Affirmations. If you’ve been exploring the realm of self help, or self improvement, you’ve come across affirmations. The art of crafting positive now statements of what you want in your life as though you already have them. Even though you don’t… and you know you don’t… sounds… easy?
Affirmations are powerful, yes. To have daily reminders of your goals, dreams, and desires. These are fabulous. To expect your whole life and mind to change because you’ve written down a few words (ok sometimes many words, over and over and over) is a little lofty.
Lofty doesn’t quite cut it though. I find really, in those whom have struggled with anxiety or depression, affirmations can create a strong dissonance. Seeing how we really want our world to be and separating who we are currently from it, because that is not what we want. Then there can be a tendency to lose our self acknowledgement in the moment, unless it is the moments we are specifically cultivating for with our affirmations. In other words. We’re looking for a certain thing to happen and we put blinders on the rest of our life either by choice or by accident.
Why don’t affirmations work? Why do they work really well for some people and not for others? I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories of folks whom have cured this or that or totally changed their life via affirmations. If they can do it, can’t everyone? Well… Sorta..
It comes back to a few different things. Our own personal set of beliefs, our conscious mind verses our sub-conscious mind, having guidance and a supportive network for personal change.
Where to start. Beliefs. They are a big one, our beliefs shape and create our world weather we are aware of what we believe or not. They run the show. Ever meet people whom are really stuck in their ways yet want better things in the world? Yeah, me too, and then when talking to them, offering support for them to shift or change and they want nothing to do with that. They want to stay the same and have the world change around them. Mmmmmm That is a belief about change running the show. Could be a fear of change, thoughts that change is bad, even feelings of losing control as associated to change. There are many different ways a belief can manifest.
This brings us to the sub-conscious and conscious mind. Let us get something straight here. The sub-conscious mind is here to protect you. It runs the show, so that if you black out, trance out, get too deep in the zone. You are still safe and capable of generally taking care of yourself. It doesn’t follow the same logic as our conscious mind. It relates to feelings, the past, pictures and the sensory experience. It’s creative and has no sense of time. So this means, that something that happened in the past, that was really emotional, the sub-conscious mind can still be operating under the belief that it is still a current experience. Someone looks at you funny and you feel like you are two years old again, being judged by your parents. Thanks sub-conscious mind. It won’t let go until you tell it to in the language and state that it understands.
Which brings us to the conscious mind. This is generally the mind that people think of when they think of the mind. Logical, rational, full of words and things leading to consequences. Strong sense of time here, less protective, can be very goal and future oriented. Sounds pretty powerful hey? This is also where our will power comes from. How much does our conscious mind influence our day to day actions? Wait for it…….
Only 5-10%. That’s it. All the planning, all the worry, all the formulating… only 5-10%… Now… This does not mean that we only use that much of our brain power. That is a complete myth. This means that when we respond to things in our day to day world most of that knee jerk response is coming from our sub-conscious mind. 90-95%. Creative, protective, feeling, reacting as though the past is still happening…
So, if that part of the mind thinks change is bad.. Which side is going to win? This is why people chew on their nails even if they don’t want to, why new habits are hard to create, why we keep falling into our old patterns. The Sub-conscious mind has it in there that this is what serves us best.
Ok, so let us say the sub-conscious mind thinks change is a great thing, and we are writing out our affirmations and thinking and feeling and imagining them as totally real. Then we talk to our support network about our hopes and dreams…… Then…. We feel crushed. We aren’t supported; they react like we are the way we used to be. They don’t see the new us, then the sub-conscious mind goes back to the way it was. Or we go looking for how to even make that change, and we don’t even know where to start. The affirmations are our only hope in a world of chaos.
Yeah, sometimes people have the magic combination of an excellent support system, they are guided on how to make the changes they want in their lives and their sub-conscious mind is totally on board and feeling safe making these changes.
Sound like a lot of people you know?
Doubtfully. We maybe have that one friend who just has everything going for them, but more often than not, some of those factors are just not working out well. Heck, that is usually why we are drawn to creating the affirmations in the first place.
So if they’re not working it’s not a bad thing, in fact, usually it’s a typical thing. It sounds like we have to change a whole heck of a lot of our world to be able to make our affirmations come true.. We don’t. We only need to shift that 90-95% of our mind.
Why is that?
If our protective mind says, hey I’m worthy, then we’ll act like we are, and others respond to us that way. If we feel like change is a wonderful thing, then we stop fearing it and cultivate the changes we want in our lives. When the Sub-conscious mind has those affirmations internally integrated as new beliefs then we are not creating the dissonance anymore. We are who we want to be. No longer needing the reminders to love ourselves every day, because out mind is already there, cheering us on.
That right there, is what I love to do. Get those ways that you want to be, into the powerhouse of your Sub-conscious mind.