I’m sure the most common words in affirmations are all so beautiful.
Like ‘love’, ‘freedom’ and ‘joy’.
And even ‘I’ – maybe the most beautiful word in the English language. You can’t say it without actualising yourself – bringing your attention to your own awareness.
And I’m sure there are plenty of bad affirmations out there. Focusing on revenge, petty wins and vapid materialism are hardly worth the words.
But there’s one word that has no place in affirmations, even the bad ones:
If you’re apathetic about something, you wouldn’t bother with affirmations. Even putting your intentions into writing would be too much effort for something you don’t care about.
And this, right here, is the secret ingredient to making affirmations work:
It’s funny – we think of ourselves as thinking, reasonable creatures. And, sure, we can use logic… the check our decisions. But every decision you make comes from a spark of emotions. That’s not me saying that – that’s neuroscience.
Even something as sensible as “I’m thirsty, so I’ll get some water” is impossible to decide without emotion.
And even the desire to be logical comes from your feelings.
But, when it comes to affirmations, not all emotions are equal.
You’re probably frustrated by something in your life. Something that you want to be free of or something that’s missing.
But there’s more than that.
Frustration alone leads to self-pity, negativity and complaining. It doesn’t motivate action… unless that action is to complain about what’s bothering you.
If you’re thinking about affirmations, then something else is driving you.
Maybe it’s hope. Hope is a nice one – it orients you towards the future and assumes it’ll be better than the present. Given you’re trying to create a better future, it’s a nice emotion to have.
It could also be desire. And what is desire but a longing for something you want but don’t have?
You might feel a drive – a yearning to do more, see more and be more than who you currently are.
All of these emotions are positives, and they all point to the future.
This is what makes affirmations work.
Negativity will only get you so far.
And thinking back on the past – like nostalgia – won’t help you to change.
So you need emotions… and they have to be the right ones.
You might be sick of feeling apathy or you might be angry at your circumstances. Good – let those feelings motivate you to begin. But to sustain your changes, you need a carrot to lure you forward.
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