We’ve all heard about affirmations and how if you repeat these magical sentences you can change your life.
I admit, I’m very inclined towards believing that kind of thing, so I am a convert by nature, but I can also see the other side of complete disbelief and mockery.
I’ve always been fascinated by how language affects how we conceive the world. Expecially in the realm of objects, because it’s clear to see how products embody the prevailing mind views. So I am predisposed to the idea of language being a powerful vehicle for personal transformation.
So, what I’ll do is give you the technique and the case studies and you can make up your mind. I must confess that I use them every day and they have definitely shifted my recurrent patterns of thought, especially the ones that are limiting or negative.
Repeating daily affirmations is also refered as imprinting or affirmation imprinting. What you are doing is basically depositing an idea into your mind and reaffirming this idea through repetition. In the animal world imprinting occurs at the earliest stages wher animals learn behaviour from their parents about hunting, feeding, mating or emitting specific sounds to communicate. So, imprinting is very linked to survival systems in nature.
We are also imprinted at very early stages and this imprint helps us adapt to our society and what its normality is. The issue comes when part of our imprint is toxic and is keeping us from fully developing ourselves. Here is where the process of re-imprinting through affirmations can come in handy.
This technique essentially focuses on creating a series of self-affirming sentences that you repeat to yourself over and over until these become automatic and they replace old beliefs that were previously hindering you in some way.
For this technique to have effect, you need to do a bit of homework and find out exactly what are the beliefs you hold about a particular area in your life, and put them in paper. The trick is to be brutally honest with yourself.
One way of getting these beliefs to come out of the closet is to first say outloud what would be your ideal life in a near future, how you see yourself , having everything you want. For example: “I will build a million dollar cake business that will have franchises all over the world and I will go around the world giving baking seminars and classes.”
You will very soon hear your mind responding to that statement with limiting beliefs, such as “that’s too much, maybe I should just write I will have a small bakery in my town and maybe I will give a class to my friends on the weekend” or “That’s such a silly dream, I’ll never be able to do that”. These are your limiting beliefs. Quickly write them down.
Next step is to build your Power Sentences. These will re-imprint over your limiting beliefs and essentialy replace them.
Write down exactly the opposite to those limiting beliefs. So you could write: “I am an incredibly successful baker with shops all over the world. My brand is super famous and I have my own TV show where I teach millions of people how to bake”. Write them down even if they sound ridiculous to you now, it doesn’t matter.
A few rules here: these new Power Sentences have to start with I, be followed by a present tense and be positive. (Forget about: “I don’t have all this extra weight on me” … no don’t s or can’t s)
Every morning read your Power Sentences. With time, and repetition, they will replace the nasty ones, and you will actually begin to rewrite your own beliefs about yourself. When you read these new affirmations try to get yourself into a very positively emotional state, this will help your new affirmation imprint faster and deeper. The more emotion goes into an experience the more stuck in your mind it gets. This is why a traumatic experience can take years to deal with.
I have my affirmation book. I call it my Golden Book. It’s actually green, but what’s inside is gold. It’s three years of learnt wisdom from buddhist monks to bus stop quotes. I read it whenever I need a re-imprinting boost. I also create a daily affirmation and make sure that sets the tone for the day.
My Golden Book
It all depends on your perspective… change that and everything changes around you
There’s this really cool Sci- fi writer, Cory Doctorow, and he once said:
‘Change the story people have imagined the future will be. Change that and you change the future. […] just change the story we tell ourselves about the future and you change the future itself.’
So if we begin by changing our personal stories, in particular how we tell our stories to ourselves… we are reconfiguring our future.
I’ll leave you here with a video from the queen of affirmations.
P.S One day I might share what’s inside the Golden Book
Diana Simpson Hernandez
Designers for Humanity