#StayHomeSA Day 4 - Getting Started With Affirmations

Day 4 of 21 and we are going strong. There is a sense of the initial panic abating slightly, as people see the shops have remained open, and there are in fact food on the shelves (even though you cannot buy a broom or seeds for the garden).

We can expect the initial panic to return later, as the possibility of an extended lockdown becomes a topic.

Right, with the doom-and-gloom part of today's post out of the way, let's talk a bit more about affirmations. Before you stop me and remind me that I skipped the "S", that is a part that needs far deeper discussion, as it involves faith and meditation, which often are seen as from two conflicting belief systems.

What is an Affirmation?

Psychology Today defines Affirmations as "statements said with confidence about a perceived truth." Keep the term perceived in the back of your mind, as we are coming back to that shortly.

In laymen's terms then it is telling yourself something with such conviction, that you start believing yourself.

It does not need to be positive of course to be termed an affirmation. Constantly telling yourself "I am a failure" is also an affirmation.

Do Affirmations Work?

Yes… It would have been easy to leave it at a simple "yes", but let me elaborate.

We are all too familiar with that mean teacher at school, always telling you that you will never amount to anything. Or kids being labelled with learning difficulties and placed in a class of their own so they do not hold the brighter kids back. It has been proven over decades that children exposed to this kind of treatment, seldom achieve much and generally remain at the bottom of the pile of life.

It is however not conclusive, or definitive of their abilities. You are told by what you consider an expert, that you are dumb. When the career-day at school opens it's doors, where do you go? To the lawyers? Doctors? No, because you are "dumb" you find careers/jobs that seem easier, and require less intelligence. Or you are constantly reminded that you are just like your father, and inevitably, that is the path you choose.

This is not a conscious decision to follow a lesser path. It becomes second nature, or "who we are" from believing what we have repeatedly been told.

Our brain has two systems (as explained by DR. Ski Chilton in his book The Rewired Brain). System 1, which consists of the limbic system of the brain, and the reptilian brain. And System 2, the neocortex.

System 1, deals with our basic functions, breathing, blinking. And primal emotions, fear, anger, jealousy etc. System 2, calculations, imagination, planning etc. These two could also simply be referred to as our conscious (System 2) and subconscious (System 1).

Studies have shown that our subconscious does not have the ability to reason and determine whether the information it is fed, is real or not, nor if it is present past or future. The conscious mind thus has the ability to convince the sub-conscious of a reality yet to be achieved as being the current state of being.

Our subconscious at the same time does not reason between positive or negative emotions or input. Whatever it receives as a consistent stimulus, it absorbs and assimilates as part of your base primal behaviour and instinct.

How do I write my won affirmations?

. There is nothing wrong with listening to positive affirmations on Youtube, I personally have my own playlist of motivational affirmation videos. If however, it does not support your dream, belief system, and deepest desires, you will definitely be wasting your time.

  1. Identify first of what you deeply desire, and what negative aspects of your life you want to change (wealth, lack of confidence)

  2. Start each statement with I am or I have (I am wealthy, I am brave)

  3. Always use the Present Tense (Don’t say, I want to be wealthy)

  4. Always use Positive statements (Don't say, I don’t want to be poor, or I am not poor)

  5. Keep it short (short = powerful)

  6. Be very specific (rather than say I am good at my job, say I am a successful, and powerful leader)

  7. Include words that describe feelings

Your first draft will never be perfect. Keep on refining your affirmations, until you can feel, that you have now found the one.

Using your affirmations

If you need up with an A4 sheet filled with affirmations, I suggest that you select the top 5, that if you can assimilate those into your beliefs, would have the most profound impact on your life, and start with those.

When you read the affirmations to yourself the first few times, make sure to express them with feeling and emotion. If your affirmation is "I am fearless and confident", you simply cannot utter those words with timidity, or fear in your voice. Repeat these affirmations for at least 5 minutes, three times a day. Each time with the same convincing, emotional and intense conviction. It also helps to look at yourself in the mirror when you say it.

Our brain loves visuals and supported by the emotion, and hearing the words, you are assured of success. Placing Post-It notes on the bathroom mirror, the fridge or your computer will also make sure that these "truths" are constantly present.

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