Making Affirmations Work For You
I still remember learning about Emile Coué and his affirmation fad that swept the U.S. in the
1920s. It was in my American History class in college. Perhaps you have heard his
phrase, "Every day in every way, I am getting better and better."
It swept the nation because he promised that if you said this every day… and preferably, 20 to
30 times a day, that it would come true for you.
Sadly, it didn't work. (In all fairness to him, this wasn't all that he taught, but it was
the message that the masses received.) From what we know of the brain, now, this affirmation
— and most others like it can't work.
However, there are some that do.
Today I am going to give you three ways to make affirmations work for you.
But, first, we need to touch on why "standard" affirmations don't work. The reason affirmations don't
usually work is because the filters in our mind either filter them out completely or route them to the "yeah, but"
section of the mind. (If you have listened to the 7 Mistakes That Sabotage Your Success you will remember
that we covered the "yeah, buts" and how to deal with them.)
Let's take something that might be commonly used as an affirmation and follow through with the ways that don't
work… and more importantly, the ways we can get it to work. So for this article, let's use a variation
of Coué's phrase, "I am getting more successful every day." (In actual practice you would want to
use more specific language, anyway, such as "I am getting more successful in getting new business every day."
But we will keep it really generic for the example.)
When you say "I am getting more successful every day", your mind throws up an objection. It doesn't matter
whether you say it out loud or silently to yourself. Your mind replies back and says the equivalent of "Oh
yeah!?! What about …?"
The blank is filled in with various responses. Perhaps they are an image of when you messed up.
Perhaps it is the voice of a parent, older sibling, teacher, or other authority figure telling you how incompetent
you are. Perhaps it is your own voice saying it back to you.
"How can I be more successful, today?
Sometimes, the mind does the equivalent of a child sticking his fingers in his ears and saying, "I can't hear
you. La la la la…."
Essentially, your mind, which is guarding you with the best of intent, is filtering out your efforts to
improve. And sheer repetition will not batter it down. However, there are three ways you can slip past
the guardian and get where you want to go.
So, as promised, on to the 3 ways that you can get affirmations to work for you.
1. Turn the affirmation into a question.
The mind loves
questions. When it hears a question, it immediately sets itself to trying to answer it. We can turn
this built-in trait to our use.
Instead of saying "I am getting more successful every day", turn it into a question. "How am I
getting more successful every day?" Or, even better, "How can I be more successful, today?"
You see, when you ask a question like this, instead of getting a "Yeah, but" response, you get the mind looking
for a way to make it happen.
Additionally, you start reprogramming your non-conscious mind with positives as you sneak them in. You are
sneaking it in because the question assumes that you are already successful and you are simply looking for more
success. The filters don't even notice this and thus don't block it .
2. Slipping it in past the filters.
Technically, we have
already shown one way to sneak past the filters (asking an affirming question). But that's not the only
Another way is to state the affirmation when the filters are down. There are a couple of ways you can
One way is through self-hypnosis. The whole point of hypnosis is to relax the filters so that you can get
the message through to the non-conscious. (Which is not to say that you are unaware of what is going on in
hypnosis and self-hypnosis, you are aware and are cooperating rather than filtering.)
Another way is to slip your messages to yourself when you are not "looking". In other words, when you have
your attention elsewhere, listen to the messages.
To do this, you need a way to record your messages. You can use a tape recorder, a digital recorder, the
sound recorder on your computer, the voice recorder on your smartphone/PDA , or other similar device.
Write out the affirmations that you want yourself to hear and receive. Usually, the more specific you can
be, the more effective they will be.
Now record the messages.
This last step is critical — you play back the messages — but you do it in a way that you don't pay attention to
Huh? I know that sounds contradictory, but it's not.
You might burn the messages to a CD and play them in your car as you drive to work and back. Most of
the time, your attention will be on the road, the traffic, and the guy who almost cut you off. If you have
the volume set right, those positive affirmations will just slip right in. (The right volume is where you can
clearly hear them if you pay attention to them, but not so loud they command attention.)
Notice that this is NOT subliminal. Audio subliminals have been shown not to work. (This is because
of the way the ear and the hearing centers are constructed.) With this method, you are hearing the messages,
but consciously ignoring them.
You could put them on as background "noise" while you work at your computer. You could even play them as
you are drifting off to sleep (either at night or for a short nap.) The ways you can apply this are only
limited by your imagination.
3. Having someone else affirm you — repeatedly.
I mentioned that parental or authority-figure voice in your head that was telling you less-than-positive
messages. Studies have shown that we need to receive 7 positive messages for every negative that we
hear. For most of us, it was the other way around — we heard 7 negatives for every positive as we grew
But what if you could change that? What if you could, perhaps not replace, but override those negative
messages with positives? What would that do for you?
It turns out that it can change those voices in your head and change the negative self-talk into positive
The trick is that you need to hear these messages a lot in order to offset the sheer quantity of negatives that
you have heard (and maybe, still hear.) So, you can't just have someone tell them to you once and be done
Now all you have to do is find someone who will tell you over and over what a great person you are. Hey,
where did all the volunteers disappear to? Yes, sadly, even people who care a great deal about us will get
tired of telling us this over and over. So now what?
The answer is similar to the solution in number 2 above. Have someone else record the messages for you
(yes, you can even write them out for them) and then you listen to them… over and over. It is important that
it be someone else's voice rather than your own because then it is someone else saying good things about you.
This is important because the mind's filters will more readily let that through.
You can even use the trick from number two about redirecting your attention as you play this recording for an
even greater and faster effect. All the same reasons and techniques apply here.
Depending on your circumstances, it may be hard to find someone who will record your affirmations for you.
It is amazing the number of people that are microphone shy… even if they know that only you are going to be
listening to it. If that is the case for you, be sure and see the recommended resource below.
Use affirmations the right way… and see a change.
you go — using affirming questions, sneaking past the filters, getting someone else to affirm you, or all three —
give it a try. Even if you have tried affirmations in the past, I think you will see different results when
you use these methods.
If you read the article, you know that having
someone else record positive, loving, affirming things about you, and then listening to them over and over can be
incredibly effective. Of course, it can be difficult to find someone to do this for you.
If that's your case, then help has definitely arrived. My friend, Wendi Friesen, has recently made an
audio recording of the positive things people told her they wished they had heard when they were growing up.
Even better, she has made it available for instant download.
Her Love Infusion audio is wonderful. Yes, I have it. Yes, I listen to it. It has 5 variations
so you can pick the one most suitable for the occasion (two are quiet, calming ones and three are a bit more
I can whole-heartedly recommend Wendi's Love Infusion recordings to anyone. (Note: these are NOT
subliminals NOR are they hypnosis. They are meant to be played out loud — either paying direct attention to
them or letting them play in the background while you do other things. And, yes, it is okay to drive while
you listen to them but please apply the normal cautions you use when listening to the radio or CDs while
To find out more about Love Infusion click here.