Affirmations are sentences aimed to affect the conscious and the subconscious mind. The words composing the affirmation, automatically and involuntarily, bring up related mental images into the mind, which could inspire, energize and motivate. Repeating affirmations, and the resulting mental images, affect the subconscious mind, which in turn, influences the behaviour, habits, actions and reactions.
They are you being in conscious control of your thoughts. They are short, powerful statements. When you say them or think them or even hear them, they become the thoughts that create your reality. Affirmations, then, are your conscious thoughts.
Research has shown that we have between 45,000 and 51,000 thoughts a day. That’s about 150 to 300 thoughts a minute. Research has also shown that for most people 80% of those thoughts are negative.
Now, we have been taught to think that most of these 51,000 thoughts are “sub-conscious” thoughts meaning that they are below our conscious awareness level. Affirmations actually make your sub-conscious thoughts conscious. Affirmations make you consciously aware of your thoughts. When you start making conscious positive thoughts, you actually become more aware of the negative thoughts that are always threatening to take over.
It actually proves true what your mother always warned: be careful of what you think because what you think is what you get. She was basically telling you that you create what you think about.
Every thought you think every word you say is an affirmation. All of our self-talk or inner dialogue is a stream of affirmations. We are continually affirming subconsciously with our words and thoughts and this flow of affirmations is creating our life experience in every moment. Our beliefs are just learned thought patterns that we have developed since childhood, many of these work well for us, but others may now be working against us, they are dysfunctional and may be sabotaging us from achieving what we believe we want. Every affirmation we think or say is a reflection of our inner truth or beliefs. It is important to realize that many of these “inner truths” may not actually be true for us now or may be based on invalid or inappropriate impressions we constructed as children, which if examined as an adult can be exposed as inappropriate.
Our subconscious uses the behaviour patterns we have learned to automatically respond and react to many everyday events in our life. This is essential to our survival, we need to be able to respond quickly to events around us which would be impossible if we had to re-examine every aspect of things every time something simple happens. Our learned responses and thought patterns enable us to automatically respond to circumstances quickly and easily. Problems arise however, if at an early stage some of the foundation beliefs on which many of the others are built were formed from a twisted perspective, maybe the strategy was appropriate for a perceived difficult circumstance, however often such beliefs are totally inappropriate for succeeding in the real world as adults.
You can use positive affirmations, which are usually short positive statements targeted at a specific subconscious set of beliefs, to challenge and undermine negative beliefs and to replace them with positive self-nurturing beliefs. It is a kind of “brainwashing” only you get to choose which negative beliefs to wash away. The way these statements are constructed is extremely important.