Can something this simple really be so powerful?
No one doubts that simple things hold power. Water is chemically simple, yet as the power to reshape the earth. Smiling more often is a simple strategy, that can make you happier and seem more friendly.
But there’s an undertone to that question that the above examples don’t touch:
If something as simple as affirmations work…
Then why doesn’t everyone use them?
People are complex, but here are a few answers.
Some folks don’t want to change. They lack all ambition, in the broadest sense of the word. Being happier or better off, in any way, doesn’t appeal to them.
Others don’t want to change because they think they don’t deserve to. They carry crippling self-esteem issues wherever they go. If only they knew how much more they were worthy of, they’d realise their greater truth. They’d see every insult and belittling remark against them for what it is: irrelevant, untrue, misdirected.
Others still want to change, but believe growth only comes from hard work. They sprout ‘no pain, no gain’ like it’s a universal law.
These people don’t understand how much work goes into affirmations – at least, when you do them right.
Or how dramatic small changes can be.
These people will struggle to grow, always taking the hard path over the correct path. To them, life is an exhausting mountain climb – steep, dangerous assents punctuated with plateaus. They can never rest, relax and enjoy what they’ve earned, because they see rest and growth as different things.
There’s a lot to critique about these mindsets.
The funny thing is, they need something like affirmations more than anyone.
Their beliefs hold them back every day and changing them would transform their lives.
Oh well, though. They aren’t asking for my help, so there’s nothing for me to do but wish them well.
But just because you don’t fall into these common mental prisons, that doesn’t mean affirmations will work for you.
The reason not everyone uses them is some folks try them and it works. They swear by the process, shouting it from the rooftops.
Others follow all the instructions and get nowhere. They do everything ‘right’ but it doesn’t work, so they write off the entire process.
And others still see affirmations as too passive, touchy-feely or wishy-washy.
What’s interesting is… they’re right.
Affirmations, done casually, are too vague and passive to work for everyone. Chanting words or writing the same phrase over and over – in itself – doesn’t do much.
If you do it ‘right’ and it doesn’t work, maybe the instructions were wrong.
So think about ways to make it right.
Check out Affirmation Bivouac – my tough, ruthless and effective guide to affirmations – here: