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What's an Affirmation Really For?


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What's the purpose of working with affirmations? What is it we are really doing when we use them?

Well, since affirmations are composed of words, let's start with what words do. Words are human language tools that are designed to communicate thoughts. And, the effective communication of such intangible things as thoughts depends on clarity. This brings us back to words, as it is the very specific choice of words which dictate how clear a message is communicated.

Now, with affirmations, we are communicating with/to ourselves, usually about a goal that we want to achieve. So, the words we choose are of the utmost importance. And, since humans have the unique characteristic of talking to themselves all the time, we have to factor in the potential problem that what we say to ourselves habitually may conflict with the new goal(s) we now wish to set.

This brings us to what affirmations can be used for.

(1) Affirmations can be used to program the so-called subconscious mind. Why do I say “so-called"?

Well, people use this word as if it is in reference to only one thing. In reality, it is a catch-all term for multiple mental and physical processes (regulation of respiration, repository of memory, acquisition of goals, etc. . . ). In this context, I am referring to its goal-seeking function.

Now, what is a “program"? One meaning is “a set of instructions". So, affirmations, in this instance, would be a set of words, written or spoken, designed to get the attention of that faculty of mind that is responsible for showing us the paths and methods to achieve our goals.

The physiological component to this is when the Reticular Activating System in our brain (part of our critical reasoning faculty) begins to pay attention to things in our environment that relate to our goal(s). And, that happens when our neurology has been sufficiently stimulated through the continual writing or speaking of our affirmation.

Here's an example of this kind of affirmation: “My mind provides me with many income-producing ideas. "

(2) Affirmations can be used to reveal beliefs stored in the part of our minds that holds the memories that make up who we believe we are. These would be the beliefs that once served us well, but may not any longer. To discover what these beliefs are, all we have to do is say, or write, our chosen affirmation, and then, listen to see if anything is said back to us.

People often find that they can get a nice little dialog going to where they eventually find out all sorts of things about what they think is really true of themselves and the world. And, these would be the same things that can stand in the way of many of their goals manifesting.

Here's an example of this kind of affirmation: “My income exceeds my expenses. "

(3) Affirmations can be used to shift our attention away from our current set of circumstances. In this context, they serve as a tool to focus the mind and create immediate changes in our emotional state.

Many stress-reduction and meditation techniques employ affirmations in this manner.

Here's an example of this kind of affirmation: “I now release all fear and anxiety around having a new job. "

So, hopefully, this article will give you some new insights and expand the way you look at affirmations from now on.

© Thomas Lomax, Jr.

Thomas Lomax is a personal success coach who specializes in helping people line up what they say with what they want. Visit his website:


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