So you want more on affirmations, huh?
In the last blog post, “Elements of an Affirmation,” I wrote a bit about the elements that make up an affirmation, otherwise known as a declaration. We use affirmations to create a mental state that’s conducive to generating the results we would like to experience.
So now that you’ve constructed your affirmation, how and when do you use it?
Remember, affirmations that are the most powerful are ones that “melt the ice cube from all sides”, getting to the diamond result faster and more effectively. Affirmations that include all of you (mind, body, spirit, heart, gut and action) are more likely to succeed than ones that are just statements you repeat over and over to yourself. Have you ever heard of anyone who tried affirmations and they didn’t work? If so, odds are they tried only the cognitive, thought part of the affirmation, trying “mind over matter” but neglecting the rest of the system. For more effective affirmations, check out my blog post entitled, “When Affirmations Aren’t Enough.”
Meanwhile, before you can improve your affirmation / declaration, it helps if you know what to do with it, how to use it.
Conventionally, you may have heard about people who memorize their affirmation and speak it to themselves at will. For example, a nervous public-speaker may look in the mirror before a speaking engagement and repeat over and over, “I am comfortable, confident, and I trust myself.” However, this may not work for everyone; no one method works best for every person. We each have different learning styles, different lifestyles, and different preferences.
So then how do you use affirmations in a way that best suits you? Here is a set of ideas to help you know when, and how, to use your affirmations in a way that best works for you.
How To Use An Affirmation?
What is your best learning mode – auditory, visual, or kinesthetic? Are you more inclined to easily learn something new if you hear it, if you read it, or if you experience it?
Knowing your personal learning type will help you know how to best use your affirmations so that you get the most out of your practice.
If you’re more auditory, record your affirmation and listen to the playback, or speak it to yourself, or have a loved one speak it to you. If you’re more visual, write it on sticky notes and post it where you see it multiple times a day. If you’re more kinesthetic, find a body gesture that matches your affirmation, and let your body “dance” the affirmation as a movement, a physical expression.
Ex: Lisa is a kinesthetic learner; she says, “for me to get something new, I have to do it a few times.” Lisa’s affirmation says, “I am calmer and more peaceful every day.” For Lisa, feeling the gesture of one long, deep exhale embodies the, “calmer and more peaceful” that she’s reaching for. So whenever Lisa wants to touch base with her affirmation, she exhales a long, cleansing, deep breath. This physical gesture supports her to connect with her affirmation more easily.
Ex: Mark is more visual; when he’s trying to get clear about something new, once he sees it he gets it. For Mark, the most evident way for him to get crystal clear with his affirmation is to keep a small card in his wallet with his affirmation written on it. When he needs it he opens his wallet, takes out his card, and looks over his affirmation a few times. The visual cue of his affirmation card is all he needs to see his affirmation working for him.
Ex: Trish is highly auditory. She listens to a lot of music, she studies by audiobook, she relishes hearing the sound of the ocean near her house. Trish didn’t enjoy just looking at her affirmation, it didn’t start to resonate for her until she heard the sound of it ringing in her ears as she spoke the affirmation out loud, with her eyes closed. For Trish, a daily practice of speaking her affirmation and hearing the echoes of it helps her most effectively get in tune with it.
When to Use Your Affirmation?
Some people simply review their affirmation in the morning, some review it three times a day, some do their affirmation only in the situation where they need it.
If you only want your affirmation to affect specific circumstances, you can:
– whip it out only when you need it
– do “pre-hearsal” to practice having it available before the circumstance hits
– do “post-hearsal” to improve your skills after-the-fact
If you want your affirmation to become a new way of being for you, I recommend reviewing it at least twice a day – once in the morning when you’re still sleepy and once at night before you go to bed. These are times when our consciousness is most suggestible, and when we may be most successful at integrating a new habit. For more on this, check out “Best Practices for Integrating New Habits“.
So you have your affirmation, you’re confident it’s congruent with the elements of a powerful affirmation, and you’re using it how and when you think will best serve you, and it’s not giving you results? If that’s the case, you may need an “affirmation upgrade”. For more on what makes affirmation more likely to succeed, check out my blog post entitled, “When Affirmations Aren’t Enough“.
Smiles and blessings to you for fulfillment and thriving all around!