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!
I Believe The Words Coming Out Of My Mouth?
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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