Do affirmations work? Is affirming your positive goals enough to achieve them? Why affirmation don’t work?
Affirmations are words or phrases you tell yourself to subconsciously believe a certain belief.
Think of a cat who looks in the mirror and tells himself that he is a lion everyday.
The basic idea is that by affirming positive words everyday, your subconscious mind absorbs the idea and you become it.
But affirmations may not be all that powerful and can have serious drawbacks.
Here are 3 reasons why affirmations rarely work by itself.
1. Affirmations fades away
Although affirmations is a powerful tool, its strength fades away if you stop affirming it everyday.
Unless you have a lifetime commitment to say them, it won’t last.
Once you stop saying the affirmations, you will return back to the original behavior.
In a study by University College London, 96 participants on average took 66 days to form a new habit. Also, different goals requires different number of days to form the new habit. So there are no guarantees.
That means you will need to affirm for a minimum of 66 days while keeping in mind that starting a new habit is like running uphill.
2. It can make you worse
If the affirmations don’t match your subconscious beliefs, it can make you worse.
For example, saying “I am confident” while feeling nervous and agitated will bring guilt because your subconscious mind doesn’t believe that you are actually confident.
Then you feel hopeless and helpless because your affirmations aren’t working. Your will power lessens as a result. It can really plunge you into deep despair when it doesn’t work.
Whenever there is a battle between your conscious mind’s will power and the subconscious mind’s feelings, the subconscious mind will always win.
Affirmations can make you worse if it doesn’t already align with your current beliefs.
3. It hides your real cause
If you don’t understand the root cause behind your problem, the problem will resurface again.
Affirmations doesn’t allow you to go to the root cause.
Instead of telling yourself that you are calm in social situation, it’s better to understand why you feel anxious in certain social situations.
Clarity helps your subconscious mind to wrap around the idea so that you can gradually solve your problem.
Once you uncover the real cause, you can work on them.
Should I Ever Use Affirmations?
Affirmations have as much power as Will Power and we know that Will Power is limited.
Though there are good uses for affirmations.
If you are using it to enhance what you already believe, then it will work.
However, that is likely NOT the case for people who want to change something in their life.
It is better to use affirmations in combination with other change modalities than to rely on affirmations by itself. Affirmations can help in combination with visualization, NLP, hypnosis, etc. to further convince your subconscious mind.