How To Break Out Of Bad Habits Using Affirmations

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Using intelligently crafted affirmations can be an extremely useful technique for breaking out of bad habits.  I have implemented several affirming statements over the last several years, and can personally attest to their effectiveness!

In this article I will drill down to the true source of ALL bad habits and explain why the mere uttering of well thought-out sentences can be the key to releasing you from hurtful patterns!

Why Telling Yourself to Stop Does Not Work

When it comes to freeing yourself from damaging habits, many self-improvement gurus will tell you to become consciously aware the moment you begin to crave the activity, and to make conscious decisions not to partake.  This may work for some people, but for most of us it is a failing remedy.  Why?  Because it is human nature to want to do something that you are told you can not do!

Remember when you were a kid and mommy told you not to climb to high on the jungle gym?  What did you do?  You climbed as high as you could of course, and it is imperative for you to understand that this inner child still exists within you.  Making “conscious decisions” to stop doing something you really want to do is just not a realistic or sustainable practice for most of us.

The Source of Bad Habits Resides in the Subconscious

There is a more powerful method for breaking out of bad habits—and it lies NOT in the conscious decisions we make, but in the realm of the subconscious mind!

Think of your life as if you are on a raft floating down a river.  The conscious mind is the very real you sitting on top of the raft making decisions moment by moment.  Maybe at one point you decide to use a longer oar so you can steer more effectively, or perhaps you slow down so you can get some fishing done. 

Maybe you purchase a hat to keep from burning your skin?  The point is, you are very aware of the conscious you and are always responding to internal and external stimuli with thoughts and physical action.

But what about the river beneath the boat, the actual water that is taking you in the direction you are headed?  Metaphorically THIS is the subconscious mind and in its underlying current resides the opportunity for you to make transcending changes in your life.

Where your “conscious mind” is the little chatterbox in our head that is always telling you to do something, the subconscious mind lies beneath the threshold of awareness and directs the general flow of your life.

To truly break out of any bad habit you must: 1) become aware that the subconscious mind exists and 2) learn how to manipulate its flow.  Affirmations are phenomenal tools at your disposal which, if used effectively, speak directly to your subconscious being.

How to Most Effectively Use Affirmations

By creating a few simple and positive statements of the way you want to live your life, and repeating them out loud every day, you entrain your subconscious mind to lead you in a more beneficial direction below the radar screen of your five senses. 

Remember, the subconscious mind is like the flow of water leading you down the river of life, and the language you is a powerful determinant of its course.

There are two types of affirmations you can use:

1) Timeless statements:  Sentences that can be used during any stage of your life.  A few examples:

“I am creating a beautiful day”
“My body is healthy, young, and vibrant”
“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better”
“I am so fulfilled in every area of my life”

2) Situational affirmations: Unique statements that serve a specific purpose in your life.  A few examples:

“I am so happy to be earning $150,000 a year”
“My heart and liver are healthy and strong”
“I am becoming the regional Vice President of Dunder Mifflin”
“I am creating the world’s #1 blog”

Saying these things over and over, every day, seeps into the subconscious mind until the river beneath you meanders in the direction of your language (Oh, and please don’t use the last one, that’s mine)! 

Furthermore the wonderful language of affirming statements “crowds out” negative thought patterns and promotes positive thinking.  By using meaningful affirmations you will also get yourself in the GOOD habit of thinking positively about your life!

Do

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I Believe The Words Coming Out Of My Mouth? 

When I talk about affirmations, people ask me “what if I say them, but don’t REALLY believe the words to be true”.  Great question, and best answered by one of my favorite authors on fear and positive thinking Dr. Susan Jeffers who says:

“It doesn’t matter if we believe the words or not, the mere uttering of them makes the subconscious mind believe them to be true.  It is as though the subconscious mind doesn’t know what is true or false, it doesn’t judge, it only reacts to the language that is being fed”.

Therefore your internal dialogue does not judge good or bad, right or wrong.  If you affirm negative statements over and over again they will also become more prominent in your life. 

That is why it is SO important to choose your words wisely, and make sure they really vibe with you.  Here are some more tips to create effective and life changing affirmations:

1. Make the statements concise yet clear

2. Always state them in the present tense (e.g. do not affirm “I am going to quit smoking” because that implies the future and levies current responsibility).

3. Always state them in the positive

4. Write them down on note cards first, and make sure you are really comfortable with the words you are choosing

5. Be emotionless—remember you don’t even need to believe in the words you are saying for affirmations to work

6. Do them every day, no matter how you feel, stick with it!

Are you still skeptical?  Probably.  But why not try it out for a month and see if it works?  Right now, write 3 statements that apply to your life that you would like to come true. 

Every morning as you get ready for your day, spend ten minutes saying these statements out loud.  Try your best to crowd out negative thoughts and focus 100% of your attention on your language.  Really listen to your voice as you speak, and be as emotionless about saying them as possible!

Email me after 30 days of doing this, I bet you see astounding results!

Breaking out of negative patterns can be quite difficult, especially when they have become ingrained in our “ways of being”.   Remember, the repetition of consistent words affects your subconscious mind and slowly shifts the underlying current of your life in the intended direction.  But it takes time and patience, but isn’t it worth a shot?

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23 Responses to “How To Break Out Of Bad Habits Using Affirmations”

  1. ZHereford says:

    Todd, this is an excellent article on how to make your affirmations work for you!

  2. Gard says:

    In a radio programme on NRK [www.nrk.no], I learned more about why your affirmations must be positive: The mind works by envisioning the final result. There is no visual conotation to the word “not”. Hence, if you say “there is no elephant in the office,” the mind sees an elephant in the office. When a biathlon competitor things “I must not miss,” the mind envisions that he misses and therefore misses. The athlete must therefore constantly think of the end result and take it for granted that he accomplishes his goal and NEVER use the word “not”.

    Now, if only I was able to explain this without using the word…

  3. Todd says:

    Z– Thank you!

    Gard– that is really interesting, and a good poing about affirmations. Thank you for sharing that!

    Todd

  4. Interesting article. What I try and do is to just think about the opposite and concentrate on good habits.

  5. Greg says:

    Very interesting article. Self hypnosis is reinforces these techniques. Check out http://betterlivingwithhypnosis.com

  6. Hi, Todd,
    I’ve just added you as a technorati favorite, but it says you have no recent updates. Is there something you can do so technorati knows about you? I can use their link to get here, but somehow they’re not getting pinged.

    I like technorati better than subscriber reminders, but I will subscribe. Your site is relevant to what I’m trying to do on my blogs.

  7. :) I tried again with technorati. It knows about you if I put in wethechange.com. I had entered wethechange.com/blog. All’s right with the world!

  8. Joshua Stein says:

    Hi,
    A manifestation I say every day is, “I now command the powers of my subconcious mind to enjoy the abundance of time, energy, health and wealth that I posses now and into the future. I am truly fortunate to live in this time and place. In a world full of abundance, opportunity, people and time where every day in every way I am better, better and better.”

    I like it and it works well for me.

  9. Todd says:

    Hi Joshua– Thats a GREAT affirmation, albeit long…the important thing is that it works FOR YOU! Thank you for sharing!

  10. [...] How To Break Out Of Bad Habits Using Affirmations [...]

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  12. Keith says:

    Affirmations Indeed Work!!!

  13. Hey Todd, nice succinct post on affirmations. And great that you’re only applying it to habits. Sometimes the power of affirmations have been blown up so much that it is almost like some magic spell or something, so I appreciate something more practical ;)

    Cheers,
    Albert | UrbanMonk.Net
    Modern personal development, entwined with ancient spirituality.

  14. [...] Create 2 or 3 sentences that state your objectives and repeat them out loud sometime during the day (preferably in the morning).  Introducing your intentions to the subconscious mind is a powerful motivation tool.  Click here for more on affirmations. [...]

  15. [...] from Todd Goldfarb, to make your affirmations effective and life changing (check out his article “How to break out of bad habits using affirmations”): 1. Make the statements concise yet [...]

  16. [...] 5. Use affirmations religiously! The power of affirmations are amazing. An affirmation can be used any where, any time, and in any situation. They are simple, easy, and very effective. Here are some tips, from Todd Goldfarb, to make your affirmations effective and life changing (check out his article “How to break out of bad habits using affirmations”): [...]

  17. Frazier says:

    Great article. One thing I have learned about alcoholic addiction along these same lines. Our subconscious mind also continues to work to solve our most complex problems in the background all the time.

    Whenever we have a complex problem that cannot be solved during a conscious session, our subconscious will continue to try and solve it, even when we are asleep, day after day, until a solution presents itself, then the solution will rise to the surface as a dream or epithomy.

    Alcholics, however, interfere this deep problem solver when they get drunk and “reset” the brain. I believe this is why chronic alcholics have so many other issues in life, because they are disabling the amazing problem solving abilities with their alchohol use.

  18. Todd says:

    Thanks for the input Frazier…interesting line of thought and appreciate you contemplating how to use affirmations with this difficult addiction!
    Best,
    Todd

  19. Kelly says:

    AFFIRMATIONS only work if you have no tail enders in your sub-conscious. Im sorry they just dont work if you have an opposing belief to what is being voiced. If you have no opposing belief of course they will work and feel great because they are probably already consciously in use. I did affirmations for a long time but its like pouring icecream on top of dog poo. The poo is still there. If I cannot get to the core beneath it all they are worthless.

  20. Zack says:

    And in my humble opinion Kelly deserves a gold star for her comment. Ice cream on dog-doody is not gonna taste good.

    If you want something to happen, you have to BELIEVE it will – and not HOPE it will. Hope is a tail-ender. It’s another word for “but”.

    I don’t think trying to brainwash your subconcious with repeated sentences will work either. Maybe i am wrong.

    But i think the only way it works is if you put out the correct energy. And for that to happen, you have to BELIEVE. And for you to believe, you have to get rid of the dog doody.

  21. Good webpage. I bought a good deal of good info. I?ve been retaining an eye on this technology for awhile. It?s fascinating how it retains shifting, nevertheless some of the core parts stay the same.

  22. Kacey Archer says:

    Your articles is quite educational, keep up the good writing!!!!

  23. sidhu says:

    Hi,
    According to me, affirmations will help you to improve your current status,when everything is going well in your life..but..when you are in very much critical situation,
    affirmations are less effective..

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