I recently received an article about how to effectively create and use affirmations that makes alot of sense to me. It was written by the folks at 5-Minute Journal, and they generously gave me permission to share it with you here:
Work with the rational and emotional minds together - As discussed in the gratitude section, we’ll work with our rational and emotional minds to get a real sense of how writing in the affirmation is impacting our progress.
Work at the edge of your reality - Let’s understand this using an illustration.
Bob is an entrepreneur who’s started a couple of successful product-based businesses and who loves tennis and travel.
If he were to write the affirmation, “I am excited to create great products that help people”, that’s very much in his current reality (the pink dot).
If he were to write the affirmation, “I am pumped to grow my businesses by 50% this year”, that might be at the edge of his current reality (the orange dot).
If he were to write the affirmation, “I am honoured to lead be the industry leader in sustainable growth products”, that would be significantly outside his current reality(the green dot).
The purpose of an affirmation is to push the edges of your reality, so you want your affirmation to be around the area of the orange dot. If you’re comfortable stretching the edges of your reality significantly (i.e., the green dot), feel free to use the hammer approach.
What’s the hammer approach, you ask?
There are two ways to write affirmations -
1. The hammer approach - This is where you pick an affirmation that you want to deeply integrate and you write the same affirmation in your Journal every day. The more you write in it, the deeper you integrate the strength of that belief within yourself. I’m partial to this technique because I’ve used it in the past to good effect.
It’s called the hammer approach because you basically hammer in one affirmation till you truly experience the benefits of it and you know it’s become a part of your reality.
2. The butterfly approach - This is where you make up your affirmation on a daily basis. This is where you affirm a part of your reality you want to see more of - maybe you’re giving a presentation later in the day and you want to write this...
Basically you let the day be your rudder in what you want to affirm in your reality. This can work pretty well and I know quite a few people who use this to good effect. Whatever approach you choose can work well and I recommend picking one and sticking to it.
So now that we’ve understood some concepts, let’s return to how to write affirmations in the Five Minute Journal. Here’s how I write in mine.
When I get to the affirmations section, I check in with myself. How do I feel? Where are the edges of my reality?
Here’s an affirmation that I’ve used to good effect in the past, especially when I was healing from my near-fatal motorcycle crash - “I am excited to heal quickly and profoundly on every level.”
The litmus test of how good your affirmation is depends on how do you feel after you write it.
Do you believe it? Do you feel better? If so, you’re on the right track. (orange togreen dot).
Do you feel worse? Chances are you’re biting off more than you can chew (green dot).
Do you feel neutral? Chances are you’re not thinking big enough (pink dot).
Writing affirmations in this manner is the difference between writing effective affirmations that truly work for you vs woo woo Secret-style trust-the-universe thinking. Trust yourself and the universe will take care of itself.