do better as with all skills.
So far, we have considered 9 of the Principles of writing your own affirmations. The next post will take you up to an even dozen. For now, go back and look at the affirmations you have written so far and see how you can improve them by applying the new Principles we covered here: Product/Process, Petite, and uPdated.
Practice repeating your affirmations to yourself as many times a day as you can: when you are waiting on the phone, or for a traffic light, or doing something that does not require your full attention. As you repeat them, feel how joyful, proud, and free you will be when this is part of your life. Don’t wait till then to feel it, feel it now.
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